California geology officials will hold a public hearing Thursday on a proposed earthquake zone in Hollywood that would lead to restricted development in the rapidly growing area.
The public hearing for the Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zoning preliminary maps will begin at 9 a.m. Thursday in the Junipero Serra Building in downtown Los Angeles.
The maps, which will be finalized this summer by the California Geological Survey, show that several prominent developments planned in Hollywood are much closer to an active earthquake fault than Los Angeles city officials initially said.
The state accelerated completion of the maps last fall amid controversy over the Los Angeles City Council approving the Millennium skyscraper project on or near the fault.
The public hearing Thursday is "an opportunity for interested parties to present oral and written technical comments that have a bearing on the proposed zone maps," according to the State Mining and Geology Board.
The maps create a zone of generally 500 feet on both sides of the fault, and state law requires any new development within the zone to receive extensive underground seismic testing to determine whether the fault runs under it. The law, which will take effect in Hollywood once the maps are finalized, prohibits new construction on top of faults.
The Hollywood fault could rupture into a magnitude 7 earthquake and could sever a building. Half of the buildings straddling the fault could be shoved 10 feet away from the other side, experts said.
The state law has not been in force on the Hollywood fault because the state geologist had not completed the fault zone. A Times investigation in December found that Los Angeles approved at least 14 projects along the Hollywood and Santa Monica faults without ordering the kind of underground digging needed to determine exactly where the fissures run. Among those projects is a sprawling $200-million complex, known as Blvd6200, now under construction on Hollywood Boulevard.
The maps chart the course of the Hollywood fault, which runs from Atwater Village and Los Feliz, through central Hollywood and west along the Sunset Strip.
The 90-day public comment period began on Jan. 8, and reports may be submitted to the board until April 8, 2014, officials said.
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