You know that little issue about noise in Seattle's nightclubs and bars, and crowds on the street at closing time. The one that’s riled up condo and club owners in places like Belltown and Fremont, and resulted in a plan from the mayor to crack down on problem spots by making everyone get a re-licensed? Yes, THAT one.
Well it got its first official public airing last night at a city council committee meeting in Miller Park and a precious few showed up to state their views.
According to Seattle City Council member Sally Clark, who chairs the Economic Development and Neighborhoods Committee, there was only about a half-hour’s worth of public testimony.
“I was surprised,” she says. “I thought it was going to be longer.”
The problem is likely not lack of interest. Maybe it’s timing, she ventured. “One problem with doing evening meetings is that’s the time the bar owners are working. The morning meetings occur when bar owners are sleeping. There’s no good time to hear from them.”
Clark says a couple bar owners and a DJ showed up. That and a healthy number of people from a townhouse community on 12th Avenue East who said the noise emanating from a bar called Waid’s Place is adversely impacting their lives. There were also representatives from Belltown in the room.
Normally not a night owl, Clark’s been hitting the streets in the name of research, venturing out in Belltown and Pioneer Square, and next week plans to tour Fremont during the witching hour— when bar patrons tumble out at closing time.
But she says there’s a lot more research to be done before she’ll say whether there’s a need to “layer a new license on.”
“Having said that, there are a lot of people I know have suffered from a lot of noise for a long time. Clearly something’s not working with the noise ordinance,” she says. “I anticipate that there will be changes there.”
Next up on the proposal’s spring tour: a morning meeting in council chambers April 5 with the Seattle Nightlife and Music Association on the schedule. We'll see if their presentation translates into better attendance.