Council Passes Nightlife Package

But puts license decision off until September.

Let's all take a sigh of relief. After months of bargaining and bickering, the city council has passed a package of proposals designed to improve Seattle's streets after closing time and help ease the battle between club owners and condo dwellers in urban neighborhoods.

The legislation: establishes a new nightlife unit to respond to resident complaints; strengthens the city's nuisance code; requires clubs to write safety plans; and asks the mayor's staff to come up with recommendations for club security training, zoning, promoter licensing, and new enforcement authority within the Washington State Liquor Control Board.

Ok, maybe hold off on that sigh. Council members are still wrestling with whether to create a new nightlife license-- something the mayor's pushed hard for, bar and club owners have been vehemently against, and the council's put on and taken off the table more times than you can say flip-flop. Members have also postponed until September another prickly decision on whether to create a nightlife advisory board.

Council president Nick Licata gave Sally Clark the thorny nightlife issue earlier this year. Something that fits the jurisdiction of the Economic Development and Neighborhoods Committee she chairs, but also a hazing of sorts. Many folks have been keeping an eye on Clark through this process hoping the freshman council member would take the lead and make it her signature issue. But the sausage making ensued and now we have some sort of half-bratwurst hybrid. Clark's committee could vote on the licensing requirement as early as Thursday-- but as longtime observers of the Seattle Process might say... Don't hold your breath.

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