The city of West Hollywood is working to determine how it may be impacted by the Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zone Map in Hollywood, which was released by the California Geological Survey in January.
The preliminary map showed that the Hollywood Fault runs through Hollywood to West Hollywood, where the fault runs along Sunset Boulevard. The map cuts off a few blocks west of Sweetzer Avenue.
While the release of the maps was expedited to help the Los Angeles City Council make its decision regarding the Millennium project, the documents also provided an additional resource for West Hollywood officials.
“Nobody wants to be in a position to vote on something that puts lives at risk,” West Hollywood City Councilman Jeff Prang said.
John Keho, the city’s assistant director for community development, said West Hollywood has been proactive in mitigating seismic issues for “many, many years.” He said the city previously identified seismic hazard zones, and required developers in those areas to do additional studies to see if they can locate a fault on the property.
“It does look like [the hazard zone maps] might change slightly,” Keho said, adding that the city will not make alterations until the state’s Hollywood map is finalized. The California Geological Survey expects the final map to be released in July or August.
Keho said the city provided the California Geological Survey with studies done by developers to help create the most recent map in Hollywood. The studies can involve trenching or boring, he said.
When finalized, the map could potentially affect a project if there is any structure within 50 feet of the fault. Keho said projects in West Hollywood have been altered for such reasons in the past.
Prang said the city worked with the California Geological Survey on the seismic hazard maps in 1997 or 1998. He said the seismic hazard maps are why the House of Blues does not have a parking structure on site.
“West Hollywood did recognize that it was a potential challenge a long time ago,” Prang added.
He said he isn’t sure how the most recent California Geological Survey maps could affect West Hollywood. The council plans to discuss the issue when a staff report is compiled on the maps.
Prang said it is possible that the city’s seismic hazard maps are outdated, as the science of earthquake faulting continues to evolve. However, the city will begin the process of analyzing the new maps with more information than the city of Los Angeles had when it started its analysis, he said.
“We’ve been through this before,” Prang said.
Keho said the city will need to look at the language of the law and determine what projects could be impacted. He said projects that have already been approved may not be subject to additional scrutiny due to the finalization of the maps. Keho said a couple new projects on Sunset Boulevard have been discussed, and they may require additional studies when the developers move forward.
One project that could be impacted is 8150 Sunset, which is looking to bring a 110,000-square-foot, mixed-use project to the southwest corner of Sunset and Crescent Heights boulevards — just outside of West Hollywood’s city limits.
A spokesman for Townscape Partners, the company that proposed the project, said the developers have done some seismic testing, and that it will be up to the city of Los Angeles to determine if additional studies are necessary. The spokesman said it seemed clear that an earthquake fault does not run through the project site.
However, an environmental impact report (EIR) has not been issued for the project, and the project is probably six months away from final approvals. The spokesman said the EIR may be released in June.
The project is within the jurisdiction of the Hollywood Hills West Neighborhood Council. Its president, Anastasia Mann, said the California Geological Survey maps have not had a big impact on the council’s analysis of project proposals, but the council is concerned about potential seismic issues.
“Of course, the earthquake situation is very prevalent here,” she said.
Orrin Feldman, council vice president, said it is too early to tell if 8150 Sunset will need to mitigate potential seismic issues. He said the council will know more when the EIR is issued.
“At that time, everyone needs to look to see what has been done for earthquake testing,” Feldman added.
The Sunset/La Cienega project is another development that may be constructed near the Hollywood Fault. However, Keho said the developers identified potential seismic hazard areas on the property and made adjustments.
“So the buildings are setback from that area,” he added.
According to Dr. John Parrish, California state geologist and head of the California Geological Survey, the agency is working with the cities of Los Angeles and Santa Monica to “connect” maps of the Hollywood Fault to the Santa Monica Fault to the west and the Raymond Fault to the east. The continuation of the Alquist-Priolo map is among the agency’s next projects.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.