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This is good news for a lot reassons.
1. Seattle's overstretched Police won't be tied down as much responding over and over again to problem clubs and filling out report after report.
2. Night Clubs will also benefit as the responsible clubs won't have to carry the stigma of problem clubs. More people will spend more money when they are not worried about getting shot.
3. The City Council itself we be able to concentrate on other issues and their achievements won't be eclipsed by the latest outrage.
4. Dense neighborhoods will become safer and quiter and more neighborhoods will accept density.
5. A standardization of requirements will level the playing field for all Night Clubs and end the "Whack-a-Mole" management by crises pattern of civic decision making.
6. The list goes on....

Posted by Zander | July 19, 2007 6:39 PM

You know, this has been going on for years, and I had a question: wasn't this shit struck down as unconstitutional already?

Posted by Gitai | July 19, 2007 6:49 PM

similar rules written by the same city attorney working on this one was struck down as unconstitutional. We'll see how this one turns out. Currently, there seems to be enough council votes to hold off a new license while still creating something that takes care of the problem clubs. The Mayor has definitely politicized the recent problems, and is putting huge pressure on the council to pass his plan. Though there doesn't seem to be a real public outcry for a license, the Mayor's staff is in full swing to create press and pressure the council to get a nightclub license. We'll see who can stand up to the mayor and who is weak.

You'd think they'd be more worried about more serious problems in the city, but the Mayor is obsessed with a license, much like they were with having an All Ages Dance Ordiance instead of just getting rid of the TDO, even though they couldn't explain what they were trying to regulate.

Politics is an interesting bag. It's often more about winning and ego than serious policy. This issue has definitely entered that phase. It's become sort of a pathetic joke at this point. All the while neighbors suffer while the council and the Mayor do nothing. Going on over two years now since a proposal was put forth by the industry to really deal with problem clubs. Sad.

Posted by Meinert | July 19, 2007 7:06 PM

Zander, the police are mostly tied up with false alarm calls on people's single family homes and small businesses. They responded to 14,800 of these false alarm calls last year alone. Don't see you worried about that massive waste of police resources.

The proposed nightlife license will do absolutely nothing to curb problem clubs. It will just be another license that won't be enforced, just like the laws we have now about overcapcity, overserving, etc.

Posted by please | July 19, 2007 7:48 PM

Zander, why O why do you live in Belltown when you so obviously hate it? You hate the drugs, you hate the out-of-town crowds, the loud music, everything! If you like density, but want something quieter, why not move to Capitol Hill in a building a few blocks off the beaten path so you can get a drink with friends and still sleep at night?

I'm not saying that violence or drug-dealing is okay (of course it's not), but since we don't have a lot of police here in Seattle (thank god) it's not going to lessen. I'd consider moving to a neighborhood you don't hate.

Posted by why? | July 19, 2007 8:06 PM

Muahahahaha! Soon, ALL of Seattle will be nothing but a vast NIMBY warehouse, and I will have won! Won!

Posted by Tim Cease | July 19, 2007 8:13 PM

Developers get a way to shut down clubs near their condos, the city gets another kickback -- whoops, I mean licensing fee -- from bar-owners, the politicians get to pretend they're doing something to make people safer without having to answer any hard questions about how to pay for more police -- everybody wins!

Except for bar owners and patrons, of course. They don't win. But they don't finance political campaigns, apparently.

Posted by flamingbanjo | July 19, 2007 8:16 PM

The false alarms is actually a good example. The first one is a warning and each following one is an increasing fine. This forces people to consider their own security and not to cry wolf. If only we had something like that applied to Night Clubs.
I live in Belltown because I love it as I do Seattle. Sure Seattle has problems and it would be easy to take the cowards way to run away and ignore the problems but as I do love it I want to see it become a better place and one that will bring happiness to the generations that come. Moving away would only leave the problems for someone else and there are currently few mechanisms to prevent some of Belltown's problems from emerging anywhere else in Seattle where I might move.
Yeah, I hate the sidewalk drug scene. I consider it a form of modern day slavery. Having said that I would legalize Marijauna, tax the hell out it like alcohol and tabacco, and use the money for treament centers. My opinions are a bit more complicated than should be posted on a blog and that most bloggers give me credit for. Oh well.
I don't hate out towners, only people who are obnoxious. My prejudice in this regard is agnostic to the person's origin.
Did answer I your questions surrender monkeys?

Posted by Zander | July 19, 2007 8:58 PM

They just don't fucking get it do they? It's the "Hip-Hop" clubs. Ban the shit music nights and put the gangbangers in jail like they do in Sunnyside.

Posted by Touring | July 19, 2007 9:24 PM

On behalf of all the Stranger's advertisers, we'd like to thank the publication for its COMPLETELY unbiased coverage of violence around clubs. Stay on it!

Posted by Associated Stranger Advertisers | July 19, 2007 10:17 PM

There are no violent nightclubs. The nightclubs don't go out and shoot some one. They don't beat up people.
If the police know that there are lots of crimes being committed in a particular area PUT SOME COPS ON THE FUCKING STEET and do some policing INSTEAD OF BEATING UP INNOCENT PEOPLE AND PLANTING DRUGS ON THEM.

This whole concept is ridiculous. They may as well shut down ATMs where people get money but are frequently robbed. OR shut down SCHOOLS because ohmygosh!!!!! DRUGS ARE BEING DEALT THERE.


Posted by unPC | July 19, 2007 10:19 PM

I think there IS a public outcry for a solution, Meinert, and that solution seems to be a license. Makes sense to me. I see letters to the editor, I listen at neighborhood council meetings, I KNOW that the downtown business owners are pushing for it, and I'm betting that the Council hears the same thing.

The days when nightclubs were the only thing going on in Pioneer Square and Belltown are over and I, for one, appreciate that more people are living downtown. I like the neighborhood that that creates.

Nightclubs are going to have to wake up and realize that it's a new game downtown.

Posted by watcher | July 19, 2007 10:43 PM

Watcher, part of living in a neighborhood like Belltown is that there are a variety of things to do and see including nightclubs. To be honest, enforcement of criminal laws is the duty of law enforcement.

I'm in my hometown in Colorado right now that is totally dependent on tourism and the hot debate is the influx of people from other areas that move here knowing what it's like, then demanding that this new place they live in looks like their old home (things like instant ambulance service, demands for pavement everywhere and a general whining about how Durango isn't like LA or Vegas. Durango wants to suck its money out of you, but don't decide you like it too much- they don't want you here. I see the greed going on in Belltown to be a varient of this line of thinking and it sucks. Belltown residents want their sterile condo building, with quickie amenities like trendy shops and the hipster place du jour, but don't bring your loud stinky music in.

Growth and change are a constant but I have little patience for many people that move into a neighborhood (or town) because of the things it offers (good or bad) and then want to change it to make it like their own dream world (read no noise, a park on every corner, etc) by dumping the blame on the backs of those trying to keep alive in this city.

While this is no excuse for the violence that seems to be surrounding some of these clubs, I'm pissed that newbie residents wanna make changes and point fingers towards the latest scapegoat.

I worked in Belltown for several years until recently and moved my offices not because of the character of the neighborhood but because this city can't get its shit together with regards to transport policy and because rents have been driven to ridiculous heights. While I love my new 3 minute commute, I already miss Belltown and the goings on there. Belltown will die as we know it if the neighborhood dwellers push to have Belltown be as safe as a gated Medina neighborhood.

People forget that these club owners are neighborhood business owners as well. Maybe if SPD maintained better order and had enough cops to deal with the stuff that happens away from the clubs (who are to be made responsible for that as well) we'd see an improvement that would be satisfactory to you. It's chickenshit of our politicos to dump this problem in its entirety on the backs of those business owners.

Finally, the fucking Liquor Control Board pisses me off. Washington's idea of how to deal with liquor is 1950ish. I understand that in the good ol' USA we decide that people young enough to kill people on the battlefield are unfit to drink liquor but quite frankly I hate to see the most progressive city in the state buy in and use the LCB as its tool.

Posted by Dave Coffman | July 20, 2007 3:40 AM

the last supper club was on the "most violent" list because of the amount of cologne that was causing people to faint.

Posted by brad | July 20, 2007 8:45 AM

#14: Ha! So true.

I shouldn't laugh though; I've been there before (years ago).

Posted by hee | July 20, 2007 9:30 AM

Josh and Erika:
glad to see your badass city council is doing just a bang up job standing up for the people!

Posted by Private message to Josh and Erika | July 20, 2007 9:42 AM

Recently an incident happened that is indicitive of how this nightlife proposal does not work.

It was closing time (1am) and outside of a local bar a couple was getting into a very violent altercation. The bartenter of the bar, being concerned and a of a size capable of confronting the man, went outside to stop the fight. The man threatened the bartender and said he would go home, get his gun, and kill him as he now knew where the bartender worked. The cops were called, the man made the same threat to the bartender in the presence of the cops. The man was let go.

1- this happened within the 50ft of the bar, eventhough the man never entered the bar, under the original 50ft rule, the bar is responsible for the incident. (and who is to say they won't bring that rule back too)

2 - calling the cops regarding this incident would now be a mark against the bar under LiquorStat, eventhough, again, the man was never a patron of the bar.

3 - despite the violent behavior and threats, the cops chose not to book him and left the scene.

HOW does a nightlife license fix this problem. Oh right, it doesn't.

Posted by rubyred | July 20, 2007 10:32 AM

One thing to note - Licata is trying to find a middle ground. If he does propose a license, while I personally don't think a license will do much good and could do lots of harm, it will be a license quite unlike the Mayor's overly broad license.

End of the day, certain clubs that have issues of violence recur over time need to change some practices. If they don't, they need to go away. There needs to be a fair process for this. Such a process was proposed to the Mayor by the nightlife industry over two years ago and we are now getting back to that proposal after two years of idiocy on the part of politicians and bureaucrats. It's sort of a sick joke the way this works.

At this point, the license is more about ego than public safety. People should realize that many of our politcal leaders care more about a win than doing what's right. It's pretty disgusting and working on this issue has opened my eyes to how generally incompetent, egomaniacal and clueless many of the people running our city are.

Posted by Meinert | July 20, 2007 10:35 AM

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