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City of Seattle
Gregory J. Nickels (former Mayor)

SUBJECT: Mayor rolls out three-step approach for safer nightclubs

11/2/2005  11:00:00 AM

Mayor rolls out three-step approach for safer nightclubs
Effort will foster vibrant, safe bars and clubs in neighborhoods

SEATTLE - Mayor Greg Nickels rolled out a three-pronged approach today to ensure Seattle’s growing number of clubs and bars are safe, vibrant places to have fun without undue impacts on Seattle’s neighborhoods.

The proposal comes in the wake of several high-profile incidents that have raised some concerns about public safety in and around some of the city’s popular nightspots.

“A healthy nightlife is an essential part of what makes downtown and other neighborhoods exciting places to live,” Nickels said. “But we will insist that clubs and bars are safe places for both customers and the community. Simply put, a vibrant nightlife shouldn’t mean a violent nightlife.”

The mayor outlined three steps the city will take to address the impacts of clubs and bars at a news conference today:

First, Seattle’s Joint Assessment Team will become permanent following a successful pilot program launched earlier this year. The team includes representatives of city, county and state departments with regulatory authority over fire code, business licenses, admissions tax, sidewalk uses, health code and state liquor laws.

Over the summer, the team visited 85 clubs and bars during peak times and worked with owners, manages and staff to address concerns. Although many establishments were largely in compliance, the team found hundreds of violations in one or more areas checked during the visits.

Second, the city will increase its ability to analyze how clubs are operating and their impacts on neighborhoods. The city will centralize information obtained from the Liquor Control Board, the Joint Assessment Team and other city sources to monitor clubs’ compliance with state and local regulations. The information will allow the city to better spot emerging issues at bars and clubs before they become larger problems for the community and to more effectively respond to establishments that continue to cause concerns.

Early intervention will allow the nightclubs and the community to work together to resolve problems. The information will also give the city a more systematic way to track liquor license renewals and deal with concerns about bars and clubs that pose a threat to health and public safety.

Finally, the city will address how it regulates clubs and bars. The mayor is creating a task force of club owners, neighborhood businesses and residents to research how comparable cities have resolved regulatory and public safety issues regarding nightclubs, including noise. The task force will then make recommendations to the City on what steps Seattle should take to keep our neighborhoods vibrant places with nighttime entertainment while addressing the concerns of the people and businesses in these neighborhoods.

“The Mayor and I created this Night Life Taskforce to find real solutions for problems arising from residents and clubs occupying the same turf,” said Councilmember Nick Licata, chair of the public safety committee. “Club owners, residents and property owners need to sit down with us and find some ways were all can live together peacefully in the same neighborhood.”

Visit the mayor’s web site at Get the mayor’s inside view on initiatives to promote transportation, public safety, economic opportunity and healthy communities by signing up for The Nickels Newsletter at

View the full Good Neighbor Action Plan - Adobe PDF 18 kb

View a list of Task Force Members - Adobe PDF 11 kb

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Office of the Mayor

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