Chapter 15.55


15.55.010  Purpose.

15.55.020  Definitions.

15.55.030  Scope.

15.55.040  Exempt buildings.

15.55.050  Compliance.

15.55.060  Engineering standards.

15.55.070  Engineering reports.

15.55.080  Building owner notification.

15.55.090  Recordation.

15.55.100  Building tenant notification.

15.55.110  Notice.

15.55.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to comply with State law and to promote public safety and welfare by identifying those buildings that exhibit structural deficiencies in their capacities for earthquake resistance and determining the severity and extent of those deficiencies in relation to their potential for causing injury or loss of life. (Ord. 1626 § 1, 8-27-91. Formerly § 5-110).

15.55.020 Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meaning ascribed to them in this section:

(a) "Civil engineer or structural engineer" means a licensed civil or structural engineer registered by the State of California pursuant to the rules and regulations of Title 16, Division 5 (entitled "Board for Professional Engineers and Surveyors"), Section 404 et seq. of the California Code of Regulations.

(b) "Uniform Building Code (UBC)" refers to the publication published by the International Conference of Building Officials, Whittier, California, as adopted and amended by the City.

(c) "Unreinforced masonry building" or "URM" means any building containing walls and/or columns constructed wholly or partially of masonry without at least fifty percent (50%) of the reinforcement required by the 1988 Edition of the UBC, and includes:

(1) Unreinforced brick masonry.

(2) Unreinforced concrete masonry.

(3) Hollow clay tile.

(4) Adobe or unburned clay masonry.

(5) Stone masonry.

(d) Such other terms as are defined in the 1988 edition of the UBC.

(e) "Uniform Administrative Code (UAC)" refers to the publication published by the International Conference of Building Officials, Whittier, California, as adopted and amended by the City. (Ord. 1626 § 1, 8-27-91. Formerly § 5-111).

15.55.030 Scope.

The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all existing URM buildings in the City of Santa Clara, except as exempted in SCCC 15.55.040. The owners of such buildings shall, upon service of a notice and order and within time limits set forth in SCCC 15.55.050, cause an engineering report to be submitted to the City's Building Official to determine the existence, nature, extent, and severity of structural deficiencies in their buildings' capacity to resist earthquakes. (Ord. 1626 § 1, 8-27-91. Formerly § 5-112).

15.55.040 Exempt buildings.

The following buildings are exempted from complying with this chapter:

(a) Detached one- or two-family dwellings and detached apartment houses containing fewer than five dwelling units and used solely for residential purposes.

(b) Warehouses or similar structures not used for human habitation, except for warehouses or structures housing emergency-services equipment or supplies.

(c) Buildings that have already been structurally upgraded in substantial accordance with the 1973, or later, edition of the UBC.

(d) Registered historical buildings; however, a registered historical building shall be strengthened to comply with the provisions of Title 24, Part 8 (entitled "California Historical Building Code") of the California Code of Regulations (CCR). See explanation of Title 24's origin and authority in SCCC 1.05.020(c)(2), "California Code of Regulations." (Ord. 1626 § 1, 8-27-91. Formerly § 5-113).

15.55.050 Compliance.

The owner of a building subject to the provisions of this chapter shall comply with the requirements of this chapter by submitting an engineering report to the Building Official for review within one year after service of the notice and order from the City. For buildings constructed of concrete masonry, an engineering report will not be required if it can be demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the Building Official, that the building is reinforced with at least fifty percent (50%) of the reinforcement required by the 1988 edition of the UBC. (Ord. 1626 § 1, 8-27-91. Formerly § 5-114).

15.55.060 Engineering standards.

The engineering standards to be used in preparation of engineering reports and compliance with this chapter shall be in accordance with the 1988 edition of the UBC and as established by resolution of the City. (Ord. 1626 § 1, 8-27-91. Formerly § 5-115).

15.55.070 Engineering reports.

Owners of URM buildings shall submit engineering reports to the Building Official as follows:

(a) Purpose. The purpose of each such engineering report shall be to investigate, in a thorough and unambiguous fashion, a building's structural systems that resist earthquake forces and to evaluate their adequacy to resist the seismic design forces as specified herein.

(b) Authorized Preparers. Engineering reports shall be prepared by civil or structural engineers, as previously defined herein, who are familiar with seismic analysis and design.

(c) Format. The format for engineering reports shall be as adopted by resolution of the City Council, or other equivalent format approved in writing by the Building Official. (Ord. 1626 § 1, 8-27-91. Formerly § 5-116).

15.55.080 Building owner notification.

The Building Official shall issue a written notice to all owners of URM buildings within sixty (60) days of the effective date of this chapter that their building has been included in the City's list of potentially hazardous URM buildings, and is required to have an engineering report submitted to the Building Official.

The owner of the building may appeal the Building Official's initial determination that the building is within the scope of this chapter to the board of appeals ("board") established by Section 204 of the UAC. Such appeal shall be filed with the Board within sixty (60) days from the service date of the notice as described above. Any such appeal shall be decided by the board no later than ninety (90) days after filing of the appeal and the board shall state clearly and concisely in writing the findings in support of its determination. (Ord. 1626 § 1, 8-27-91. Formerly § 5-117).

15.55.090 Recordation.

At the time that the Building Official serves the notice, the Building Official shall also file with the Office of the County Recorder a certificate stating that the subject building is within the scope of this chapter and is potentially an earthquake-hazardous building. The certificate shall also state that the owner thereof has been ordered to provide an engineering report for the building.

If the building is demolished, is found not to be within the scope of this chapter, or is structurally capable of resisting the minimum seismic forces required by this chapter as a result of structural analysis, the Building Official shall file with the Office of the County Recorder a form terminating the status of the subject building as being classified within the scope of this chapter. (Ord. 1626 § 1, 8-27-91. Formerly § 5-118).

15.55.100 Building tenant notification.

The owner of each identified building shall provide to each of his/her tenants written notification that a seismic investigation of the building has taken place and that the engineering report documenting the investigation is available for review at the building inspection division of the City. Such notification shall occur within ninety (90) days of submittal of each engineering report to the Building Official. (Ord. 1626 § 1, 8-27-91. Formerly § 5-120).

15.55.110 Notice.

The notice and order authorized by this chapter shall be given or served upon the owner by (1) personal service, (2) delivery of the same to a person of suitable age and discretion upon the building premises, or (3) posting a copy in a conspicuous place on the door to the entrance of the building premises and by mailing a copy thereof to the owner by registered or certified mail to the address on record with the County assessor. The selected form and time of notice shall be verified by a declaration of the person performing such service. (Ord. 1626 § 1, 8-27-91. Formerly § 5-121).