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Mayor Garcetti urges passing of earthquake intiative

Mayor Eric Garcetti joined Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian Wendesday in urging passage of state legislation that would offer a 30 percent tax credit on seismic improvements over five years.

Nazarian called the bill “common-sense legislation” aimed at “helping property owners afford lifesaving structural changes to their buildings.”

“On average, a dollar spent on hazard mitigation provides our community about $4 in future benefits,” he said.

Garcetti recently proposed mandates over the next five years on retrofitting certain properties to make them less vulnerable to earthquakes.

Garcetti, who joined Nazarian at Van Nuys City Hall, said the next big quake in Los Angeles is inevitable, and he and the assemblyman are “taking action to shore up our buildings and better protect our city from the inevitable.”

Passage of AB 428 “would take an important step in making my seismic resilience plan a reality, providing a tax benefit to help building owners complete lifesaving retrofits,” Garcetti said. “I urge the state Legislature to pass this important legislation.”

Garcetti, in his recently announced earthquake resiliency plan, proposes that improvements be made to “soft-story” structures built before 1980, which are typically wood-framed apartment buildings with weak first floors built above carports.

The mayor also wants retrofits of non-ductile reinforced concrete buildings to be completed within 25 years of the building being determined vulnerable. Those buildings have brittle columns and frame connectors that easily break during shaking. The city has an estimated 1,500 such structures.

Nazarian’s bill calls for the tax credit to be given to property owners who are making seismic upgrades on buildings defined, by local governments that handle building permits, as being at risk of collapsing during an earthquake.

Those buildings could include soft-story and non-ductile buildings that would need to be retrofitted under Garcetti’s earthquake plan.

The tax credits proposed in the bill would sunset on Dec. 1, 2021.

Nazarian said the bill is a “critical first step” and he is partnering with Garcetti to help achieve other earthquake resiliency goals involving water and telecommunication infrastructure.