2010 California Code
Chapter 12.2. Building Earthquake Safety
8875. Unless the context otherwise requires, the following definitions shall govern the construction of this chapter: (a) "Potentially hazardous building" means any building constructed prior to the adoption of local building codes requiring earthquake resistant design of buildings and constructed of unreinforced masonry wall construction. "Potentially hazardous building" includes all buildings of this type, including, but not limited to, public and private schools, theaters, places of public assembly, apartment buildings, hotels, motels, fire stations, police stations, and buildings housing emergency services, equipment, or supplies, such as government buildings, disaster relief centers, communications facilities, hospitals, blood banks, pharmaceutical supply warehouses, plants, and retail outlets. "Potentially hazardous building" does not include warehouses or similar structures not used for human habitation, except for warehouses or structures housing emergency services equipment or supplies. "Potentially hazardous building" does not include any building having five living units or less. "Potentially hazardous building" does not include, for purposes of subdivision (a) of Section 8877, any building which qualifies as "historical property" as determined by an appropriate governmental agency under Section 37602 of the Health and Safety Code. (b) "Local building department" means a department or agency of a city or county charged with the responsibility for the enforcement of local building codes. 8875.1. A program is hereby established within all cities, both general law and chartered, and all counties and portions thereof located within seismic zone 4, as defined and illustrated in Chapter 2-23 of Part 2 of Title 24 of the California Administrative Code, to identify all potentially hazardous buildings and to establish a program for mitigation of identified potentially hazardous buildings. 8875.2. Local building departments shall do all of the following: (a) Identify all potentially hazardous buildings within their respective jurisdictions on or before January 1, 1990. This identification shall include current building use and daily occupancy load. In regard to identifying and inventorying the buildings, the local building departments may establish a schedule of fees to recover the costs of identifying potentially hazardous buildings and carrying out this chapter. (b) Establish a mitigation program for potentially hazardous buildings to include notification to the legal owner that the building is considered to be one of a general type of structure that historically has exhibited little resistance to earthquake motion. The mitigation program may include the adoption by ordinance of a hazardous buildings program, measures to strengthen buildings, measures to change the use to acceptable occupancy levels or to demolish the building, tax incentives available for seismic rehabilitation, low-cost seismic rehabilitation loans available under Division 32 (commencing with Section 55000) of the Health and Safety Code, application of structural standards necessary to provide for life safety above current code requirements, and other incentives to repair the buildings which are available from federal, state, and local programs. Compliance with an adopted hazardous buildings ordinance or mitigation program shall be the responsibility of building owners. Nothing in this chapter makes any state building subject to a local building mitigation program or makes the state or any local government responsible for paying the cost of strengthening a privately owned structure, reducing the occupancy, demolishing a structure, preparing engineering or architectural analysis, investigation, or design, or other costs associated with compliance of locally adopted mitigation programs. (c) By January 1, 1990, all information regarding potentially hazardous buildings and all hazardous building mitigation programs shall be reported to the appropriate legislative body of a city or county and filed with the Seismic Safety Commission. 8875.3. Local jurisdictions undertaking inventories and providing structural evaluations of potentially hazardous buildings pursuant to this chapter shall have the same immunity from liability for action or inaction taken pursuant to this chapter as is provided by Section 19167 of the Health and Safety Code for action or failure to take any action pursuant to Article 4 (commencing with Section 19160) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code. 8875.4. The Seismic Safety Commission shall report annually to the Legislature on the filing of mitigation programs from local jurisdictions. The annual report required by this section shall review and assess the effectiveness of building reconstruction standards adopted by cities and counties pursuant to this article and shall, commencing on or before January 1, 2007, include an evaluation of the impact and effectiveness of Section 8875.10. 8875.5. The Seismic Safety Commission shall coordinate the earthquake-related responsibilities of government agencies imposed by this chapter to ensure compliance with the purposes of this chapter. 8875.6. On and after January 1, 1993, the transferor, or his or her agent, of any unreinforced masonry building with wood frame floors or roofs, built before January 1, 1975, which is located within any county or city shall, as soon as practicable before the sale, transfer, or exchange, deliver to the purchaser a copy of the Commercial Property Owner's Guide to Earthquake Safety described in Section 10147 of the Business and Professions Code. This section shall not apply to any transfer described in Section 8893.3. 8875.7. If the transferee has received notice pursuant to Section 8875.8, and has not brought the building or structure into compliance within five years of that date, the owner shall not receive payment from any state assistance program for earthquake repairs resulting from damage during an earthquake until all other applicants have been paid. 8875.8. (a) An owner who has received actual or constructive notice that a building located in seismic zone 4 is constructed of unreinforced masonry shall post in a conspicuous place at the entrance of the building, on a sign not less than 5" × 7"the following statement, printed in not less than 30-point bold type: "This is an unreinforced masonry building. Unreinforced masonry buildings may be unsafe in the event of a major earthquake." (b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), unless the owner of a building subject to subdivision (a) is in compliance with that subdivision on and after December 31, 2004, an owner who has received actual or constructive notice that a building located in seismic zone 4 is constructed of unreinforced masonry and has not been retrofitted in accordance with an adopted hazardous building ordinance or mitigation program shall post in a conspicuous place at the entrance of the building, on a sign not less than 8"× 10" the following statement, with the first two words printed in 50-point bold type and the remaining words in at least 30-point type: "Earthquake Warning. This is an unreinforced masonry building. You may not be safe inside or near unreinforced masonry buildings during an earthquake." (c) Notice of the obligation to post a sign, as required by subdivisions (a) and (b), shall be included in the Commercial Property Owner's Guide to Earthquake Safety. (d) Every rental or lease agreement entered into after January 1, 2005, involving a building subject to the requirements of subdivision (b) shall contain the following statement: This building, which you are renting or leasing, is an unreinforced masonry building. Unreinforced masonry buildings have proven to be unsafe in the event of an earthquake. Owners of unreinforced masonry buildings are required to post in a conspicuous place at the entrance of the building, the following statement: "Earthquake Warning. This is an unreinforced masonry building. You may not be safe inside or near an unreinforced masonry building during an earthquake." (e) An owner who is subject to subdivision (b) and who does not comply with subdivision (a) may be subject to an administrative fine of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) to be levied by the local building department no sooner than 15 days after the local building department notifies the owner that the owner is subject to the administrative fine. If the owner does not comply with the requirements of that subdivision within 30 days of the first administrative fine, the owner may be subject to an additional administrative fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000). (f) If an owner who is subject to subdivision (b) does not comply with subdivision (b), any person may bring a civil action for injunctive relief if all of the following have been met: (1) He or she has made a request to an appropriate authority for administrative enforcement of this section at least 90 days prior to the action. (2) An administrative fine has not been levied since the request was made pursuant to paragraph (1). (3) At least 15 days prior to the filing of the action, the person has served on each proposed defendant a notice containing the following statement: "You are receiving this notice because you are alleged to be in violation of Section 8875.8 of the Government Code, which requires that the owner of an unreinforced masonry building post a sign, not less than 8"× 10", in a conspicuous place at the entrance of the building with the following statement, with the first two words printed in 50-point boldface type and the remaining words in at least 30-point type: "Earthquake Warning. This is an unreinforced masonry building. You may not be safe inside or near unreinforced masonry buildings during an earthquake. Failure to post the sign in compliance with subdivision (b) of Section 8875.8 within 15 days of receipt of this notice entitles the sender of the notice to file an action against you in a court of law for injunctive relief.' " (4) The owner has failed to post the sign in accordance with the requirements of subdivision (b) within 15 days of receipt of the notice served pursuant to this subdivision. (g) The prohibitions and sanctions imposed pursuant to this section are in addition to any other prohibitions and sanctions imposed by law. A civil action for injunctive relief pursuant to this section shall be independent of any other rights and remedies. 8875.9. Section 8875.8 shall not apply to either one of the following: (a) Unreinforced masonry construction if the walls are nonload bearing with steel or concrete frame. (b) A building that has been retrofitted in accordance with an adopted hazardous buildings ordinance or mitigation program, in which case the local jurisdiction may authorize the owner to post in a conspicuous place at the entrance of the building, on a sign not less than 5" × 7" the following statement, printed in not less than 30-point bold type: "This building has been improved in accordance with the seismic safety standards of a local building ordinance that is applicable to unreinforced masonry buildings." 8875.95. No transfer of title shall be invalidated on the basis of a failure to comply with this chapter.
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