An Earthquake Could Topple Hundreds of Buildings, and L.A. Leaders Are Doing Nothing


LA Weekly Article

Los Angeles’ leaders have all but abandoned earthquake-safety philosophy in implementing the city’s General Plan and, especially, the Hollywood Community Plan, says Cal State University Northridge urban planning professor Dev Vrat. The “safety element” of L.A.’s General Plan, for example, relies on an outdated, decades-old geological map that fails to warn city planners about the accurate locations of all of the known, active faults. 

Robert H. Sydnor, an engineering geologist who previously worked for California Geological Survey for 25 years, says: “It is time for a significant internal change within the Department of Building & Safety of the City of Los Angeles. Building permits for multimillion-dollar, high-rise structures are being issued by L.A. city officials who have no understanding of strong-motion seismology, holocene active faults and geologic hazards. This is a significant disservice in public safety.”

Community activist George Abrahams has called for a grand jury investigation to review how the Millennium project won backing from the city geologist, Building & Safety, Planning Commission, City Council and the mayor, saying: “This whole matter stinks so badly that it’s time for a criminal investigation to get to the bottom of how City Hall colluded with the developer for so long to hide the truth.”

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