In car-mad California, it is common to rip out all the shear walls on the first story to make room for cars. These buildings end up looking like they're on stilts.
Isn't that a beauty? So what happens when the old earthquake comes along? The whole story disappears, crunching the cars, and collapsing the rest of the building.
Now, nowhere can anyone condemn a building for not meeting modern codes. As they say in the article, you can only choose not to live there, and pay twice as much rent for a safer building! I wonder who does that?