“[San Francisco Mayor Gavin] Newsom said he would introduce legislation at the Board of Supervisors meeting [today] aimed at expediting the review of retrofit permits sought by owners of soft-story buildings and waive the fees associated with the permits, which can run as high as $1,000.”
Seismic retrofit program proposed by Newsom [SFGate]
JustQuotes: Think Seismic Upgrades (Or Lack Thereof) Not Soil [SocketSite]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Dede

    I am sure many, many property owners would be happy to retrofit – provided rent control were eliminated!

  2. Posted by Live Smart

    Can’t landlords pass through the retrofit costs to tenants via a Rent Board petition (for capital improvements)? If so, tenants should get ready for a rent hike.

  3. Posted by Garrett in SF

    Why would you not want to protect your investment? Its not all about landlords … believe it or not, some people actually LIVE in the buildings they own!

  4. Posted by Live Smart

    As a homeowner, landlord, and someone who spent $$$ to seismically reinforced a previously unreinforced masonry building in SF, I believe that once the big one hits, no amount of seismic retrofitting will save the building. In the meantime, I rather spend the money elsewhere on improvements to my property.

  5. Posted by The Milkshake of Despair

    True, Live Smart : seismic retrofits are designed to protect the people in the building first, and the building second. It is likely that many buildings that meet today’s building code, including some of the new high rises, become uninhabitable after the big one.
    But at least everyone should be able to evacuate safely.
    So yes, “protecting their investment” is not much of a motivation for landlords to bring their buildings up to code.

  6. Posted by Portalheights

    I would imagine a lot the supposed ‘soft story’ houses in the Sunset, Parkside, and Richmond districts are a lot less ‘soft’ due to the legal and illegal basement additions. You see many 6 ft deep garages around here.

  7. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    @Dede – I, as a renter, will give up rent control when home owners give up Prop 13.
    But on topic, it’s nice to see the city take a truly “progressive” step to protect it’s inhabitants and improve the over all quality of the housing stock in SF.

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