Peter Steinbrueck—defying expectations, so far, that he’d allow the mayor’s proposed red-light district to move through the council unimpeded—has pitched the plan into the laps of the city’s planning commission, asking them in a letter sent today to offer their “views on the model proposed by the Mayor, where new adult cabarets would be limited to one area of the city, versus a model where they would be allowed citywide but required to be a certain distance from specified uses.”
The letter continues:
Does the Commission believe that the boundaries of the proposed permitted area, and the requirement that adult cabarets be 1000 feet from specified uses, adequately protect nearby businesses and the surrounding residential areas of Georgetown, Beacon HIll, and South Park from undesirable impacts? … Overall, we would like to know if the Planning Commission endorses the Mayor’s proposal as the best way to provide for adult cabarets, or if the Commission recommends further study and/or changes.
Earlier this week, Steinbrueck and the Urban Planning committee heard dozens of South Seattle residents testify against placing the strip-club zone in a part of town that has already taken more than its share of undesirable businesses. Yesterday, he said he would take their concerns to heart. “I heard very compelling testimony from members of the three surrounding communities that gave me cause for pause,” Steinbrueck said, “particularly the inference that the South End is the dumping ground for all the unwanted things that the city can find no other place to put.”
If the Planning Commission decides to take up the strip-club issue, it could be weeks or months before it lands back in the council’s hands. Meanwhile, people are free to open strip clubs in commercial areas throughout the city; so far, no one has applied for a permit to do so.