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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Planning Commission Opposes Concentrating Strip Clubs

Posted by on August 24 at 15:14 PM

As I originally reported yesterday, the city’s Planning Commission came down hard on Mayor Nickels’s proposed strip-club zone near Georgetown, arguing in a draft report that dispersing strip clubs throughout the city, rather than isolating them in a single district, “helps in lowering overall impact to the city.”

Multiple studies have found that dispersing adult entertainment uses lowers the impact of these uses overall. Based on our reviwe, we would recommend that the current city-wide dispersement policy [which allows strip clubs in coommercial and industrial zones throughout the city] remain in place. The application of a buffer overlay would be appropriate; however, we feel that further study is necessary to determine the optimal size for the buffer.

Makes sense to meóthere’s no reason one neighborhood (Georgetown) should have to bear the (arguable) burden of being home to every strip club in the city. Dispersement and regulation will ensure that strip clubs are treated like the legal businesses they are without disproportionately impacting a single area.

The council will take up the mayor’s proposed strip-club zone (which has also been opposed by Georgetown residents, industrial businesses, and neighborhood activists throughout the city) this fall; urban planning and development committee chair Peter Steinbrueck, who originally asked for the commission’s input, says “if there’s support for a shift [toward dispersing clubs instead of concentrating them] I’ll consider it”; but, he adds, “I’m not going to do this on my own.”

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"...there’s no reason one neighborhood (Georgetown) should have to bear the (arguable) burden of being home to every strip club in the city."

Even more importantly, there's no reason Seattle residents should have to bear the burden of driving to Georgetown for $8 their colas. Unless, of course, we build a monorail to Georgetown...

The most interesting thing that came out of today's very early meeting was that the Planning Commission never felt Mayor Nickels presented a compelling reason why a zone was needed.

It was great to hear that the Commission would not endorse the proposal. Because of a few requested edits, they did not take a vote today: they plan to vote on this report at their September 14th meeting.

Here's my modest proposal: Change the rules so that anyone who has a liquor license can also have strippers.

Despite what Seattle neo-puritans might think, this will NOT lead to every bar having a few girls shaking their ta-ta's to "low rider" - just as Seattle allowing gay men to drink has not lead to every bar being gay, or having TV's in bars has not lead to every bar becoming a sports bar.

For one things, there's not that many strippers in town - the poor things would be exhausted. Also, not every person who goes out to drink wants to see naked ladies. Or naked gentlemen, for that matter.

Since there are already rather stringent restrictions on where bars can be, and bars already prohibit people under 21 from entering, the only people this will impact are the 18-21 year old strippers, and I'm sure they'll find something to do with themselves while they are waiting to turn 21 (although, if it were up to me, we'd go back to the sensible 19 year old drinking age. Hope you're enjoying hell, Mr. Reagan)

And while we are at it, get rid of the dumb 3' (or is it 6'?) rule, the glass walls, and all the other crap that we, have endured since Lou Graham shuffled off this mortal coil. (And if you don't know who Lou Graham is, you should be ashamed of yourself. She's one of our founding mothers and you should know about her. And don't just look up what says. They, in typical Seattle fashion, are embarassed by her.)

While you're at it, look up John Pinnell. We must not neglect our rich tradition of vice!

Add John Considine into that mix, too, yeah.

The real and astonishing story here is that the Planning Commission actually said something of substance.

I'm thunderstruck and pleased. (How soon will the Mayor banish them?)

Putting all the strip clubs in one area might not be a bad idea, necessarily. As one goes "bar hopping", maybe a concentrated strip club scene would enable people to go "strip club hopping".

Communities all over America are working to restrict or eliminate nude or topless entertainment and they claim the reason they are doing so is because of crime. But the reality is that some people want to rob consenting adults of their first amendment rights. What logical connection is there between a nude woman and armed robbery, anyway?

Such a shame that society is progressing backwards. Grand Rapids, MI and Salt Lake City, UT outlawed nude and topless performances recently. Are we to believe that a woman's nipple is the root cause of crime in a community?

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