SEISMIC HAZARDS MAPPING ACT
2690. This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Seismic
Hazards Mapping Act.
2691. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
- The effects of strong ground shaking, liquefaction,
landslides, or other ground failure account for approximately 95
percent of economic losses caused by an earthquake.
- Areas subject to these processes during an earthquake have not
been identified or mapped statewide, despite the fact that
scientific techniques are available to do so.
- It is necessary to identify and map seismic hazard zones in
order for cities and counties to adequately prepare the safety
element of their general plans and to encourage land use management
policies and regulations to reduce and mitigate those hazards to
protect public health and safety.
- It is the intent of the Legislature to provide for a
statewide seismic hazard mapping and technical advisory program to
assist cities and counties in fulfilling their responsibilities for
protecting the public health and safety from the effects of strong
ground shaking, liquefaction, landslides, or other ground failure and
other seismic hazards caused by earthquakes.
- It is further the intent of the Legislature that maps and
accompanying information provided pursuant to this chapter be made
available to local governments for planning and development purposes.
- It is further the intent of the Legislature that the Division
of Mines and Geology, in implementing this chapter, shall, to the
extent possible, coordinate its activities with, and use existing
information generated from, the earthquake fault zones mapping
program pursuant to Chapter 7.5 (commencing with Section 2621), the
landslide hazard identification program pursuant to Chapter 7.7
(commencing with Section 2670), and the inundation maps prepared
pursuant to Section 8589.5 of the Government Code.
2692.1. The State Geologist may include in maps compiled pursuant
to this chapter information on the potential effects of tsunami and
seiche when information becomes available from other sources and the
State Geologist determines the information is appropriate for use by
local government. The State Geologist shall not be required to
provide this information unless additional funding is provided both
to make the determination and to distribute the tsunami and seiche
2693. As used in this chapter:
- "City" and "county" includes the City and County of San
- "Geotechnical report" means a report prepared by a certified
engineering geologist or a civil engineer practicing within the area
of his or her competence, which identifies seismic hazards and
recommends mitigation measures to reduce the risk of seismic hazard
to acceptable levels.
- "Mitigation" means those measures that are consistent with
established practice and that will reduce seismic risk to acceptable
- "Project" has the same meaning as in Chapter 7.5 (commencing
with Section 2621), except as follows:
- A single-family dwelling otherwise qualifying as a project may
be exempted by the city or county having jurisdiction of the
- "Project" does not include alterations or additions to any
structure within a seismic hazard zone which do not exceed either 50
percent of the value of the structure or 50 percent of the existing
floor area of the structure.
- "Commission" means the Seismic Safety Commission.
- "Board" means the State Mining and Geology Board.
- A person who is acting as an agent for a transferor of
real property that is located within a seismic hazard zone, as
designated under this chapter, or the transferor, if he or she is
acting without an agent, shall disclose to any prospective transferee
the fact that the property is located within a seismic hazard zone.
- Disclosure is required pursuant to this section only when one
of the following conditions is met:
- The transferor, or transferor's agent, has actual knowledge
that the property is within a seismic hazard zone.
- A map that includes the property has been provided to the city
or county pursuant to Section 2622, and a notice has been posted at
the offices of the county recorder, county assessor, and county
planning agency that identifies the location of the map and any
information regarding changes to the map received by the county.
- In all transactions that are subject to Section 1103 of the
Civil Code, the disclosure required by subdivision (a) of this
section shall be provided by either of the following means:
- The Local Option Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statement as
provided in Section 1102.6a of the Civil Code.
- The Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement as provided in Section
1103.2 of the Civil Code.
- If the map or accompanying information is not of sufficient
accuracy or scale that a reasonable person can determine if the
subject real property is included in a seismic hazard zone, the agent
shall mark "Yes" on the Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement. The
agent may mark "No" on the Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement if he
or she attaches a report prepared pursuant to subdivision (c) of
Section 1103.4 of the Civil Code that verifies the property is not in
the hazard zone. Nothing in this subdivision is intended to limit
or abridge any existing duty of the transferor or the transferor's
agents to exercise reasonable care in making a determination under
- For purposes of the disclosures required by this section, the
following persons shall not be deemed agents of the transferor:
(1) Persons specified in Section 1103.11 of the Civil Code.
(2) Persons acting under a power of sale regulated by Section 2924
of the Civil Code.
- For purposes of this section, Section 1103.13 of the Civil
- The specification of items for disclosure in this section does
not limit or abridge any obligation for disclosure created by any
other provision of law or that may exist in order to avoid fraud,
misrepresentation, or deceit in the transfer transaction.
- On or before January 1, 1992, the board, in consultation
with the director and the commission, shall develop all of the
- Guidelines for the preparation of maps of seismic hazard zones
in the state.
- Priorities for mapping of seismic hazard zones. In setting
priorities, the board shall take into account the following factors:
- The population affected by the seismic hazard in the event of
- The probability that the seismic hazard would threaten public
health and safety in the event of an earthquake.
- The willingness of lead agencies and other public agencies to
share the cost of mapping within their jurisdiction.
- The availability of existing information.
- Policies and criteria regarding the responsibilities of
cities, counties, and state agencies pursuant to this chapter. The
policies and criteria shall address, but not be limited to, the
- Criteria for approval of a project within a seismic hazard
zone, including mitigation measures.
- The contents of the geotechnical report.
- Evaluation of the geotechnical report by the lead agency.
- Guidelines for evaluating seismic hazards and recommending
- Any necessary procedures, including, but not limited to,
processing of waivers pursuant to Section 2697, to facilitate the
implementation of this chapter.
- In developing the policies and criteria pursuant to
subdivision (a), the board shall consult with and consider the
recommendations of an advisory committee, appointed by the board in
consultation with the commission, composed of the following members:
All of the members of the advisory committee shall have expertise
in the field of seismic hazards or seismic safety.
- An engineering geologist registered in the state.
- A seismologist.
- A civil engineer registered in the state.
- A structural engineer registered in the state.
- A representative of city government, selected from a list
submitted by the League of California Cities.
- A representative of county government, selected from a list
submitted by the County Supervisors Association of California.
- A representative of regional government, selected from a list
submitted by the Council of Governments.
- A representative of the insurance industry.
- The Insurance Commissioner.
- At least 90 days prior to adopting measures pursuant to this
section, the board shall transmit or cause to be transmitted a draft
of those measures to affected cities, counties, and state agencies
for review and comment.
- The State Geologist shall compile maps identifying
seismic hazard zones, consistent with the requirements of Section
2695. The maps shall be compiled in accordance with a time schedule
developed by the director and based upon the provisions of Section
2695 and the level of funding available to implement this chapter.
- The State Geologist shall, upon completion, submit seismic
hazard maps compiled pursuant to subdivision (a) to the board and all
affected cities, counties, and state agencies for review and
comment. Concerned jurisdictions and agencies shall submit all
comments to the board for review and consideration within 90 days.
Within 90 days of board review, the State Geologist shall revise the
maps, as appropriate, and shall provide copies of the official maps
to each state agency, city, or county, including the county recorder,
having jurisdiction over lands containing an area of seismic hazard.
The county recorder shall record all information transmitted as
part of the public record.
- In order to ensure that sellers of real property and their
agents are adequately informed, any county that receives an official
map pursuant to this section shall post a notice within five days of
receipt of the map at the office of the county recorder, county
assessor, and county planning agency, identifying the location of the
map, any information regarding changes to the map, and the effective
date of the notice.
- Cities and counties shall require, prior to the approval
of a project located in a seismic hazard zone, a geotechnical report
defining and delineating any seismic hazard. If the city or county
finds that no undue hazard of this kind exists, based on information
resulting from studies conducted on sites in the immediate vicinity
of the project and of similar soil composition to the project site,
the geotechnical report may be waived. After a report has been
approved or a waiver granted, subsequent geotechnical reports shall
not be required, provided that new geologic datum, or data,
warranting further investigation is not recorded. Each city and
county shall submit one copy of each approved geotechnical report,
including the mitigation measures, if any, that are to be taken, to
the State Geologist within 30 days of its approval of the report.
- In meeting the requirements of this section, cities and
counties shall consider the policies and criteria established
pursuant to this chapter. If a project's approval is not in
accordance with the policies and criteria, the city or county shall
explain the reasons for the differences in writing to the State
Geologist, within 30 days of the project's approval.
2698. Nothing in this chapter is intended to prevent cities and
counties from establishing policies and criteria which are more
strict than those established by the board.
2699. Each city and county, in preparing the safety element to its
general plan pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 65302 of the
Government Code, and in adopting or revising land use planning and
permitting ordinances, shall take into account the information
provided in available seismic hazard maps.
- There is hereby created the Seismic Hazards
Identification Fund, as a special fund in the State Treasury.
- Upon appropriation by the Legislature, the moneys in the
Strong-Motion Instrumentation and Seismic Hazards Mapping Fund shall
be allocated to the division for purposes of this chapter and Chapter
8 (commencing with Section 2700).
- On and after July 1, 2004, the Seismic Hazards Identification
Fund shall be known as the Strong-Motion Instrumentation and Seismic
Hazards Mapping Fund.
2699.6. This chapter shall become operative on April 1, 1991.