Portland City Council Votes to Label All Earthquake-Unsafe Buildings



Thanks PORTLAND CITY COUNCIL for thinking that I am TOO STUPID TO KNOW that a building that is 100 years old might fall on me in an earthquake.

Hey, while you're at it, how about requiring MULTNOMAH COUNTY to put up huge warning signs so you know WHILE YOU'RE DRIVING OVER A BRIDGE THAT WILL FALL DOWN. You know: Ross Island Bridge, Steel Bridge, Broadway Bridge, Burnside Bridge, Hawthorne Bridge, Morrison Bridge, St Johns Bridge. "WARNING: THIS BRIDGE MAY COLLAPSE IF YOU ARE CROSSING IT DURING AN EARTHQUAKE. HAVE A NICE DAY."


There's no good way around this. Old building construction simply didn't (and possibly couldn't, given the materials and engineering of the time) account for a quake as large as what is predicted for the next Cascadia subduction event. It's going to be expensive, and someone will be footing the bill (or the consequences if we do nothing). What would be ideal is if the state would implement some kind of very low interest borrowing program to fund near-term retrofits that can be paid off over a long period of time with an increase on the property tax bill for every subject unit, and also allow property owners to pass along some of this increased cost to the tenants of the building.

I have already retrofitted my house and rental property years ago, just because it was the right thing to do. It was expensive, and it's not like I could charge more than market rent even though most rental houses aren't retrofitted, but I was absolutely not going to take the risk for my tenants or my property in the event of the predicted "big one"...