Chapter 15.44
POST-DISASTER BUILDING STANDARDS AND REQUIREMENTS

Sections:

15.44.010    Purpose.

15.44.020    Definitions.

15.44.030    Post-disaster safety assessment placards.

15.44.040    Post-disaster demolition.

15.44.050    Disaster repair and reconstruction.

15.44.060    Board of appeals.

15.44.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide building standards and requirements which will apply in declared emergencies caused by natural or man-made disasters in order to allow rapid recovery and reconstruction efforts in the city. (Ord. 1474 § 3 (part), 1994)

15.44.020 Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:

“Architect” means an individual licensed by the state to practice architecture as defined in the State of California Business and Professions Code.

“Building official” means the building official of the city or his or her designee.

“Civil engineer” means an individual registered by the state to practice civil engineering as defined in the State of California Business and Professions Code.

“Current Code” means the edition of the Uniform Building Code, published by the International Conference of Building Officials, as adopted by the city in accordance with operation of law pursuant to the State of California Health and Safety Code. The edition to be applied shall be that edition in effect at the time of the declaration of an emergency.

“Declared emergency” means the duly proclaimed existence of conditions of disaster or of extreme peril to the safety of persons or property within the territorial limits of the city by the Governor of the state or by the mayor of the city.

“Engineering evaluation” means an evaluation of a damaged building or structure, or suspected damaged building or structure, performed under the direction of a structural engineer, civil engineer or architect retained by the owner of the building or structure. Engineering evaluation shall, at a minimum, contain recommendations for repair with appropriate opinion of construction cost for those repairs.

“Essential service facilities” means those buildings or structures which have been designated by the city council to house facilities which are necessary for the emergency operations subsequent to an event.

“Event” means any occurrence, natural or manmade, which results in a declared emergency.

“Historic building or structure” means any building or structure included on the National Register of Historic Places, the State Register of Historic Places or points of interest, or a local register of historic places. Historic buildings and structures shall also include those buildings and structures within a recognized historic district wherein the specific building has historic significance.

“Replacement value” means the dollar value, as determined by the building official, of replacing the damaged structure with a new structure of the same size, construction material and occupancy on the same site.

“State Historic Preservation Officer” (SHPO) means the individual appointed by the Governor, pursuant to Section 101(b)(1) of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, to administer the State Historic Preservation Program.

“Structural engineer” means an individual registered by the state to practice civil engineering and to use the title structural engineer as defined in the State of California Business and Professions Code.

“Value of repair” means the dollar value, as determined by the building official, of making the necessary repairs to the damaged structure. (Ord. 1474 § 3 (part), 1994)

15.44.030 Post-disaster safety assessment placards.

A. This section establishes standard placards to be used to indicate the condition of a building or structure for continued occupancy or use after any declared emergency.

B. Following each declared emergency, authorized staff and representatives of the building and safety division shall make a safety assessment of each damaged building and structure within the city and post the appropriate placard at each entry point to such building or structure. For purposes of this section a “safety assessment” is a visual, nondestructive examination of a building or structure.

C. Placards. The following are the three types of designations to be indicated by the placards. The ordinance number, the name of the department, its address and phone number shall be permanently affixed to each placard.

1. INSPECTED – Lawful Occupancy Permitted is to be posted on any building or structure wherein no apparent structural hazard has been found. This placard is not intended to mean that there is no damage to the building or structure.

2. RESTRICTED USE is to be posted on each building or structure that has been damaged wherein the damage has resulted in some form of restriction to the continued occupancy. The individual who posts this placard will note in general terms the type of damage encountered and will clearly and concisely note the restrictions on continued occupancy.

3. UNSAFE – Do Not Enter or Occupy is to be posted on each building or structure that has been damaged such that continued occupancy poses a threat to life safety. Buildings or structures posted with this placard shall not be entered under any circumstance except as authorized in writing by the city. Safety assessment teams shall be authorized to enter these buildings at any time. This placard is not to be used or considered as a demolition order. The individual who posts this placard will note in general terms the type of damage encountered.

D. It shall be a misdemeanor for any person to remove a placard once it has been attached to a building or structure unless the placard is removed by an authorized representative of the City or upon written approval from the city. (Ord. 1474 § 3 (part), 1994)

15.44.040 Post-disaster demolition.

A. Demolition Criteria.

1. Within ten days after the event, any building or structure determined by the building official to represent an imminent hazard to public health and safety, or to pose an imminent threat to the public right-of-way, shall be condemned and immediately demolished. Such condemnation and demolition shall be performed in the interest of public health and safety without condemnation hearings otherwise required by this code.

2. If, after the specified time frame noted in subsection A.1 of this section, any building or structure is determined by the building official to represent a hazard to the health and safety of the public, or to pose a threat to the public right-of-way, the building official shall duly notify the building owner and proceed with a condemnation hearing within fifteen business days of the notice in accordance with Municipal Code Sections 15.20.010 (Uniform Housing Code) and/or 15.24.010 (Uniform Code for the Abatement of Dangerous Buildings).

3. For any building or structure wherein the owner has decided to demolish rather than repair, the owner, or owner’s representative, shall follow the established procedures to secure a demolition permit.

B. Demolition of Historic Buildings or Structures.

1. Within fifteen days after the event, any historic building or structure determined by the building official to represent an imminent hazard to the health and safety of the public, or to pose an imminent threat to the public right-of-way, the building official shall notify the State Historic Preservation Officer that one of the following actions will be taken:

a. Whenever possible, within reasonable limits as determined by the building official, the building or structure shall be braced or shored in such a manner as to mitigate the hazard to public health and safety or the hazard to the public right-of-way.

b. Whenever bracing or shoring is determined not to be reasonable, the building official shall cause the building or structure to be condemned and immediately demolished. Such condemnation and demolition shall be performed in the interest of public health and safety without a condemnation hearing as otherwise required by this code. Prior to commencing demolition, the building official shall photographically record the entire building or structure.

2. If, after the specified time frame noted in subsection B.1 of this section and less than thirty days after the event, a historic building or structure is determined by the building official to represent a hazard to the health and safety of the public or to pose a threat to the public right-of-way, the building official shall duly notify the building owner of his/her intent to proceed with a demolition hearing within fifteen business days of the notice, in accordance with the provisions of this title. The building official shall also notify the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in accordance with the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, of its intent to hold a condemnation hearing.

3. For any historic building or structure wherein the building official and the owner have agreed to demolish the building or structure within thirty days after the event, the building official shall submit to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in accordance with the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, a request to demolish. Said request shall include all substantiating data.

4. If after thirty days from the event, the building official and the owner of a historic building or structure agree that the building or structure should be demolished, such action will be subject to the review process established by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended. (Ord. 1474 § 3 (part), 1994)

15.44.050 Disaster repair and reconstruction.

A. Application of Provisions. When approved by the building official, the requirements of this section may be waived in favor of repair recommendations included in an engineering evaluation as defined in Section 15.44.020.

B. Repair Criteria – Generally. Buildings and structures of all occupancies which have been damaged as a result of an event, except as otherwise noted, shall be repaired in accordance with the following criteria:

1. When the estimated value of repair does not exceed ten percent of the replacement value of the structure, the damaged portion(s) shall be restored to their pre-disaster condition.

EXCEPTION: When the damaged elements include suspended ceiling systems, the ceiling system shall be repaired and all bracing required by current code shall be installed.

2. When the estimated value of repair is greater than ten percent but less than fifty percent of the replacement value of the structure, the damaged elements, as well as all critical ties, supported elements and supporting elements associated with the damaged elements, shall be repaired and/or brought into conformance with the structural requirements of the current code.

3. When the estimated value of repair is fifty percent or more of the replacement value of the structure, the entire structure shall be brought into conformance with the structural requirements of the current code.

4. In Group R, Division 3 occupancies, the repair value of damaged chimneys shall be excluded from the computation of percentage of replacement value. Damaged chimneys shall be repaired in accordance with subsection C of this section.

C. Repair Criteria for Chimneys.

1. All damaged chimneys must be repaired or reconstructed to comply with the requirements of Chapter 37 of the current code. Damaged portions of chimneys shall be removed in accordance with the following criteria:

a. When the damaged portion of the chimney is located between the roof line and the top of the chimney, the damaged portion shall be removed to the roof line provided the roof and ceiling anchorage are in sound condition. Reconstruction portion of the chimney shall be braced to the roof structure.

b. For a single-story structure in which the damaged portion of the chimney is below the roof line or the damaged portion extends from above the roof line to below the roof line, the chimney shall be removed to the top of the fireplace.

c. For a multistory structure, the damaged portion of the chimney shall be removed from the top to a floor line where sound anchorage is found.

d. In any structure where the firebox has been damaged, the entire chimney and firebox shall be removed to the foundation. If the foundation is in sound condition, the firebox and chimney may be reconstructed using the existing foundation. If the foundation has been damaged, the foundation shall be removed and replaced.

2. Where existing conditions preclude the installation of all anchorage required by Chapter 37 of the current code, alternate systems may be used in accordance with the alternate methods and materials provisions of the current code when approved by the building official. Such alternate systems shall be designed and detailed by a structural engineer, civil engineer or architect.

3. When the portion of the chimney extending above the roof line exceeds two times the least dimension of the chimney, that portion above the roof line shall be braced to the roof structure.

D. Repair Criteria for Essential Service Facilities.

1. Buildings or structures housing essential service facilities which have been damaged as a result of a disaster shall have an engineering evaluation performed.

2. Minimum criteria for repair shall be as follows:

a. When the estimated value of repair is less than thirty percent of the replacement value of the structure, the damaged elements, as well as all critical ties, supported elements, and supporting elements associated with the damaged elements, shall be repaired and/or brought into conformance with the structural requirements of the current code.

b. When the estimated value of repair is thirty percent or more than the replacement value of the structure, the entire structure shall be brought into conformance with the structural requirements of the current code.

E. Repair Criteria for Historic Buildings or Structures.

1. Buildings or structures which are included on a national, state, or local register or historic places or which are qualifying structures within a recognized historic district, which have been damaged as a result of a disaster, shall have an engineering evaluation performed.

2. The minimum criteria for repair shall be as included in Section 15.44.050, Disaster Repair and Reconstruction with due consideration given to the historical rating and nature of the structures. Additional standards and criteria, as noted in Part 8, Title 24, California Code of Regulations, the State of California Historic Building Code, shall apply.

3. Where conflicts exist between the standards contained herein and the State of California Historic Building Code, the Historic Building Code shall govern.

F. Repair Criteria for Unreinforced Masonry Buildings and Structures. All damaged buildings determined to be bearing wall buildings constructed of unreinforced masonry shall be repaired and strengthened to fully comply with the requirements of the Uniform Code for Building Conservation, Appendix Chapter 1. (Ord. 1474 § 3 (part), 1994)

15.44.060 Board of appeals.

In order to hear and decide appeals of orders, decisions or determinations made by the building official relative to the application and interpretation of this chapter, there shall be and is created a board of appeals which shall consist of the members of the planning and environmental quality commission. The building official shall be an ex officio member and shall act as secretary to said board but shall have no vote upon any matter before the board. The board shall be governed by the same procedures as the planning and environmental quality commission. The board shall render all decisions and findings in writing to the appellant with a duplicate copy to the building official. The decision of the board shall be final and conclusive. The written decision sent to appellant shall provide that pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1094.6, any action to review said decision shall be commenced in an appropriate court of law not later than the ninetieth day after the date that the board decision is issued. (Ord. 1474 § 3 (part), 1994)