A judge Friday denied — for now — City Attorney Mike Feuer’s request to appoint a receiver to take steps to ensure the safety of people living at a warehouse near downtown, but temporarily barred the owners from accepting any new residential tenants.

City Attorney Mike Feuer. MyNewsLA.com Photo
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Amy Hogue’s temporary restraining order comes just over a month after 36 people died in a Dec. 2 fire in an Oakland warehouse called the Ghost Ship, where many artists lived and worked.

Hogue said that although lawyers for the city had shown a substantial series of violations in the building at 931 Pico Blvd., she was not convinced that appointing a receiver is the best way to solve the problem. She set another hearing for Feb. 1 and asked that lawyers for the city provide her with possible alternative measures.

Hogue also extended a previous order issued by Judge James Chalfant in December that directs landlord Sky High Investments Co. to double the number of people responsible for checking for fire dangers and post notices in various places notifying tenants that the city considers the building a fire hazard.

Chalfant had also declined to appoint a receiver at that time.

Feuer’s office previously filed charges alleging the edifice contains unlawfully constructed residences without smoke alarms and accessible fire escapes. The city believes that if granted, a court-appointed receiver could take steps to ensure the additional safety of all occupants.

In their request for a receiver, lawyers for the City Attorney’s Office called the building “a tragedy waiting to occur.” The city maintains that the warehouse owners unlawfully built 50 or more dwelling places in the warehouse and that the construction of the units was never inspected, evaluated or approved.

“So profound are these construction deficiencies that some unit ceilings are nothing more than the wood floor above, joist and all,” according to the City Attorney’s Office’s court papers.

An inspection of the building in December by the Los Angeles Fire Department and the Department of Building and Safety found that “not only have the underlying conditions not been remedied, even more have been created,” according to the city’s court papers.

[symple_googlemap title=”Pico warehouse” location=”931 Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA” height=”300″ zoom=”15″]

— City News Service

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