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Old 10-15-2014, 09:27 PM
 
8 posts, read 14,089 times
Reputation: 17

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Parts of Los Angeles and surrounding communities are in the midst of a demolishing and building boom. For larger projects, I am under the impression (which may be incorrect) that there is some review process and checks in place to make sure that lots are cleared and prepared safely and that correct building procedures are followed. This does not seem to be the case for individual residential lots.

A 1920's house on my street was totally demolished today. They were supposed to do "hand demolishing" (whatever that means) and the demolishing that was done on Monday and Tuesday seemed to be done this way. Today an excavator was used--the house was still standing in the morning and a pile of rubble by late afternoon. (By chance I was away during the hours this was happening and arrived home at the end.)

Some additional background: Numerous houses in the neighborhood have been torn down within the last year--I have no knowledge of what and how legal demolishing is approved and done and what safety procedures are in place, if any, to make sure that it is being done correctly.

So these are my concerns: Neighbors were not notified when demolishing would take place, and that large machinery would be used. Nothing seems to have been done to make sure that we would not be exposed to asbestos, lead, etc. that likely were in usage in construction of these older homes and possibly released into the air the last few days. Should some agency be notified to test air quality(would they even do it) and which agency would that be? Does the city monitor any of the residential deconstruction/new construction to ensure public health and safety, or does it turn a blind eye as new construction=more $$$ for the city?

Any constructive information and comments appreciated.
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:12 PM
 
Location: West Hollywood
3,196 posts, read 2,351,138 times
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Asbestos remediation has to be done before the structure is demolished. Walls are opened up, pipe wrapping checked, floor tiles inspected, etc and if there is asbestos present it has to be removed by professionals and then another inspection(of air quality and materials) is done afterward to make sure the asbestos is gone. That's the law.
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Old 10-15-2014, 11:38 PM
 
8 posts, read 14,089 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by MordinSolus View Post
Asbestos remediation has to be done before the structure is demolished. Walls are opened up, pipe wrapping checked, floor tiles inspected, etc and if there is asbestos present it has to be removed by professionals and then another inspection(of air quality and materials) is done afterward to make sure the asbestos is gone. That's the law.
This was not done. The house was unoccupied and no one has been in it since it was sold 5 months ago--not even the new owners. They never set foot in the house. No one has been inside to inspect it. The demolition started a few days ago with workers that showed up and just started removing doors, roofing tiles and wood, and breaking interior walls. Today the remainder of the structure was knocked down. I understand legally remediation should be occurring before demolition, but no one is monitoring, so the law can be skirted.
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Old 10-16-2014, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
401 posts, read 604,346 times
Reputation: 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakit View Post
This was not done. The house was unoccupied and no one has been in it since it was sold 5 months ago--not even the new owners. They never set foot in the house. No one has been inside to inspect it. The demolition started a few days ago with workers that showed up and just started removing doors, roofing tiles and wood, and breaking interior walls. Today the remainder of the structure was knocked down. I understand legally remediation should be occurring before demolition, but no one is monitoring, so the law can be skirted.
Call the city building inspectors and make a complaint/ file your concerns. Additionally, there are laws at the state and federal level (epa) regarding owner/ contractor responsibilities and liabilities. Google this. Finally, there are labs all over LA that will come to your property and test for lead and asbestos. If you think their construction has created a hazard for you, test for lead/ asbestos (roughly $50 and a three day turn-around). If it comes up positive, the owners may have a lawsuit on their hands.
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Old 10-16-2014, 02:30 PM
jw2
 
2,028 posts, read 2,485,427 times
Reputation: 3345
I doubt a 1920's house in Los Angeles had asbestos. It was around from the start of the century but really didn't find its way to single family homes until the 40's and especially the 60's.

Lead isn't a problem unless it gets into your blood. So, just don't eat it.
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Old 10-16-2014, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
401 posts, read 604,346 times
Reputation: 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by jw2 View Post
Lead isn't a problem unless it gets into your blood. So, just don't eat it.
Tell that to your infant who crawls around on the ground and puts everything in their mouth. Sanding creates lead filled dust that goes wherever. Lead paint chips in the ground contaminate the dirt. You walk in /out of your house all day. Your neighbor uses the leaf blower. Your kids play outside in the dirt.

It's not good.
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Old 10-16-2014, 04:18 PM
 
12,825 posts, read 19,266,800 times
Reputation: 10868
So they still allow total demos? That is surprising. Here in the more "tony" of the established Bay Area hoods, you need to at least keep one wall intact. Some people push it to that limit although increasingly, I see some very tasteful remodels of 1920s stock into surprisingly accurate looking neo-Arts and Crafts mini "McMansions."
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Old 10-16-2014, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
401 posts, read 604,346 times
Reputation: 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by BayAreaHillbilly View Post
So they still allow total demos? That is surprising. Here in the more "tony" of the established Bay Area hoods, you need to at least keep one wall intact. Some people push it to that limit although increasingly, I see some very tasteful remodels of 1920s stock into surprisingly accurate looking neo-Arts and Crafts mini "McMansions."
Here in Pasadena, if you leave a wall up, it's a "remodel", whereas if you total demo it's a new build. Reno's vs new build have different permitting associated with them. Renovations typically much cheaper and easier to permit .. so you'll see the one-wall standing (or just a chimney) quite a bit around here.
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Old 10-16-2014, 06:30 PM
 
8 posts, read 14,089 times
Reputation: 17
I did contact L.A. city building and safety today--I was directed to their website which you can enter the address you are concerned about and they were indeed issued a demolition permit. However it stated it was to expire after 30 days, and based on the date it was issued, the demolition started after that time frame--I don't know if that means anything. Also, although 3 inspector names are listed on the permit, they are all listed with the same telephone number and a window to call from 7 AM-8 AM (only 1 hour!). When I called after 8 AM, a voice message stated that the person with that phone number(none of the 3) was out of the office until next week and to call another number. Called that number and also had only a message to leave info for call to be returned. I ended up filing a complaint online, and that complaint has already been added on the page for that address. Hopefully someone will come and inspect.

Yes, the city does allow (and even encourages) complete demolitions, which are for new construction. The new construction phenomenon has really taken off in the last couple years--and why wouldn't it? These houses are selling for around $1 million and the new construction is sold for $2-3 million and provides the city with more tax money.
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Old 10-16-2014, 06:37 PM
 
4,230 posts, read 5,736,055 times
Reputation: 10032
Constructive comment:

It’s sounds like you’re just itching for something to complain about.

My suggestion:

As long as you don’t let toddlers, children play in the demo waste you will be fine. I think stepping on a nail woul dbe my biggest worry.
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