Seismic building inspections underway in San Francisco after recent earthquakes

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Seismic safety is a priority for San Francisco building owners and residents.

The retrofit staff at the San Francisco Department of building inspection is working overtime this Friday.

The staff is processing last-minute applications filed to meet the September 15th soft-story retrofit program deadline.

"Starting next week, District inspectors will post notices of violations and these earthquake warning placards," said William Strawn with the Department of Building Inspection.

The deadline applies to Tier 3 buildings. Those are buildings with three or more stories and five to fifteen units. Since Wednesday, the number of non-compliant buildings has dropped from 769 to 600.

The soft-story retrofit program was established in 2013 to ensure that San Francisco buildings are earthquake safe

In the Loma Prieta Quake in 1989, several buildings were severely damaged that were not retrofitted.

Owners of buildings that are non-compliant will have 30 days to respond to notices. If there is still no response, they may receive a notice to come a directors hearing.

If they don't comply by filing a permit application for a retrofit, then the next step is an order of abatement which means the owner cannot lease or sell the property until they comply.

Building owners who have filed for a retrofit permit have 2 years to complete the work.

The work can cost anywhere from $100 to $400,000.

The city offers a financing program. Property owners can add the cost to their property tax over the next 20 years.
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