Portland City Council delays seismic retrofit requirements

Owners of unreinforced masonry buildings may be required to place placards on their properties warning tenants and visitors of seismic risk after the Portland City Council on Wednesday directed staff to come up with a notification policy.


The policy will return before the council in three months for a vote. The notification requirement appears to be the most likely seismic measure to be adopted after years of committee meetings yielded little agreement on whether to mandate expensive seismic retrofits of hundreds of aging brick buildings.

The City Council delayed enacting any seismic retrofit mandates for a year when a newly formed working group will report back to commissioners. Even then, a draft of seismic retrofit requirements would give building owners 20 years to complete the upgrades.

Commissioner Dan Saltzman said the council was giving property owners too much leeway to complete safety improvements.

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The Daily Journal of Commerce