Friday, February 24, 2012
Illegal hotels could be legalized by state
From the Daily News:
Tenants of an infamous uptown hotel the city has been trying to close for years averted tragedy earlier this month when the building caught fire - prompting efforts to shutter it.
The early morning ground floor blaze at the Days Hotel on W. 94th St. on February 2nd unnerved city leaders who maintain it's an illegal hotel lacking proper fireproofing and means of escape for the hundreds of people inside.
The electrical fire at the hotel - where former Gov. Paterson infamously used campaign cash to meet up with a mistress -- took 60 firefighters 30 minutes to get under control.
While the FDNY considered the fire to be minor, City Hall officials said it served as a reminder of the importance of attacking the long-standing problem of illegal hotels before a real tragedy strikes.
Officials claim a proposed state bill would legalize some of the more than 200 city hotels without requiring them to implement tougher fire safety regulations.
“(The) fire is a reminder why proposed state legislation to allow a whole new crop of unsafe hotels to proliferate would be so dangerous. We need to be more vigilant, not look the other way - which is precisely what some operators and their lobbyists in Albany want,” said Mayor Bloomberg’s state legislative affairs director Micah Lasher.