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Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty Seeks to Repeal a Requirement for Warning Signs on Unreinforced Masonry Buildings

City requirements passed by her predecessor would be repealed or delayed under a new ordinance.

City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty is proposing to delay until November 2020 the requirement that building owners post placards on unreinforced masonry buildings, which are high risk of collapse during an earthquake.

The ordinance, passed in October at the urging of her predecessor, Dan Saltzman, required owners to post placards sooner. Public buildings needed to post them by Jan. 1 of this year. Nonprofits already had until November 2020. Everyone else had until March 1, 2019.

Under a federal court's restraining order, the city cannot currently continue with that requirement, the Portland Tribune reported, because the city is reconsidering the requirements.

Hardesty's resolution also is seeking to repeal the requirement that building owners record their compliance with that policy with the county property records department, which could make it more difficult to sell buildings.

In a statement, Hardesty contends that building owners are confused by the requirements and don't have the financial resources to make a change.

"With an expanded timeline, we will look for ways to offer financial support for these important safety upgrades and give building owners more time to examine the inventory," Hardesty says in a statement. "I also want to simplify the process for documenting compliance."

A vote is set for Feb. 27.