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L.A. Now Live: How new earthquake maps affect L.A. development

L.A. Now Live: How new earthquake maps affect L.A. development
John Parrish, California's state geologist, points during at a news conference Wednesday to a new map showing the locations of faults in the foothills of eastern Los Angeles County. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Join Times staff writers Rong-Gong Lin II and Rosanna Xia for a discussion starting at 9 a.m. Friday about the implications of this week's release of new state geological maps.

The maps show that several major developments planned in Hollywood are actually much closer to an active earthquake fault than Los Angeles city officials initially said they were.

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The maps show a zone of about 500 feet on both sides of the fault, and state law requires any development within the zone to have substantial underground seismic testing to see if the fault runs under it. Developers are not allowed to build on top of faults.

The state law has not been enforced for the Hollywood fault because the state geologist had not completed the fault zone.

On Thursday, Gov. Jerry Brown proposed a $1.49-million boost in funding specifically for fault mapping. His proposed budget also asks for $1.3 million in annual dedicated funding, which would be paid for with increased building permit fees.

The money would increase the number of scientists who find earthquake faults from one to four -- a staffing number not seen in 20 years.

The maps released this week are still in draft form and will probably not be finalized until this summer.

An investigation published by The Times last month found that Los Angeles approved at least 14 projects along the Hollywood and Santa Monica faults without requiring the type of underground digging needed to determine exactly where the fissures are.

During the chat, readers can submit all of their questions and comments, and we'll get to as many of them as we can.

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