Mandatory Soft Story Retrofit Deadline Reminder

Date Posted: August 6th, 2019 @ 9:18 AM
Last Updated: August 8th, 2019 @ 1:18 PM
An example of a building with an open, ground floor ("soft story"), which collapsed onto a row of parked cars during an earthquake.

Earthquake safety saves lives. In May 2019, the City of Oakland sent official notices to owners of certain multi-unit residential properties that are potential "soft story" buildings. A "soft story" is large ground-floor opening that is particularly prone to collapse during an earthquake. The notice stated that their buildings may be subject to the seismic retrofit requirements of the Mandatory Soft Story Retrofit Ordinance.

To determine if your multi-unit property is subject to the ordinance, please review our List of Potential Soft Story Buildings or contact the city's Building Department (see below). Please also review our program timeline of compliance deadlines based on building characteristics assigned into compliance tiers.

Upcoming Compliance Deadlines:

  • February 21, 2020 - Exemption - If you believe that your building is not subject to the Mandatory Soft Story Retrofit Program, you may submit an Petition for Exemption Form.

For other questions about the ordinance and program, please visit:

Contact program staff at or (510) 238-3344.