As California this year embarks on a major campaign to better identify earthquake faults across the state, Signal Hill and other communities along the Newport-Inglewood fault offer lessons on how to allow for new development.
The layout of Signal Hill was not dictated simply by aesthetics. The city and developers created this landscaping to protect residents from a danger hidden just below the surface: the Newport-Inglewood earthquake fault.
The fault, responsible for one of the most destructive earthquakes in Southern California history, snakes through the hill north of the Long Beach Harbor. In accordance with state law, homes were carefully built around the fault, and parks and trails buffered areas where the ground could split in two.