LH looks to help fix quake damage

By Jesse Ghawaly
La Habra Journal

Though the ground has settled in the aftermath of the 5.1 magnitude earthquake that stirred the city of La Habra a few weeks ago, many property owners are still working to repair the damages done to their properties.

The La Habra City Council has initiated a 90 day waiver of building permit fees for the structures that were affected by the quakes. After fielding over a 100 calls to the Building and Safety Division, the city enacted this waiver temporarily to assist towards and initiate the repairing process for those buildings.

The waiver was approved on April 7 by the council, just a day before the Orange County Board of Directors declared the earthquake a local emergency. The board of directors estimate the damage done to private and public properties in La Habra at approximately $576,000.

The cost related to physical damage to city facilities, public infrastructure and response efforts is estimated at $73,500, including damage to the roof of the La Habra Children’s Museum and two broken water mains.

Damage to residential properties is estimated to be $425,000. The largest portion of this cost is damage sustained to approximately 100 chimneys and 1,000 lineal feet of brick walls around the city, as well as general cosmetic building repairs (stucco and replacement of broken windows) and water system repairs on private property.

The cost of damage to commercial properties is estimated to be $78,000 and is largely damage to approximately 200 lineal feet of brick walls, 50 glass windows and ruptured water lines.

According to Assistant to the City Manager Robert Ferrier these damage estimates do not include costs related to loss of personal property or merchandise within homes or businesses.

Ferrier added that the city doesn’t expect the cost of damage will have much of an impact on the city’s General Fund revenue.” The per capita cost of the earthquake is approximately $9.30 per person.

In what seems like a win-win situation for the city and its businesses, this 90 day period will alleviate some extra burden on all parties involved.

Though the community was rattled from the waves of that late March earthquake, this waiver of permit fees should put public safety to the top of everyone’s agenda. For more information about this waiver contact the Building and Safety Division of La Habra at (562) 383-4116.

Started in 1995, the La Habra Journal is an independent community news source serving the cities of La Habra and La Habra Heights.