He also said it’s important to figure out ways to encourage property owners to want to deal with the issue — such as arranging a tax deduction for owners who invest in retrofitting. He is working with an assemblyman to introduce such a bill in the state Legislature.
Cities have developed inventories of other types of problem buildings and ordered fixes. In the 1980s, Los Angeles passed an ordinance requiring the retrofit or demolition of about 8,000 old brick buildings that could collapse during an earthquake.
San Francisco is focusing on a different type of problem building — wooden apartment buildings with weak first stories. Last year, the city approved an ordinance requiring about 3,000 of these buildings to be retrofitted.
Thalia Anagnos, a San Jose State engineering professor who worked on the concrete study, said property owners should be invited to participate in crafting a policy.
“The only way to do this is to include the community in the process,” she said.