The Bell City Council has unanimously passed a resolution requiring reinforcements of brick buildings damaged by the Oct. 1 earthquake or its aftershocks to conform to upgraded building code regulations.
Building official Donald Knechtel said that Bell's adoption of Division 88 of the Los Angeles city building regulations will affect only those buildings that require repairs for earthquake damage, but that another ordinance will be sent to the City Council within a month seeking to require all "unreinforced brick masonry buildings" in Bell to conform to upgraded safety regulations "within a short but reasonable amount of time" from the date of the ordinance's passage.
Knechtel said the costs of upgrading Bell's 32 unreinforced brick buildings will vary from building to building based on deterioration of joints, size of walls and other conditions, and that no estimate of the costs is available. At least 15 buildings are identified as "seriously damaged," and 12 will come under the provisions of the new regulations. At least three buildings face demolition, but none of the owners has requested permits to destroy the structures.
Building reinforcements would consist of structural improvements, better anchoring of ceilings and floors to walls and improvement of joints where roofs and walls meet, Knechtel said.