NR 2001-63
October 17, 2001

Contact: Carol Dahmen
Mark Oldfield
Don Drysdale
Ed Wilson
(916) 323-1886


Real Estate Disclosure Now Required on Property Sold in Zoned Areas

SACRAMENTO --Two Seismic Hazard Zone maps covering the Oxnard and Malibu areas that impact the planning community, developers, property sellers and real estate agents became official today, the 12th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake that devastated the San Francisco Bay Area.

If property is located in a zone of required investigation, where liquefaction or landslides could occur in a large earthquake, the local building department must require geologic studies before projects are begun. Also, property sellers and real estate agents must inform potential buyers if property they're selling is in a Seismic Hazard Zone, just as is the case when property is in a designated flood or wildfire zone.

Seismic Hazard Zone maps for two 60-square-mile areas -- the Malibu Beach and Oxnard quadrangles -- released in April by the California Department of Conservation are now official after public review and comment. The maps are on file with local government offices, including the planning department, building department and county recorder's office.

Shaking causes most of the damage during earthquakes, and in many cases, it is cost effective to retrofit houses and buildings to minimize damage caused by severe shaking. Local public libraries have a number of publications by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency that can be used as guides.

The Seismic Hazard Zone maps produced by DOC's Division of Mines and Geology show areas at risk from two secondary earthquake hazards -- landslides and liquefaction -- that also can be dangerous. It is generally not cost effective to retrofit an existing building for the impacts of liquefaction or landslides. Therefore, design changes are required before new developments are approved and constructed in order to be effective. Changes made during the planning phase can lessen the impact and better protect against future earthquakes. The new maps are an important tool that land developers will use to insure project feasibility.

Fifty-five maps covering more than 130 cities are now official. The effort to identify and map seismic hazards is ongoing. Official maps of 48 Southern California quadrangles are available, and mapping is under way in several parts of Northern and Southern California.

Color copies of the maps can be purchased through DOC's Division of Mines and Geology at (213) 239-0878.

In addition to studying and mapping earthquakes and other geologic phenomena, the Department of Conservation maps and classifies areas containing mineral deposits; ensures reclamation of land used for mining; regulates oil, gas and geothermal wells; administers agricultural and open-space land conservation programs; and promotes beverage container recycling.