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[SEAOC] Stucco Shear Values

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I am interested to know what other people are doing about the use of stucco 
as a shear resisting element.  I know a lot has been written lately about 
gyp-board, but the de-valuation of stucco has not been quite as severe.  I 
am primarily interested in hearing from engineers who do a lot of track 
housing type projects.

The dilemma is this.  L.A. City and L.A. County have adopted the L.A. City 
reduced allowable values of 90 plf for stucco per table 25-I of the 94 UBC. 
 However, for an area where the L.A. City provisions have not been adopted, 
you still have a license to use 180 plf as your allowable shear.  I 
personally have a problem with using the higher value since stucco has shown 
itself to be a poor performer in earthquakes, however, the financial 
pressures do exist in this type of work and I am curious to know what other 
people are doing about it.

I did a quick estimate of the cost difference in complying with the L.A. 
City guidelines and found a $700 to $800 difference for a typical one story 
2000 S.F. (including attached garage).  This seems like cheap earthquake 
insurance to me, but that's quite a bit of cost per unit for a developer 
considering that the added shear walls do not add to the "curb appeal" of 
the homes.

Thanks in advance.  Any and all opinions are welcome.

Jeff Crosier, S.E.

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