Portland City Council delays controversial URM signage requirement

KPTV photo.

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Portland City Council has approved an ordinance to give unreinforced masonry building owners more time to post earthquake warning signs and notify tenants about the danger, Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty announced Thursday.

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty in January introduced the ordinance and asked Portland Fire & Rescue to pause the unreinforced masonry signage requirement, which would direct owners of old brick buildings in Portland to post signs by their front doors that say the building may not be safe if a big earthquake hits.

The ordinance was approved Wednesday and extends the timeline for most URM buildings to comply with the sign and notification requirements and eliminates the need to record anything on the title, Hardesty says.

More specifically, it extends the timeline required for posting a warning sign for all privately-owned buildings to Nov. 1, 2020, modifies the tenant notification requirement so landlords are required to notify prospective tenants that a building is a URM when they complete a rental application, instead of when they sign the lease, sets a deadline of Jun 1, 2019 for landlords to begin notifying tenants, and modifies the required compliance documentation so that URM building owners do not need to record their agreement with the county recorder’s office.

There are an estimated 1,650 unreinforced masonry buildings in Portland.

Hardesty Thursday said the city is launching two new work groups focused on advancing URM retrofits and increasing public safety.

Applications for the work groups are posted online here: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/civic/article/712316

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

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