Unreinforced masonry buildings to be reinforced, eventually
Recently, the Department of Planning and Development recently identified throughout the city of Seattle about 800 unreinforced masonry buildings (URM), which, in the case of an earthquake, could have serious damage caused to them, according to a press release.
About 60 of the buildings are in Ballard alone, located heavily in the Ballard Ave corridor between Market St and 17 Ave NW. Buildings include the Conor Byrne Pub, Portalis Wine Shop and Wine Bar, Old Town Alehouse, Bastille Restaurant and others, most of which have commercial uses. Several of these buildings were built around 1900.
Details and a full list of URM buildings can be found at http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/cms/groups/pan/@pan/@emergprep/documents/web_informational/dpdp022285.pdf.
In an attempt to save these buildings, generally historic and built before the 1940s -- before seismic reinforcement was a requirement -- DPD wants to create a seismic retrofit program, which would incentivize retrofits of URM buildings.
Owners of URM buildings were notified in July. Policy is still currently in development and URM Policy Committee meetings are open to the public. The next meeting is taking place Aug. 23, 8:30 a.m. in room 1610 of the Seattle Municipal Tower.
Comments can also be emailed to DPD_URM_Policy_Committee_Comments@seattle.gov. The committee's progress can be followed at http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/Emergency/UnreinforcedMasonryBuildings/Public...
More outreach is expected to be conducted throughout policy development.