Everyone is required to stay home, except for essential needs. When out, protect yourself and those around you by wearing a face covering, staying 6 feet away from others, and washing your hands often. Learn more at cityofberkeley.info/covid19. City offices are closed to the public. Some services are available remotely.

The City of Berkeley Health Officer has ordered all residents to shelter at home, leaving only to receive or provide essential services, starting 12:01 am on Tuesday, March 17. See details of the Order, frequently asked questions, and recommendations from Berkeley Public Health at https://www.cityofberkeley.info/coronavirus.

City Council Live Stream: Please visit https://www.cityofberkeley.info/CalendarEventWebcastMain.aspx

ZAB Live Stream: Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx.

The City of Berkeley web site is undergoing scheduled maintenance starting on Friday night, September 13 and ending on Saturday afternoon, September 14. During this time, most web pages should be available, but some resources may become unavailable for short periods of time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 5/9/19, at 7:00pm? Please visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1UAnZ8kU8EWllREyOY7rwQ/. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 2/28/19, from 6:00 to 11:00 PM? Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same date and time.

PG&E is reporting a widespread outage affecting thousands of customers in Berkeley and many City buildings, including the Finance Customer Service Center and the Permit Service Center. Call respective City services for further details, or check the PG&E outage page. Power is expected to return by 12:45pm. Traffic lights that are not working should be treated as a four-way stop sign.

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Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008

NEW INCENTIVES AVAILABLE FOR SEISMIC UPGRADES
Register by February 20th

Berkeley, California (Wednesday, January 20, 2016) - Sign up quickly for a chance at $3,000 worth of rebates that can help pay for seismic upgrades to your home's foundation and make it safer from earthquakes.

Take action soon to be eligible for the rebates. Property owners must register with the California Earthquake Brace and Bolt Program either online or by calling 877.232.4300 between January 20 and February 20, 2016. Qualifying homes will be entered into a lottery for the funding and homeowners will be notified by March 1, 2016, as to whether they have been selected.

In a strong earthquake, the crawl space that is common below Berkeley homes is vulnerable to collapse, dropping the house to the ground or causing it to slide off its foundation. Not only is this dangerous, but also very expensive to repair, and most homeowner insurance policies do not cover earthquake damage.

The incentives from the California Residential Mitigation Program's Earthquake Brace + Bolt initiative help pay for seismic upgrades to houses most vulnerable to severe damage: pre-1979 houses which are not bolted to foundations, are built atop a crawl space, and have unbraced "cripple walls," which is the short wood-framed wall surrounding the crawl space under the first floor. Upgrading the home before the next earthquake could save a homeowner tens of thousands of dollars.

Bolting involves adding anchor bolts to improve the connection between the wood framing of a building and its concrete foundation. Bracing involves adding plywood to the cripple walls to help keep the house from toppling off of the foundation during an earthquake. 

In addition to the state's seismic rebates, Berkeley property owners can get a rebate on transfer taxes within a year of purchase. Under a program approved by the City Council, they can also borrow money with no upfront costs to spread the price of seismic upgrades over time on property tax bills and with fixed rates. 

Bolting and bracing your home can make it more resistant to earthquake activity such as ground shaking and soil failure, and the incentives will make that easier to do. Improving seismic safety is critical to advancing Berkeley's resilience - the community's ability to live well in good times and bounce back strongly and quickly from hard times.

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