Mandatory (Soft Story) Seismic Screening Ordinance
On July 2nd, 2019 the City of Hayward adopted an ordinance which requires mandatory screening of potential “Soft Story Buildings”. This ordinance was passed as part of a strategic initiative to provide a safe and resilient housing stock for Hayward residents. The adoption of this ordinance is the first step in addressing potential Soft Story Buildings located in our city by; establishing a soft story registry, implementing a screening process, and developing a framework and guidelines to encourage the voluntary retrofitting of qualifying structures.
A “Soft Story Building” is typically a wood framed multi-story building, constructed or permitted for construction before January 1, 1979 or designed based on an adopted version of the 1976 or earlier edition of the Uniform Building Code. These structures characteristically have a weak/open lower level with little or no solid walls. Multi-family dwellings such as apartment buildings with tuck under parking stalls on the ground floor will usually fall into this category. Due to our proximity to the Hayward fault and geological studies suggesting the potential for a major seismic event within the next 20 years we feel it’s imperative that action be taken sooner than later. Below is a list of frequently asked questions and answers that are essential to the screening process.