The Hollywood Fault Zone - Setting the Record Straight

Once again, news of the release of the official Alquist-Priolo (A-P) Earthquake Fault Zone Map for the Hollywood area was all over television reports and the Internet, and some of the loudest voices came from one opposing neighborhood group that is looking to prevent progress in Hollywood. I want to take this opportunity to share the facts and to provide my position on this issue.

The California Geological Survey A-P map shows the estimated path of the Hollywood fault. [LINK] The State does not verify their fault lines by subsurface explorations. Specifically, the faults shown are estimates, based on previous studies and surface geologic and geomorphic mapping and should not be considered actual fault locations. The fault lines are used in order to establish the boundaries of the A-P Earthquake Fault Zones where investigations are required prior to building new structures intended for human occupancy.

The City’s Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) has the most rigorous seismic safety standards and will require geological investigation at potential new development sites within the A-P Earthquake Fault Zone to determine if there is an active fault. The City will not allow construction of new buildings in an area that is found to be unsafe for human occupancy.

I am relieved the State geologist has released a map that will help us move forward. Recent trenching at the proposed Millennium site shows there is no active fault, and there is clearly a disconnect between the data and the state's final map which must be reconciled. LADBS will continue to work with the Millennium project and will require further geological investigation to determine if there is an active fault at the southern edge of the project sites in accordance with the official map. It is in the best interest of all parties to ensure any new structures are built with safety as the first and foremost priority.

I welcome any additional tool that will help ensure even greater safety for new structures that are built, and I have every confidence LADBS will continue to impose the most rigorous seismic safety standards. Remember, we have other cities looking to Los Angeles as a model for the most stringent construction standards for safety.

We’re seeing Hollywood grow into a more active, walkable, livable area that is accessible to multiple modes of transportation and more diverse, vibrant uses. Hollywood is enjoying a renaissance in the 21st century, and more people are living, working, and visiting here than ever before. Accordingly, public safety is and will remain my top priority.

This is why I've fought to enhance safety around some of our schools in Hollywood, including Larchmont Charter, LeConte Middle, and Selma Elementary. LeConte has already seen the installation of its new safety features, and I’m working to ensure the other schools see their improvements as soon as possible.

In addition to my focus on safety with regard to future projects in Hollywood, I’m also working to improve public safety and the quality of life and experience for other recognizable Hollywood landmarks, such as Hollywood & Highland and the historic Walk of Fame.

I am committed to the Hollywood community growing in a manner worthy of its status as a world-class destination. I have said it before and will say it again - Hollywood remains open for business. One thing is clear from the release of the maps - we can finally move forward and work together to plan for an even greater Hollywood.

-Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell

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