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Development & Construction Seismic Retrofit Soft Story Program
Soft-Story Program

 Seismic Retrofit Program

for Existing Wood-Frame Soft-Story Buildings

Upcoming Event: Soft-Story Seismic Retrofit Fair

On May 30th, the City of Beverly Hills will be hosting FREE trade show-style event featuring design professionals and manufacturers specializing in seismic retrofit work. An invitation for this public event will be mailed out to property owners who have to comply with the mandatory ordinance as the event date approaches. More information to follow.




Mandatory Standards for Seismic Strengthening of Wood-Frame Buildings with Soft, Weak or Open-Front Walls

The purpose of these Seismic Design Guidelines is to provide additional information and clarification to Civil or Structural engineers in order to comply with Ordinance No. 18-O-2767 for existing buildings with soft, weak, or open front wall lines.

To access the Seismic Design Guidelines click on the link below:

Beverly Hills Design Guidelines for Seismic Retrofit of Woof-frame Soft-story Buildings



For Existing Wood-Frame Multi-family Buildings with Soft, Weak or Open-Front Walls

The Screening Form is the first milestone set forth in Ordinance 18-O-2767 and Title 9, Chapter 5, Article of the Beverly Hills Municipal Code for the retrofit of existing wood-frame multi-family buildings with soft, weak, or open front wall. The Screening Report is intended to provide additional information to determine I f a building is in the scope of the ordinance and a retrofit is required or if the building is exempt from further evaluation.

The building information provided in the screening form will be reviewed by the City of Beverly Hills to determine whether the seismic retrofit is required, in accordance with Ordinance 18-O-2767 and Title 9, Chapter 5, Article 4 of the Beverly Hills Municipal code. The Screening Form must be prepared by a Design Professional (Civil Engineer, Structural Engineer, or Architect) licensed in the State of California.


To access the Screening Form click on the link below:

Beverly Hills Seismic Retrofit Screening Form for Wood-frame Soft-story Buildings


Mandatory Seismic Retrofit Ordinance for Wood-Frame Soft-Story Buildings 

The City of Beverly Hills is taking a proactive approach to earthquake safety with the goal to help protect people and minimize damage of vulnerable buildings in the event of a major earthquake. As such, the City has developed a mandatory seismic retrofit ordinance intended at strengthening existing wood-frame multi-family soft-story buildings.

The new ordinance (No. 18-O-2767) was adopted at the December 11, 2018 formal City Council meeting. The ordinance became effective on January 11, 2019.

The new mandatory ordinance addresses soft-story buildings which are most vulnerable and have been identified with the following criteria:

  • A permit for construction of a new building was applied for before January 1, 1978, or if no permit can be located, the structure is determined by the City Building Official to have been built under building code standards enacted prior to January 1, 1978, and


  • The ground floor or basement portion of the structure contains parking or other similar open floor space that causes Soft, Weak, or Open-Front Wall lines and there exists one or more stories above.

Access the Ordinance here: Ordinance No. 18-O-2767          

For additional information or for any questions, please contact Senior Plan Review Engineer, Arlen Eskandari, the City’s Seismic Retrofit Program project Manager at: (310)285-1113 or via email at: retrofit@beverlyhills.org.




Frequently Asked Questions - Click on the link below to access the document:








 City Council Meeting

November 20, 2018

Access Council Meeting Video & Agenda Report

Health and Safety Commission

October 22, 2018

Access Commission Meeting Video & Agenda Report


City Council Meeting

August 7, 2018

Access Council Meeting Video & Agenda Report


To find a California licensed engineer:

Please visit the State of California’s Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists and/or Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) websites for information regarding licensed engineers (please use links below):


To find a California licensed architect:

  • Please visit the California Architects Board for information regarding licensed architects: http://cab.ca.gov


To find a California licensed contractor:

Please visit the Contractors State License Board for information regarding hiring a contractor and to verify if a contractor is licensed and insured: http://cslb.ca.gov

California Department of Consumer Affairs: How to Hire a Contractor



Additional information: 

2016 Safer Cities Survey - developed by The Dr. Lucy Jones Center in partnership with the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) which provides information on the risks of seismic events in Southern California, an overview of steps taken by jurisdictions in the Los Angeles region, and a description of vulnerable building types. 2016 Safer Cities Survey

Seismic Retrofit Program
CONTACT: Arlen Eskandari - Senior Plan Review Engineer
ADDRESS: 455 North Rexford Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
PHONE: (310) 285-1113
EMAIL: retrofit@beverlyhills.org
URL: www.beverlyhills.org/seismicretrofit
DEPARTMENT: Community Development Department