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Ridpath not habitable, city says

Sat., Dec. 24, 2011

Spokane city officials Friday announced that the vacant Ridpath Hotel is “substandard” and ordered that it cannot be occupied due to lack of compliance with fire suppression requirements.

The city’s building official has been working with a group of owners since February trying to resolve issues and made the announcement after a Dec. 15 deadline went unheeded to fix the building’s fire suppression system and provide enough security to prevent access to the building, city spokeswoman Marlene Feist said in a news release.

After the hotel closed in 2008, the complex was sold off in pieces, creating a complicated web of ownership. Foreclosure and legal entanglements about owners’ rights to utilities, access and other issues have sparked lawsuits and created significant challenges in meeting the city’s demands.

Owners have until Jan. 20 to appeal the city’s order. Until then, the city will not close off the building. Diamond Parking will be allowed to continue to use the Ridpath’s parking facility until all appeal opportunities have been exhausted, Feist said.

“As in all cases of enforcement, the city’s priorities are public safety and voluntary compliance with city codes,” said Dan Skindzer, deputy building official for the city of Spokane.

“The city will continue to work with all property owners toward the repair of the fire suppression system and securing the building from unauthorized entry.”


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