Thursday, June 14, 2018

Portland City Council Punts Mandate for Seismic Retrofits -- Another Year of Study

The Portland City Council voted yesterday to advance the retrofit requirement with the condition of a more inclusive workgroup to conduct further study. It means that the mandate may take effect depending on the vote a year from now.

In the meantime, city staff were directed to study and return in September with a recommendation on adopting an ordinance requiring URM buildings to post placards that they may be unsafe during a seismic event. The council discussed the following language:  "This is an unreinforced masonry building. Unreinforced masonry buildings may be unsafe in the event of an earthquake." If that language is adopted in September the signs would be required to be posted by March, 2019.

The city voted to separate churches from other buildings and to set up a separate committee to study church and other nonprofit needs.

The requirement of securing walls to floors was tabled pending further study by the committee, which will be required to report back to the City Council in six months, and the ordinance will be voted on again in one year. The committee was also directed to work to find ways to finance any required retrofits.

Public buildings and schools remained a top priority on the council's agenda for retrofit requirements.

Watch the council meeting:
June 13 - AM Session - Timestamp 3:03

Compelling testimony from local Pastors. 

While not entirely satisfied with the outcome, the group Save Portland Buildings was pleased owners were able to "impact and shine a light on the issues by exposing conflicts of interest and lack of representation."

Read the Oregonian story.

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