City Planner: Earthquake code makes it 'much less likely' for California buildings to collapse like Florida

It’s the nightmare no city engineer or planner wants to imagine but are looking at and following, very closely – the Florida building collapse. 

"We are hearing everything, from structural integrity to a sinkhole and everything in between," says David Reyes, Pasadena’s Director of Planning and Community Development. "But we don’t want to speculate and just have to wait to see what they find." 

He explains that California’s earthquake codes make it much less likely to get a collapse like what we saw in Florida, especially after the Northridge quake, which set off a series of code changes.

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The state goes over the seismic guidelines every three years, sometimes more often. Beyond that, cities have building and safety departments, and builders have to supply plans, get permits and submit them to inspection. Even after the building goes up, the City of Pasadena conducts inspections every four years for multi-family residences.

With that said, "it’s scary to see this," adds Reyes. 

The way it collapsed onto itself makes structural issues the first thought, but there may be more. 

"Building on sand is a whole different world" he explains. 

And that will come into play. There were codes in the 1980s when this building went up, but they have been updated.

Reyes shakes his head saying, "It’s so sad. Our condolences to the families of those affected."

Amen to that.