California State law currently bans building on top of earthquake faults and the California Geological Survey has mapped out where those fault lines lie. These maps create an earthquake zone of about 500 feet on either side of a fault line and state law requires that a builder conduct extensive underground seismic testing to determine if a fault runs under a proposed construction.
These state laws have not been in force in Hollywood simply because California had not completed an earthquake fault zone map for the area. Now, the preliminary earthquake fault maps for the area have been drawn up and public hearings concerning them have been held in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Times reported last fall that Los Angeles had approved some 14 building projects near earthquake faults along the Hollywood and Santa Monica fault lines. The newly released map of fault lines under Hollywood is showing that several proposed large developments are much closer to faults than previously anticipated.
As the Hollywood fault zone map currently stands, a fault lies below Blvd6200, a $200-million complex currently being built along Hollywood Boulevard. The project's developer requested at the public hearing that the fault line not be drawn underneath Blvd6200. The developer's attorney claimed that the fault line drawn by the California Geological Survey is "not clearly detectable ... and therefore is not sufficiently well-defined to be included on the map."
A geologist hired by the developer suggested that the state move that section of the fault further north or delete it completely. He said he would like to do more studies to prove that a fault line currently does not lie beneath the development. A state geologist said that the developer's geologist had not provided sufficient evidence that the fault isn't where the map says it is, but welcomes any evidence that might contradict the state's assertion.
Regardless, the construction of Blvd6200 cannot be halted because the city of Los Angeles signed off on it before the maps were available. The project broke ground in 2012.
The proposed earthquake zone maps should be finalized by this summer.
How will the final earthquake zone maps affect property owners' rights in the Los Angeles area? The real estate attorneys at the Peterson Law Group will be watching these developments very carefully. When you are seeking experienced attorneys who understand property dispute cases, we are the firm you need to turn to.
We can be contacted at (213) 236-9720 or contact us online to set up an initial consultation today.