Chloe Pachovas’ May 11 letter suggested that ultra high occupancy co-ops are necessary for there to be artists and innovators in Boulder. Actually, Boulder’s low-density neighborhoods are filled with artists and innovators who abide by the zoning regulations. If Pachovas attended an “Open Studios” tour, she might be surprised at the number of participating artists in low-density neighborhoods.
For the past eight months, City Council has been developing an ordinance to expand the permitting of co-operative houses into low-density, single-family neighborhoods. The controversy surrounding this ordinance isn’t about co-ops per se, it is about high-density occupancy houses encroaching into low-density zoning districts, and the disruptions caused by the traffic, parking and noise of having 12 or more people living 10 feet away in neighborhoods not designed for such.
Investigations are underway as to why the city of Oakland failed to enforce occupancy laws in the tragic Oakland Ghost Ship fire that killed 36 people this month at an illegal artists co-op. Meanwhile the safety of Boulder residents along with taxpayers, the city of Boulder and City Council have been placed in legal and financial peril by council’s decision not to enforce illegal occupancy at rental properties in Boulder.
Question. If illegal occupancy of a residence is illegal, why do we need an ordinance for licensed co-ops before enforcement of city occupancy limits can be enforced?
Less than one week after a blaze ripped through a ramshackle warehouse known as the Ghost Ship, this shocked city is grappling with an array of questions about what precisely happened, many of them deeply troubling.
• Could the city have done more to prevent the Ghost Ship fire? What did the city know about the violations at the warehouse? Did it follow up on citations?
• Should this tragedy result in more crackdowns on illegal housing in Oakland?