My friend, I think you have been lucky and I wish our building officials
cared as much or were able to convince the City Council when the issues
arise of the importance of protecting homeowners as it appears you have in
Palmdale. For this I admire your city tremendously.
One of the problems is that the Palm Springs area - which is one of the
largest growth areas in Riverside County has become complacent because they
have not "personally" experienced at moderate or large earthquake for many
years. Landers was too far from the low desert to raise the concerns that it
did in the high desert. The earthquakes in Imperial County in the early 80's
also were too far from this area to raise any concern.
I was told today by a contractor who remembered an earthquake occurring in
the North Palm Springs area either in the late 70's or early 80's but I
don't think I recall any event of significant size that would have woken up
Until the late 80's almost everything was constructed by prescriptive
methods and the same builders are developing. Most are arguing the codes and
the cost as they do not feel that it is justified.
My point is that they simply have not had a wake up call and can not learn
until they do. While prescriptive methods have performed well enough to
protect against lives (although there is some question in CUREe's opinion as
to how they will perform in a major event) they do not financially protect
that portion of society who will be hardest hit and who can least afford to
repair the damage. This happens to make up the majority of the homes in my
area and this is disturbing.
In the mean time, you keep up the good work in Palmdale and make sure that
the politicians remember that the goal is the spend as little as possible to
obtain the most protection and performance so as to mitigate those damages
which are reasonable to prevent. I think this is the goal of
full-compliance. However, because of the present trend, we need to invest
more of the structural communities political strength in trying to change
the construction industry rather than simply making stricter codes. The gap
between conventional and full-compliance needs to be reduced as does the
incentive that drives many of the developers.
Sorry, but you hit a spot I am most passionate about and have tried very
hard to change. I've been frustrated as I feel completely ineffective in
this area of simply trying to require certification of those who lift a
hammer to construct a structural system - i.e.., the framers. I care little
about other trades (except possibly concrete subs) in wood frame
construction except that they do not violate my shear elements.
Regards and off the soapbox I will go!
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sid Danandeh [mailto:sdanandeh(--nospam--at)cityofpalmdale.org]
> Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2001 4:52 PM
> To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org'
> Subject: RE: FW PE Vs.txt
> I guess I have been lucky because basically the only time that
> framing is used here is when an addition of a square box of not
> more than 10
> feet is proposed. We require additions of more than 10 feet to be
> engineered by policy. Our homes on the custom lots and single
> lots have all
> been engineered also.Of course this is good because the San Andreas runs
> through Palmdale. But I see your point that some one might use the code to
> get out of engineering it.