Hollywood Earthquake Fault: Why Residents Should Care
Due to budget constraints, for many years the state didn't map the Hollywood Fault, though it has mapped hundreds of faults. Much of the fault is still just dotted lines on incomplete geological maps.
(Click the map below to see details.)
To complete an accurate map that pinpoints the actual fault, geologists must dig trenches in the earth. Because that work was never completed, the Hollywood Fault could not be included by the State of California in the regulatory Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zones, according to State Geologist John Parrish.
And that created a legal and political gray area: Could the City of Los Angeles get around the Alquist-Priolo Act, and approve new buildings near -- even atop -- an active fault, as long as there was no regulatory map telling city officials precisely where the Hollywood Fault ran?
For several years, L.A. City Geologist Dana Prevost and other top Department of Building and Safety employees recommended Hollywood projects without doing the work needed to create detailed maps showing the precise location of the old fault ruptures.
Based on their recommendations, in 2007 the City Council approved Blvd6200. Former City Councilman Woo, now dean of the College of Environmental Design at Cal Poly Pomona, was on the L.A. Planning Commission at the time.
Woo explains the thinking going on within City Hall:
"Up until now, the usual city process has not followed closely the existence of major fault lines," concedes Woo, who was appointed by Villaraigosa to the City Planning Commission from 2005 to 2012.
"In other words, we haven't had the research, and developers have not been required to provide the level of specific detail, that now has come to public attention."
Next, find out how city officials proceeded, not knowing where the fault was: