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New fault line maps could impact development plans

LOS ANGELES — State officials have released preliminary maps outlining the locations of earthquake fault lines on the Westside and other parts of the Los Angeles area, which could have a major impact on future development projects.

The maps from the California Geological Survey show a fault line cutting through neighborhoods in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and other Westside neighborhoods and were made under the Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Act.

The general location of the fault lines have been known for years, but once finalized, the maps could prevent some future development projects, as the Alquist-Priolo Act prohibits construction of certain structures for human occupancy on top of an active fault line.

Although the maps would not completely prevent structures from being built on fault lines, they do require developers working near one to conduct a seismic review, and the ultimate approval of a project on a fault line lies with local authorities.

The maps, which will now undergo a 90-day review, show the Santa Monica Fault line cutting through Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Brentwood, Century City, Westwood and West Los Angeles.

The new maps released also completed an analysis of the western edge of the Hollywood fault, and the northern edge of the Newport-Inglewood fault, which runs through Culver City, Mid-City and Pico-Robertson.

The Coalition to Preserve L.A. issued a statement in response to the release of the preliminary maps, criticizing Mayor Eric Garcetti and the city Planning Department for the secrecy surrounding the city’s open space plans.

“Los Angeles is years behind such cities as Hayward and San Francisco in planning for inevitable building collapses in a major earthquake,” Coalition to Preserve L.A. Director Jill Stewart said. “ … Mayor Garcetti and City Planner [Vince] Bertoni are pursuing a new L.A. Open Space Plan behind closed doors that’s glaringly silent on planning for open dpace atop the city’s fault lines. And they’re approving buildings close to the faults.”

“We joined together with other groups to force Garcetti and Bertoni to open up a single open space ‘work group’ meeting to the public on June 7. It was standing-room-only, with deeply concerned L.A. residents seeking a direct say in expanding and protecting L.A.’s open space,” Stewart added.

“The disarray in Los Angeles City Hall and the Mayor’s Office, over how to plan and expand our open space, particularly around live earthquake faults, is unacceptable,” Stewart said. “When 25 neighborhood councils and major civic groups demand a place at the table, Mayor Garcetti needs to wake up and open the closed doors.”

 

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