Fwd: Clark and Drago Propose Neighborhoods and Nightlife Package
Stan Lock, Neighborhood District Coordinator
West Seattle Neighborhood Service Center
City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
4205 SW Alaska Street
Seattle, WA 98116
>>> George Howland 5/31/2007 4:49:37 PM >>>Seattle City Council
Councilmember Sally J. Clark
Councilmember Jan Drago
For Immediate Release: May 31, 2007
CONTACTS: David Yeaworth, (206) 684-8802, Clark Office, (206) 227-0578 cell; George Howland, Jr., Council Communications, (206) 684-8159
Clark and Drago Propose Neighborhoods and Nightlife Package
Councilmembers want to preserve vibrant nightlife while addressing neighborhoods’ concerns
Seattle - Councilmember Sally J. Clark, chair of the Economic Development and Neighborhoods Committee, and Councilmember Jan Drago today released their proposals to maintain a vibrant Seattle nightlife while managing issues of concern to surrounding neighborhoods. Councilmember Clark said, “This package strikes a balance between encouraging the health of Seattle’s nightclubs and preserving neighborhood safety and livability.” Councilmember Jan Drago said, “The City has to be a wise steward of both Seattle’s nightlife and residents’ quality of life.”
Clark and Drago’s package has four main elements: 1) A new narrowly-focused license requirement for nightlife establishments, 2) A new nightlife enforcement unit that could issue fines and respond to neighborhood resident complaints, 3) the strengthening of the City’s existing noise ordinance and nuisance code; and 4) a Nightlife Review Board for hearing appeals of penalties, advising on how to keep Seattle a great place for nightlife, and mediating disputes between neighbors and nightlife establishments.
Over the past five months, the Councilmembers have held a series of public discussions to understand the benefits and problems associated with Seattle’s nightlife. Councilmember Clark said, “A great club scene is important -- as evidenced by the thousands of people who make it a regular part of their lives in the Seattle area. At the same time we cannot lose sight of the fact that public safety is the City’s paramount duty. In addition, we got an earful from people in every part of the city about noise.”
Under their new license proposal, violations of operating standards at nightclubs would result in penalties, including license suspension or revocation for violent crimes occurring in a club. The Councilmembers’ proposals call for hiring, at minimum, two new Department of Executive Administration staff that would work during the evening and early morning hours to respond to complaints and issue citations. “Enforcement is the key to the success of this proposal,” Councilmember Drago said. The Councilmembers also want to make the City’s noise ordinance more effective by making it simpler to enforce and have increasing penalties up to $6000.
“What I’ve heard over the course of our work is that people genuinely value Seattle’s music and performance scene, want neighborhoods to feel safe and livable, and want rules that are clear and enforceable,” Councilmember Clark said. “This package gets us that combination.”
The Economic Development and Neighborhoods Committee will hold a public hearing to take testimony on the Nightlife Package on Monday, June 4 at 5:30 p.m. The Committee will also consider these proposals at its Thursday, June 7 meeting at 9:30 a.m.
Attached: Memo to Councilmembers from Council analysts on “Neighborhoods and Nightlife” package.
Visit the Seattle City Council website at www.seattle.gov/council where you can view Council meetings in progress and access past meetings.
George Howland, Jr.
Seattle City Council
phone (206) 684-8159
fax (206) 386-4628