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No quake fault on Hollywood building site, developer's consultant says

Engineer hired by Hollywood developer: "We saw no faults of any kind" at site of proposed 16-story building
Report by developer's consultant challenges California Geological Survey's estimated path of Hollywood fault

Geology and engineering experts hired by the developer of a proposed 16-story Hollywood development say there is no active earthquake fault line on the property.

The report's conclusions challenge a draft map released by the California Geological Survey in January, which showed the estimated path of the Hollywood fault going through the property, the former home of KFWB's radio studio at 6230 Yucca St.  

“We saw no faults of any kind," said Michael Reader, chief executive office of Group Delta, a geotechnical engineering company. "The report found conclusively that there are no active fault traces on or within 50 feet of the site."

The report was filed with the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety as part of efforts to green-light construction for a project that would bring 95 residential units and nearly 14,000 square feet of office space. The site on the southwest corner of Yucca Street and Argyle Avenue is just east of the proposed Millennium Hollywood skyscraper project.

The report now goes to a city building division headed by the city geologist, Dana Prevost, which will decide whether the developer has produced enough evidence to prove the building will not sit on top of an earthquake fault.

City officials received the report on Tuesday. “It’s too early to comment,” said building department spokesman Luke Zamperini. The agency could either approve the fault report or ask for more information, he said.

Group Delta’s report reaches a different conclusion of the Hollywood fault’s path than the California Geological Survey’s. The geological survey’s draft map of the Hollywood fault estimates the fault line going through the Yucca apartment complex and Millennium sites.

In light of the new report, Reader has asked state officials to remove the fault line from 6230 Yucca St.

Donald Drysdale, a spokesman for the California Geological Survey, said the agency will consider the report and other appeals submitted during the public comment period before it produces a final map of the Hollywood fault zone later this year.

The geological survey has said it drew a fault line going through the Yucca apartment site after a study in 2006 reported differences in groundwater levels across the site. One explanation for that unusual occurrence is the presence of an earthquake fault.

The developer’s fault report said, however, that the 20-foot groundwater level difference was caused by pools of water collecting on clay buried at different depths.

The report also says no sharp changes in the soil were found that would suggest an active earthquake fault is under the property.

David Jordon, owner of the Yucca Street project, said he was happy that the report was complete.

“It’s been expensive. It’s very comprehensive. And as the report states, we’re confident that there’s no fault,” Jordon said.

“Our commitment has always been to building a safe project, and that’s why we went through this process,” he said.

Work to complete the fault investigation included digging a 100-foot long trench about 30 feet deep, taking soil samples from eight locations and pushing a sensor into 27 other spots across the property at a depth of 60 feet below the surface.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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