Debates rose as the urban officials of Los Angeles approved the plan of construction of a commercial cum residential complex on Hollywood Boulevard. The site for the $200 million building is neighbor to an active volcano, which is prone to eruption at any time.
The authority is accused of granting the permission without any prior seismic evaluation. The assessment includes digging the ground to look for signs of the fault. Nevertheless, the area next to the Pantages Theatre has not yet being estimated. John Parrish, the head of the California Geological Survey said that it is known for years that the Hollywood site is earthquake prone, so it is mandatory to locate the active fault. The construction of the multi-storied building hence, requires a thorough investigation.
The developers on the project Blvd200, Frank Stephan of Clarett West Development and Jay Glaubach of DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners were not available to comment on the controversy. The authority too did not give permission to interrogate and question the city geologist Dana Prevost. She acts on behalf of the government to survey and organize a study of earthquake and faults before a construction begins.
John Parrish, said that the state would soon start mapping of that section. In recent years, the area has received popularity become quite expensive. The dearth of adequate state funds prevented it from mapping so far.
The construction laced the base of Carlos Avenue, an evident location for the fault. The part of the complex closest to the fault consists of 500 apartments and 74,000 square feet of shop and restaurant. A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety commented that the survey for the fault was not required as the location of the site was far away from the fault as per the mapping of the year 2010. James Dolan, the science professor who mapped the Hollywood fault in 1990’ said that suggested a mandatory survey every time there is a construction nearby to be completely sure that one is not anywhere close to the fault.
Before the Boulevard debate erupted, the mapping of the area next to Pantages Theatre was never given a priority and escaped the attention of the authority. John Parrish in his recent comment said that he always thought the seismic fault to be on the priority list of the state agenda.
Luke Zamperini wrote to The Times that the erroneous maps of 2010 do not specify where the fault is. The controversial construction is far to the side of the fault. Thus, it does not require the proposed fault side report.
Earthquake experts and geologists strictly warned engineers against relying on maps made by either Federal or state governments, as later they are found to be defective and erroneous. The Hollywood fault is not yet been mentioned under the Alquist-Priolo act. A retired engineer said that that it was very alarming that the authority to be so indifferent while sanctioning such plans. Adding in that the city should be like a watch-keeper maintaining a constant guard on the activities near the earthquake prone zone.