State geologists will be on hand tonight at a meeting of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Assn. to help residents determine if their homes fall into high-risk earthquake areas.
The geologists will display new maps from the state Department of Conservation that label a broad swath of the Valley south of Vanowen Street hazardous because of the area's susceptibility to landslides and liquefaction, a process whereby water-saturated soils turn to jelly under heavy shaking.
"These maps are showing that there are real needs for people in these areas to take special safeguards," said Richard Close, president of the association.
"This is a chance for people to tell how much of a risk their property has."
When they become official in six months, the maps will also define areas in which builders and property owners will be required to report quake danger to potential buyers.
The geologists will be available between 7 and 8 p.m., prior to the association's regular meeting, Close said.
The meeting, which is open to Valley residents and business owners, will begin at 8 p.m. and feature Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Boyarsky.
Boyarsky will discuss the proposed downtown sports arena, Valley secession and political power in Los Angeles.
"If city taxpayers are going to invest $70 million in a new sports arena, we have a right to see all the relevant documents. Bill Boyarsky has led efforts through his column to force disclosure of these critical contracts," Close said.
Tonight's meeting will be held at the Ventura, 13920 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks.