Portland City Council OKs new unreinforced masonry plan

Civic Affairs

70 people applied to be on committee

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland City Council unanimously passed a new plan to form a committee to deal with the nearly 2000 unreinforced masonry buildings in the city.

The plan, put forth by the Bureau of Emergency Management, removes one of the most contentious parts of the city’s current ordinance: requiring owners of unreinforced masonry buildings to post signs warning they are dangerous in earthquakes.​ Removing this requirement may resolve a pending lawsuit about the signs.

A total of 70 people applied to be on the committee. Their work group meetings will be open to the public and 5 owners of unreinforced masonry buildings are on the work group.

Interactive map of unreinforced masonry buildings in Portland

They’ll begin meeting soon and be expected to present their findings within a year. They will also provide quarterly updates throughout their process.

Bureau leaders hope its new proposal will lead to an incentive program that will sweeten the pot enough to convince building owners to fork out the money to retrofit their buildings.

The council vote was 4-0. Mayor Ted Wheeler was not present for the vote.

KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.

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