Today's Los Angeles Times had this headline: San Francisco OKs quake retrofitting for at-risk buildings. It caught my eye because we've done a lot of retrofitting here in the Los Angeles area, plus on a personal level, my family and I are huge San Francisco fans and travel there often. We're even thinking of moving there one day, and it would be reassuring to know it will be made safer.
And after having lived through countless L.A. quakes, I can attest that that kind of added security is more than welcome.
According to the article, property owners would be required to reinforce wood-frame soft-story buildings with parking garages or storefronts on the ground floor built before 1978.
Sounds reasonable. It's always a good thing to make every effort to be prepared, improve the structural integrity of buildings that people work and live in, and, you know, keep people alive.
Added benefit: More employment.
So as I'm reading this encouraging news, this caught my eye. Before you read the next part, grab some Pepto and a Valium:
Some landlords in Los Angeles remain firmly opposed to the type of retrofitting now required in San Francisco. Dan Faller, president and chief executive of the Los Angeles-based Apartment Owners Assn. of California, said he does not believe the government should force property owners to make upgrades.
"They're telling businesses how to run their business — after the city has already given approval to the building the way it is and after the owner has purchased the building the way it is. If they want to make a requirement like that, make the city pay for it," Faller said. "Don't pass a law that forces me to spend $100,000 on my building."
Damn that Big Government doing what it's supposed to do!
Why, if I didn't know better, I'd think that Los Angeles is... concerned! About safety! And lifesaving measures! And planning ahead! And even saving some of the money and effort that would be required to clean up after a disaster! In an earthquake-prone area!
What could they be thinking?