Rantz: ‘Homeless Recording Studio’ Is Terrifying Seattle Neighborhood, But Council Member Ignores It

A makeshift two-story RV dubbed a “homeless recording studio” by its occupant is back terrorizing a Seattle neighborhood. Thanks to a complete disinterest from the neighborhood councilman, there is no end in sight. This is not the only danger for the homeless in the region.

The homeless RV is parked on Northwest 8th Avenue in Ballard. Nearby are quaint residential streets and small businesses. It started out as a motorhome picking up more and more trash around it. But soon the homeless occupant wanted more space. The man built a second floor above, which gave him as much room as a studio in the area, but without rent.

But it has become much more than a house. The homeless man, who will not be named, says he uses it as a music studio.

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Homeless music studio takes on Ballard

The two-story RV drew the ire of neighborhood residents and business owners when it arrived in September. After some media coverage, the man dismantled the wooden planks that made up the upper deck of his motorhome. But about two weeks ago, the man began to rebuild. And this time, he was inspired by the song.

“It’s for the music,” he said KOMO-TV. “The homeless music recording studio. No, that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

I tried to contact the man this last rainy Sunday morning. He was not happy.

The man shouted obscenities at me as I pulled a car towards him, recognizing him in a TV interview. He wanted me to leave. Guess I interrupted a deep lyric writing session, so I understood his frustration. You can’t always find the creative juices when it’s flowing, and he didn’t want to lose his inspiration.

At night, he puts away the pen and notepad and gets down to jamming. It’s definitely not sound proof as it has no roof. Neighbors complain that it gets noisy.

“They have drums,” a neighbor told KOMO TV.

It’s not just noise

It’s not just noise pollution that neighbors experience. In fact, it’s not even all the trash surrounding the motorhome, plus a broken down car and two tents. Neighbors are concerned about the structural integrity of the RV extension housing the Lo-fi studio. They fear it might fall and injure someone, or hit oncoming traffic.

“It just got worse and worse,” neighboring business owner Carolyn Boyle told KOMO TV. “There is no app.”

No there is not. As with most Seattle neighborhoods, the city abandoned its law enforcement efforts and left residents and business owners to fend for themselves. No matter how many complaints, nothing is done – except an empty statement to the media that the city will continue its outreach efforts.

Seattle City Councilman Dan Strauss, who represents the district’s homeless, will not get involved. He says there is no time limit for outreach workers to pretend to engage with the manager of the homeless music studio. It’s the only time Strauss has backed a Ballard-area business venture, but likely only because it’s currently in pre-revenue.

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Have you been to Ballard lately?

I admit that I don’t go to Ballard much. It’s out of the way, especially for someone who only uses the station vehicle to cover stories. The last time I was there was last year to cover the explosion of the homeless crisis. Unfortunately, not much has changed.

There are tents and RVs and broken down cars everywhere. You’ll find it while driving down any random residential street.

An encampment has taken over the green spaces at Leary Way and 9th Ave Northwest. There are several tents, a broken down motorhome, and trash strewn everywhere. The city seems to have filed portable toilets and trash cans. Or the locals stole it. Anyway, it is not used. There is more trash around the camp than in the garbage cans.

Strauss must not live in the neighborhood for him to care so little about it. Or human misery humiliates him. It is a daily reminder of his privilege to live indoors.

Seattle Mayor-elect Bruce Harrell has pledged to tackle the hundreds of encampments around the city once he takes control of the mayor’s office. Although reasonable City Councilwoman Sara Nelson took over the city vacated by failed mayoral candidate Lorena Gonzalez, the council is still controlled by the very militant politicians who let the city devolve in this way. It’s unclear how Harrell will truly be able to solve this problem.

Did you like this opinion piece? Then tune in to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. To follow @JasonRantz to Twitter, instagram, and Speaking, and like me on Facebook.

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