Department of Planning and Development is proposing an ordinance
amending Berkeley Municipal Code (BMC) Chapter 19.39 (the Soft Story
Ordinance). The adopted Soft Story Ordinance requires owners to file
with the City an engineer’s report analyzing seismic weaknesses for
buildings on the Inventory of Soft Story Potentially Hazardous
Buildings using Chapter A4 of the 2003 International Existing Building
Code for wood-framed portions. Some subject buildings have
ground stories constructed with concrete or concrete masonry unit
walls and a rigid diaphragm of concrete or structural steel over the
ground story. This ground story provides a podium upon which the
wood-framed residential portion of the building is erected.
Because Chapter A4 does not provide standards for such buildings, the
Building Official has prepared a modification to Chapter A4 to add
standards for the engineering evaluation of such buildings. Under the
proposed amendment, Chapter A4 is modified to provide that the
concrete or structural steel portions of such buildings shall be
evaluated using the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Standard 31 Section 3.0.
ASCE Standard 31 are on file with the City Clerk and are open to
reading of the ordinance amending BMC Chapter 19.39 will be at the
regular City Council meeting of December 5, 2006. As required by
Government Code Section 50022, a public hearing is scheduled during
the regular City Council meeting on December 12, 2006.
Upon conclusion of the public hearing, the Council may, at its
discretion, hear, approve and adopt a second reading of the ordinance.
For further information, please contact Project
Manager Dan Lambert at (510) 981-7406, or access the Soft Story Program link on the web site: http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/buildingandsafety.