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San Francisco Soft-Story Ordinance

On March 16, 2010, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a voluntary soft-story retrofit program, which will take effect on April 19, 2010. This program benefits soft-story building owners who voluntary retrofit their buildings by:

  • Waiving building department plan review fees, which can amount to hundreds or even thousands of dollars per project.
  • Expediting the processing, reviewing and approval of building permits for soft-story retrofit projects.
  • Exempting retrofitted buildings from any future mandatory retrofitting legislation for the next 15 years.

Additionally, at the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute’s annual meeting on Friday, February 5, 2010, Newsom also announced that he is creating legislation for a mandatory retrofitting program, which will also include a financing package to mitigate retrofit costs for soft-story building owners. Newsom hopes that this legislation will be on next November’s ballot for voter approval of certain elements.

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