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CITYWIDE — After completing maps of the fault in the Hollywood area the California Geological Survey (CGS) planned to turn to Santa Monica earlier this year but a lack of state funding has delayed the start of the mapping process through at least budget season in July.
The Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Zones, created by the CGS, allow the state to regulate development built near faults. Any developer who wants to build within the zones must contract an environmental firm to evaluate the sight. If they find a trace of the fault, they can’t build.
In December, the Los Angeles Times identified four buildings that may sit on top of a fault. City officials said they were confident that the buildings are located near but not on the fault.
State Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Santa Monica) sent a letter to State Senate leader Darrell Steinberg, asking for more cash to be allocated for fault mapping.
With proper funding mapping, which takes six to eight months, the local project could have started as early as January.
Santa Monica is next on the list, pending the state cash.
CGS has created 550 maps of about 5,000 miles of surface faults, California State Geologist John Parrish told the Daily Press earlier this year. They have about another 2,000 miles to go, he said.
Santa Monica is in the middle of drafting a new Zoning Ordinance, which dictates land uses throughout the city, but the lack of CGS mapping won’t inhibit the process said Building Officer Ron Takiguchi.
City Hall already requires a sizable swath of its land near the fault line to be treated by developer as if it were in an Alquist-Priolo “no build” area.
“New projects brought forward under the existing or proposed zoning ordinance, or projects that are in the City’s defined Seismic Hazard Mitigation Zone are required to perform a soils and geology report with investigation by a licensed geotechnical engineer,” he said in an e-mail. “This report will contain recommendations for fault hazard investigation.”
New projects are required to undergo Environmental Impact Reports, which also assess the seismic situation on the site.
“The State’s map should be finalized by year’s end and there are no new projects in the pipeline that are close to the newly mapped area,” Takiguchi said.