Summary: The Northridge Earthquake damaged the West Los Angeles Adult Services office building and parking structure (facility) on
January 17, 1994. The Los Angeles County Internal Services Department (County) leased the facility from the Pico-Boston Corporation (Lessor). Damage Survey Reports (DSRs) 44943 and 44947 were prepared for architectural and engineering (A&E) services; DSRs 45924 and 77306 were written to fund repairs. DSRs 77306 and 45924 were obligated for $0 because the repairs were not the legal responsibility of the County, according to its lease. DSR 32811 deobligated DSR 44947, which was to fund A&E services for the parking structure. The County submitted separate appeals for the facility on September 17, 1997. With regard to the office, the County did not address legal responsibility, but argued that FEMA's interpretation of building standards violated federal regulations. FEMA used the lease submitted with the parking structure appeal to determine legal responsibility in terms of both the office and parking structure. FEMA denied the appeals on December 9, 1998, because the County was not legally responsible for repairing the facility. The lease did not include a provision for earthquake damage and in general gave the County the option to make repairs, purchase the property, or terminate the lease if the Lessor did not make repairs. Issues related to standards were not addressed because they apply to eligible facilities. On March 1, 1999, the County submitted its second appeal. It argued that its history with the facility and its obligations under the lease constitute virtual ownership; thus, it is legally obligated to make repairs.
Issues: 1) Is the County legally responsible for repairing earthquake damage to the facility based on the terms of its lease? 2) Is the work eligible for public assistance funds?