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Monday, June 4, 2007

Want Nightlife in Seattle?

posted by on June 4 at 14:25 PM

Then head down to City Council chambers (400 5th Avenue, second floor) at 5:30 pm today, June 4 to let the council know what you think of Sally Clark’s proposed amendments to the mayor’s nightlife ordinance. Don’t know what you think? A briefing paper on Clark’s proposal (the specific details of which have not been released, despite the fact that the final public hearing is tonight) can be found here (pdf).

Among other changes, the proposal increases fines for noise violations ($2,000 for the first offense, $6,000 for the third), replaces license suspension with as-yet-unspecified fines for minor violations, and gives the city the authority to yank a club’s nightlife license for violent incidents in or within 50 feet of a club. As the ordinance is currently proposed, violating the city’s nuisance code could also be grounds for license suspension. Read more about it here.

Sign up to comment before the council (note: All comments limited to two minutes, less if a lot of people show up to speak) outside council chambers at 5.

If you can’t make it tonight, the council’s neighborhoods committee will discuss the proposal at least two more times, on June 7 (in council chambers at 9:30 am) and June 21 (in University Heights, at 5031 University Way NE at 6 pm).

RSS icon Comments


who voted for these people? seriously?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 4, 2007 2:50 PM

better question is who is going to vote for them in the next election. Sally Clark is running with no opposition. Seems someone like Angel would do well to run against he with the backing of the Seattle music and nightlife community.

Posted by Frank | June 4, 2007 2:56 PM

how much does it pay? being a council person?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 4, 2007 2:58 PM

I live in an apartment building in a primarily residential part of Wallingford. In the summer a local bar opens its windows and the noise from the bar makes it hard to sleep.

Some people say: "If you don't like living near a business that makes noise after midnight, you should move."

I say: "If you are a business and disrupt your neighbors, *you* should move."

Erica, by the way, makes her living off Big Nightclub money. (She writes for a paper which depends heavily on advertising from clubs and bars.)

Posted by Sleeper | June 4, 2007 2:59 PM

Wouldn't a fight in on First Ave in Pioneer Square be within 50 feet of many bars. Would they all be shut down?

Posted by elswinger | June 4, 2007 3:03 PM

Sleeper, this smacks of NIMBYism but the problem with seattlem, all of seattle is the piss poor zoning and the lack of a commercial area where bars can exists beyond residential zoning. i live within spitting distance of the cha cha, r place, etc etc and i get loud rawkus people but dude, where are these places going to go?

i find it sad that theres enough people that want to tank seattle nightlife over nimbyism. I dont even go out at all anymore but i find it ads some fun to the overall city.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 4, 2007 3:04 PM

Bellevue Ave @6: The essence of NIMBYism is favoring an exception to the rule for yourself. For example, arguing against noise ordinances in all residential neighborhoods except yours. I'm in favor of protecting the rights of residents everywhere, so my argument isn't a NIMBYish one.

Posted by Sleeper | June 4, 2007 3:19 PM

that'd be true if you could actually protect the citizenry everywhere while booting them out of your neighborhood. you kick them out there, they open up near another residential neighborhood. its a flaw inherent to seattle.

maybe you arnet being nimby...
but you are advocating a more boring seattle.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 4, 2007 3:31 PM

@7 - I'm in favor of more nightclubs not in my neighborhood.

But I live in Fremont - there are more than 10 within two blocks of my place.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 4, 2007 3:44 PM

I agree with Bellevue.

Sleeper - who was there first, you or the bar?

Posted by Dono | June 4, 2007 4:24 PM

even beyond that, why should a renter of an apartment in a privately owned building trump the tenant bar owner of a privately owned building?

is noise actually hurting you? is it causing grave economic loss to you and seattle? im not shocked someone who complains about bar noise also lives in wallingford.

as for violence. Seattle residents are a bunch of goddamn wusses. a few people die every year due to bar and club violence and the mayor, council, citizenry all make it out to be a genocide. The price of freedom and fun is the blood of patriots and revelers. if you arent busy living, youre busy dying.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 4, 2007 4:41 PM

I agree with Bellevue.

I love city living - noise and all. If I want to listen to the crickets, I would go camping. If this goes through we will be laughed at more than we already are by other cities. Show saw balls, so show some pride and buy some fucking ear (or butt) plugs!

This is a fucking city, grow up people. If you want your peace and silence go back to the 'burbs where you grew up - sip your Sanka and put on an Ann(e?) Murray record. I'll be at the gang bang screaming my head off...

Posted by WhamBam@4AM | June 4, 2007 5:04 PM

Yes, your need to be loud and rowdy in the street trumps everyone else's desire to live peaceably. If people get killed, hey, suck it up, you pussy; who cares about a few dead people?

I think we understand this attitude quite well. It's never going to be a popular one, though, because the loud 'n' rowdy clubs do not involve a significant portion of Seattle's population or economy. Shutting down loud and violent clubs is a good idea -- not just for the people who are trying to sleep, but for the people in clubs that are not loud and violent.

If these clubs aren't responsible for the violence they attract, who is? I mean, why do they have bouncers if there's no violence there? Civilized places don't have bouncers. If the bad clubs weren't there, the bad behavior would disappear with them, and should.

Posted by Fnarf | June 4, 2007 5:21 PM

I think I should put landmines in my front yard so the drunks will be warm this summer as they stagger home ...

What do you think? Should I?

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 4, 2007 5:30 PM

how about the actual people who commit violent acts. why arent we charging bars with drunk driving if they enabled the mechanisms for it to happen? why don't we charge gun companies for murders if they are used in crimes?

why does someone need to be responsible for the act of one person? what are you? some kind of stay at home mom who self medicates and has all these crazy ideas about holding people responsible?

and guess what, I DONT EVEN GO OUT OR PATRONIZE BARS DESPITE LIVING ON CAPITOL HILL AND BEING IN VERY CLOSE PROXIMITY TO BARS! I hate bars when they are crowded, i dont fit in at them in seattle, but i realize there is a greater good to having a night life in seattle. economic, social, and image.

seattle should just stop advertising itself as a city. it's not a real city at all. its an overgrown town where some people want to return to a Mayberry atmosphere. good luck ever being recognized as a world class city seattle.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 4, 2007 5:31 PM

oh, go back to criticizing ST, BA. Not that anyone's listening to you.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 4, 2007 5:34 PM

st? whats st?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 4, 2007 5:52 PM

Gee, Erica, you had us all geared up for Sally's virtuous re-writing of the bad bad mayor's nightclub rules -- a chapter of how the council stood up to the mayor.

And yet....

You've gone strangely quite on who's the villain here.

Could it be that the mayor was largely right? Or Sally has gone largely wrong?

And what, pray tell, happened to that badass talk from Jan Drago about the re-write of the mayor's proposal.

ECB, you've got to engage of a little journalism here.

Something's gone gooey. It sure looks like the rules are tough on nightclubs, and you've gone silent on the council's role.

Cat got your tongue?

Posted by Gee, Erica, you've gone quite all of a sudden | June 4, 2007 5:57 PM

At least she dug in, can't say the same for the reporters from the PI and Times.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 4, 2007 6:09 PM

Bellevue Ave @11: "Is noise actually hurting you?"

Being robbed of sleep night after night is a hardship. Not all hardship is economic.

Dono @10: "Sleeper - who was there first, you or the bar?"

I have been here about two years. The bar was not a bar until about five years ago. The apartment building has been here for much longer than the bar.

However, the seniority question has no bearing on the rights and responsibilities of each party. Were I to burn foul-smelling incense at night, driving the bar's patrons to other establishments, everyone would rightly agree that it was not my right to do so, regardless of who arrived first in the neighborhood.

It is ironic to see Erica siding here with greedy business owners rather than apartment-dwelling tenants, the demographic she so has so tirelessly championed elsewhere. Who do you think lives near bars? Not homeowners.

Viva la revolucion.

Posted by Sleeper | June 4, 2007 6:24 PM

so you'd like to impose a economic hardship and quality of life hardship on many patrons simply cause you dont get sleep?

and if you want to burn hippie crap i support your right to do so.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 4, 2007 6:34 PM

Sleeper @ 4: Big Nightclubs! That's rich! Please, tell me more about how incredibly rich all these fabulously wealthy nightclubs are making me.

And Sleeper @ 20, this legislation wouldn't address your noisy patrons anyway. The only noise it addresses is amplified noise. People are free to talk, yell, sing, whatever -- you can't write a law that addresses that, unless you're going to ban loud idiots.

Posted by ECB | June 4, 2007 6:35 PM

Sleeper @ 4: Big Nightclubs! That's rich! Please, tell me more about how incredibly rich all these fabulously wealthy nightclubs are making me.

And Sleeper @ 20, this legislation wouldn't address your noisy patrons anyway. The only noise it addresses is amplified noise. People are free to talk, yell, sing, whatever -- you can't write a law that addresses that, unless you're going to ban loud idiots.

Posted by ECB | June 4, 2007 6:36 PM

ECB @ 22: "Big Nightclub! That's rich!"

Bought and sold by Big Nightclub. It has kind of a Cheneyesque ring to it.

The point is: many people who are quick to point out the financial backing of their opponents become mysteriously quiet when it is their turn to disclose. Your salary, a pittance though it may be, is paid by a newspaper that is heavily dependent on the advertising of bars and clubs. I wonder how many readers stop to consider that you have a personal stake in this fight. Your conflict of interest is just as real as that of homeowners - and your bullhorn is much bigger.

Thanks for pointing out that noisy patrons aren't included in this legislation. In my neighborhood bar, the patrons are noisy but are still within the bar. This noise could be mitigated by closing the bar windows or reducing the maximum occupancy. Perhaps this kind of unamplified bar noise falls within the province of existing ordinances that are not adequately enforced. I look forward to a future post in which you walk readers through the process of how to lodge such a complaint with the proper authorities.

Posted by Sleeper | June 4, 2007 6:57 PM

People who think we give good press to cigarette manufacturers, or escorts, or clubs, or political candidates, or theaters, or movie chains, or restaurants, etc., etc. because they advertise in the Stranger don't know much, if anything, about how news decisions get made around here. Read the paper once in a while. You'll see pretty clearly that it doesn't work that way.

Posted by ECB | June 4, 2007 7:12 PM

SAVE THE NIGHTLIFE! The sky is falling! Get over yourselves all, nothing is going to change.

Posted by watcher | June 4, 2007 11:23 PM

this isnt alarmism if it's actually being voted on.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 5, 2007 8:43 AM


Posted by Bill | June 12, 2007 1:02 PM

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