Portland delays requirement for posted warnings on unreinforced brick and stone buildings

Regulation would mandate signs warning that buildings could be unsafe during earthquakes.

March 08, 2019 |

Courtesy Pixabay

The Portland City Council voted to delay until November 2020 a requirement that owners of unreinforced brick and stone buildings post signs warning that the buildings may be unsafe in an earthquake.

The requirement was originally set to take effect for most property owners this month. Some building owners sued the city over the measure, and a judge ordered the city to hold off on enforcement. Members of the arts and music communities, African-American church leaders, and historic preservationists were among those who objected to the rule.

The delay does not apply to publicly owned buildings. The city is one of the largest owners of unreinforced masonry buildings in Portland, and will post the signs on its properties.

Seismologists say there is a 37% chance of a devastating magnitude 7.1 or greater earthquake in the Cascadia subduction zone, where Portland lies, within the next 50 years.

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