Friday, December 30, 2016

Brutal Oakland Warehouse Fire That Left Three Dozen Dead Triggers Nationwide Code Enforcement Crackdown On Similar "Live-Work" Spaces That Cater To The Creative Class

PBS NewsHour reports:
  • In the wake of Oakland’s fatal Ghost Ship warehouse fire, cities across the country are cracking down on safety at similar “live-work​” ​spaces; Baltimore artist Que Pequeño was abruptly evicted this week from a building known as Bell Foundry. While the regulations are intended to protect residents, these spaces are often the only places low-income residents can afford.
    ***
    Oakland is not alone in cracking down on buildings not zoned for residents. L.A., Dallas, Nashville and New Haven have all put landlords and tenants on notice to clear out buildings that might be substandard living conditions.

    Baltimore is taking it a step further.

    Que Pequeño is a multimedia artist. He had been living in this building known as the Bell Foundry [... . Earlier this month], the city evicted him and nine other artists without warning.

For more, see After Oakland fire, a nationwide crackdown on warehouse spaces.

See also:

The New York Times: The Oakland Fire: Tenants Living in Warehouses Face Eviction:
  • [T]he fear of eviction goes beyond Oakland. Now that cities around the country are cracking down on live/work warehouses and illegal performance spaces, some D.I.Y. warehouses are trying to go even further off the grid. Residents who haven’t been contacted by the city or landlords are canceling parties and events and making furious efforts to scrub the internet of any evidence of which warehouses might be occupied.
The New York Times: Why the ‘Ghost Ship’ Was Invisible in Oakland, Until 36 Died:
  • The charred, roofless shell of the Ghost Ship, the warehouse where 36 people perished on a chilly Friday evening in early December, is clearly visible from the driveway of Oakland firehouse No. 13.

    Though the warehouse sits less than 200 yards away, the firehouse’s proximity did nothing to help prevent America’s deadliest structural fire in more than a decade. For years before the Dec. 2 fire, the Ghost Ship may just as well have been invisible to the Oakland Fire Department.

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