King County Offering Free Home Earthquake Retrofit Permits

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With all the news of recent earthquakes, it’s no surprise that on Monday (April 5) King County’s Department of Development and Environmental Services (DDES) decided to offer citizens in unincorporated parts of the county free home earthquake retrofit permits on homes that meet specific criteria.

DDES has published a bulletin called Obtaining A Voluntary Home Earthquake Retrofit Permit, which is available for download here (PDF file).

According to the document, eligible homes must:

  • be of wood-frame construction;
  • have a light-weight roof;
  • not be irregularly shaped;
  • have a reinforced concrete foundation;
  • not exceed two stories in height; and
  • be on a relatively level lot.

Free earthquake retrofit permits at DDES can usually be issued over the counter if a complete application has been submitted. (Homes that do not meet these criteria can still secure an earthquake retrofit permit, however the process involves more review time and permit review fees are charged.)

“I hope more people will take advantage of this important program,” said DDES Director John Starbard. “Our region dealt with the impacts of the Nisqually earthquake in 2001 and, although that event was not of the same magnitude as more recent international earthquake disasters, modern building codes minimized the physical and economic damage of the 2001 quake for the benefit of the entire region.”

For additional information on earthquake retrofit permits at DDES, please contact Paula Adams, DDES Public information and Records Officer at 206-296-6682.

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One Response to “King County Offering Free Home Earthquake Retrofit Permits”
  1. Greg Fox says:

    If only Des Moines would offer such a service, but no it needs funding so badly that it would not give anything of value away for free.
    Too bad as this would be good pr and might really help someone live in a safer structure.

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