Feb 28, 2007

Council Committee to Review Nightlife Proposal

(Press release from City Council: also see recent post here)

Councilmember Sally Clark

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 28, 2006

CONTACTS: Molly Neitzel, Clark Office, (206) 684-8802; George Howland, Jr., Council
Communications, (206) 684-8159

Council Committee to Review Nightlife Proposal

The Seattle City Council's Economic Development & Neighborhoods committee will receive a briefing, Thursday, March 1, from the mayor's office on a proposal to regulate nightlife establishments in the city of Seattle. The briefing will be the first of several presentations the committee will hear on the proposed ordinance.

"Seattle enjoys a reputation for great music and terrific neighborhoods," said Economic Development and Neighborhoods Committee Chair Sally J. Clark. "We're looking for reasonable ways to prevent and resolve the clashes that come up when residential areas and clubs cohabitate."

The proposed legislation defines "nightlife premises" as businesses that serve liquor between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., have more than 500 square feet, and are used at a density of one person per seven square feet or less. The ordinance would require each premise that meets the definition to obtain a Nightlife Premise License from the City. Nightlife Premise Licenses would be subject to suspension or revocation for violations of operating standards proposed in the Mayor's ordinance. Proposed operating standards address noise, litter, occupancy, crime prevention and alcohol sales.

Over the next several months, presentations will include the Mayor's Nightlife Task Force, the Seattle Nightlife and Music Association, Washington State Liquor Control Board, and the Seattle Attorney's office.

The Economic Development & Neighborhoods committee meets every first and third Thursday of the month. The nightlife issue will be on the EDN committee's agenda for meetings through May of this year.

For information on the Economic Development and Neighborhoods Committee schedule or for a copy of the proposed ordinance, go to: http://www.seattle.gov/council/clark/

Next meeting: March 15 6:00 p.m. Miller Park Community Center:

Central Staff report on: Comparable Cities Regulation of Nightlife Premises and Current City Codes Applicable to Nightlife Premises.

Tom Carr and Member or Representative of the Liquor Control Board report on: Liquor Control Board’s Role in Licensing and Enforcing State Liquor Laws and the City Attorney’s Function (Civil Enforcement, Good Neighbor Agreements and Interface with Liquor License Renewals)

Feb 26, 2007

Please tell City Council about living near nightclubs

City Council is starting to consider the Mayor's proposed nightlife ordinance.

Please share your thoughts about living near to nightclubs with City Council.

Details of proposed ordinance (and how to contact Councilmembers):


Andrew Taylor, MPNA

Council Committee to consider "Nightlife Ordinance"

Mayor Nickels, after hearing from a citizens/ business taskforce, proposed a "Nightlife Premises Ordinance" last Fall: here's the Mayor's Fact Sheet on the legislation. On Thursday March 1st (9:30 AM, Council Chambers), the City Council Economic Development and Neighborhoods Committee will be briefed on the proposed ordinance. Here's their agenda and a link to the proposed bill. The Council Committee will, in due course, vote on the bill and (if they approve it) it will go on the the full City Council (who seem to typically approve what their Committees send them).

The nightclub and music industry is campaigning about the legislation, and may well be testifying at the public comment period at the start of Thursday's Committee meeting.

Given our neighborhood's experience with bars on Madison, and the probability that new developments on Madison will contain both nightlife premises and apartments/condos, it would be great if people who live near the present bars could share their experiences with City Councilmembers. I don't expect many of us will make it to the Council Committee on Thursday morning, so I suggest that you E-mail Committee Chair Sally Clark, Vic-Chair Richard McIver, member Jan Drago and alternate member Peter Steinbrueck (or write to them).

From the media:

1) Seattle Times editorial endorses the ordinance. Seattle Times article about it and a Seattle P-I article (and a whole load of comments) about it.

2) A couple of Seattle Weekly blog postings about it (here and here).

3) The Stranger has a whole lot to say: see this page of links.

4) A (mainly) pro-nightclub post from the West Seattle blog

5) From the Seattle Nightlife and Music Association:

Their "talking points"
Their analysis

In summary, our neighborhood is mostly residential, and has many years experience of living next to a nightclub. Our thoughts will be of great value to City Council in their consideration of the Mayor's proposed nightlife ordinance. Please share your thoughts with them (and maybe post them as comments here).

Many thanks,
Andrew Taylor
Miller Park Neighborhood Association

A lighthearted observation

Cycling to work this morning along 19th Ave. E. Passed by a Police Car, then by 6 Police motorbikes in an exquisite formation, three perfectly spaced pairs of bikes, a joy to behold.

Oh, I thought, they're off to a funeral at St. Joe's. And maybe they were, but I passed them next parking outside the Tully's at 19th & Aloha, where I've often seen SPD vehicles in the past.

Feb 21, 2007

Club Chocolate City loses liquor license on March 1st

The owner of Club Chocolate City (the bar at 2040 E. Madison, formerly "Deano's Bar and Lounge") agreed to voluntarily give up his liquor license as of March 31st, 2007. The club had several liquor license violations, has been penalized with a month's suspension, and hence will have no liquor license as of March 1st, 2007. The Club can continue to operate without liquor, but this seems most unlikely. Ms. Helen's Soulfood Restaurant can continue to operate there (but I hear rumors that she's planning to move). I believe that the owner of Deano's Market will also be moving his business to Shoreline around the end of March.

What will happen to the crowds (dealers, prostitutes, hangers-on) that fill the sidewalks outside the club? Nobody really knows! The GOTS Program ("Get Off The Streets", so named by a client; run by Lt. Hayes and associates) will continue to offer outreach services to them. The drug dealers among them may choose to take their business elsewhere.

What should I do?
When the Safeway opened, the crowds all moved to Denny for a week, and then returned to Madison. Let's assume that the crowds disperse, and take the opportunity to "take back the streets" before they decide to return.

Maybe you've not wanted to visit the Twilight Exit bar (2051 E. Madison St., (206) 324-7462 ) because of the intimidating crowds at night? Why not give it a try: the more regular street traffic, the less comfortable the dealers will feel. The bar's got 8 beers on tap, liquor, a pool table, video games. Don't take my word for it: check out the reviews, and menu below. And while you're out on the street, maybe wander down to the Bottleneck lounge as well?

Some reviews of the Twilight from the web: 8 people's views from Yelp.com, 4 reviews from "Insider Pages", 2 from tribe.net, and 13 from Citysearch.com!

The details, as I remember them. Open 4PM to 2AM. Kitchen: Mon- Thurs: 4 - 11 PM, Fri, Sat, Sun 4 -12 PM. Breakfast (Sat, Sun) 11AM - 3PM.

Twilight Exit Menu pages (PDF files):

Appetizers, Soup, finger foods; Sandwiches and Burgers; Entrees; Breakfast; More Breakfast

Here are some thought from the CHS: Capitol Hill Seattle blog,

and here's what the Stranger's SLOG readers think about the news.

(Those of you with very long memories may recall that I started in this web business posting documents about "Oscar's II", the former bar at the Twilight location, including their new menu when they reopened)

East Madison Street in the 1950's

The Mardi Gras is now the Twilight Exit

Feb 20, 2007

Bring your krewe to The BottleNeck this evening and celebrate Fat Tuesday!

(from Erin Nestor, owner of the Bottleneck Lounge)

Enjoy a slice of authentic King Cake (thanks Lacey and Gene) served at no charge with your choice of cocktail from The BottleNeck Hair of the Dog drink menu. Find the baby and become king (or queen!) of The BottleNeck for the evening!

The first slice will be served at 7 p.m. and supplies are limited (although cocktails are not) so don't spend too much time polishing your beads prior to heading over.

We'll see you tonight at 2328 E. Madison St. (between John and 23rd).

For more info on the King Cake tradition, access: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_cake

Feb 19, 2007

Proposed visit by Councilmember Rasmussen

Councilmember Rasmussen would like to visit our neighborhood again: recall that he visited a couple of years ago and helped us in many ways. He'd like to visit again and see how we are doing.

His office suggests Tuesday, March 20, or Wednesday, March 21, late afternoon/early evening

Please go to this online survey to note which dates/times are best for you:


Please reply by 6PM, Sunday Feb. 25th

Many thanks,

Andrew Taylor

MORE townhouses?

This property at 1920 E. John is on the market for $1,200,000 as a "tear-down". Much as I like all our new townhouses and neighbors (see 21st Ave. E. between John and Denny) it would be nice to see something a bit different built. So, if you know any good builders, please let them know about this listing . Great location, 7,200 square feet, zoned L-3.

Feb 16, 2007

New Bar on Madison

On Valentine's Day the Bottleneck Lounge opened its door (at 2328 E. Madison) on the site of the late lamented Fargonian Coffeehouse.

The bar is run by Erin Nestor, who lives in the Central Area, and her partner Rebecca Denk (who manages the Seattle Toys in Babeland, now called "Babeland"). I've exchanged phone messages with Erin, but haven't visited the bar or met here yet. From Erin's message:

Bar opens daily (except Mondays) at 4PM: bar phone # is (206) 323-1098.

I eagerly await your reports on the bar.


PS: visited early Saturday evening and met Erin. Bar seems to be everything that the comments say it is. And the food was yummy!

Feb 12, 2007

Emergency Preparedness Presentation: care for one?

City officials are making efforts to come out to the community to present short (90 minute) Emergency Preparedness presentations. There will be one at Garfield Community Center on Saturday April 7th from 10 to 11:30 AM.

They will also come out to our neighborhood in the evening to train us, if we can round up enough people. If interested, please indicate when you're available, by using this web-survey:


Many thanks,
Andrew Taylor, Miller Park

Details of the program are at:


Feb 9, 2007

Thoughts/questions about the survey

(arrived by E-mail)

Hi Andrew, looking at your survey results, I'm concerned that it has been
co-opted by developers/builders. I suggest you might have a vote on the
matter of 24th and check id's of all voters on issue- we've done this in
our neighborhood. You may be surprised.
Andrew's response:

I was concerned that one side or another might try to "stuff the ballot box". Survey answers come with the date/time and the IP address of the sender. Looking at those showed no signs of any worrying trends. The only multiple replies from a given IP address (3 each) were from the City of Seattle, Microsoft and Comcast and each cluster had differing responses to the questions. (Yes I might be fooled by dynamically assigned IP addresses). Looking at the timing of responses gave no concerns either.

So I believe that everyone was honest and aboveboard (many thanks, folks!) and hence that the results truly reflect the views of those Miller neighbors who care about these issues.

Thanks again, people.


PS: I'm clearly new at surveying people, so guidance is always welcome.


(comment to blog post)
Thanks for the info. Just wanted to mention that not all non-Miller Park people should be totally discounted! I used to live in Miller Park, but recently moved down the hill into Madison Valley. So I'm not an MP resident, but it's not like I'm some disinterested party voting from Ballard or something. :)
Andrew's response:

Good point. I didn't ask for names or addresses: didn't want to scare anyone away. Suggestions for next time?

(From comment on a previous post)
So my question is, do we tell the Miller Greens developer, city, Frazier Park folks etc what our opinions are? It seems to me we should. I assume we were going to share our results with everyone if they were negative on Miller Greens; we should do the same since they are positive.
Andrew's response:

I shared the info with the developer and the Frazier Park folks before posting it here, and then sent copies to appropriate Councilmembers, DPD and the Mayor's Office.

Miller Greens survey data: analyzed a bit, available

I have extracted the raw data from the MPNA Miller Greens survey and made them available for your own analysis. It's a bit cumbersome: if you pony up the $19.95 for the Surveymonkey subscription it's a lot easier!

I separated the MPNA members from the non-members and looked at the most interesting questions (people pretty much agreed on the other stuff):

OK, the non-MPNA-members skew the results a bit. Let's look only at (self-identified) Miller Park members.

MPNA member answering the survey are > 57% in favor of the rezone, and 2 out of 3 of those expressing an opinion favor the rezone (and don't think it will degrade the neighborhood).

Again, thanks for the input. To learn more check out the numbers yourself (or send me the $19.95: I remind you that the MPNA treasury is an almost-empty coffee can).

And apologies for the double-negatives in the survey answers: I took the survey questions directly from the resolution adopted by the Greater Madison Valley Community Council.

Feb 7, 2007

Miller Greens survey results available

Many, many thanks to all of you who took the time to answer the survey about the Miller Greens project at 24th and Thomas. Here's the answer to the BIG question:

and here are all the answers (as a PDF).

Frazier Park neighbors approached Miller Park Neighborhood Association (MPNA) seeking support for their position on the Miller Greens project, and supplied both a proposed draft resolution, and a copy of the resolution adopted by the Greater Madison Valley Community Council (GMVCC).

Methodology: I turned the GMVCC's resolution into a web-based survey and posted details here . I informed the ~ 250 neighborhood association members of the existence of the blog entry and the survey, via our (City sponsored) listserv. The survey was available from 7PM on 2/4/07 till 1 PM on 2/7/07. I issued one reminder E-mail, and the survey was also mentioned on the Capitol Hill Seattle blog.

Results: I was most pleasantly surprised by the large response to the survey: 44 replies. I attach a copy of the survey summary. Individual responses are available: they're identified only by the IP address of the respondent. (A glance at the IP addresses didn't reveal any obvious "ballot box stuffing" ). I used the free trial of the survey software: if I pay their $19.95 monthly fee I can download the results, analyze them further and share them with you.

Note that the blog page prompted several very thoughtful responses from readers.

Conclusions: 79% self-identify as MPNA members (residents, property or business owners). We could tease out their responses if needed (see above).

Almost all support: the Comp Plan, density, Urban Villages, Green buildings and the high density corridor along Madison.

Most agree that 24th is great "family friendly" neighborhood with lots of long term residents. Most of the others have no opinion.

They are however, almost equally divided as to whether "The long-standing boundary between this high-density corridor and the surrounding residential zoning should be respected". They are also undecided as to whether there are sites for the project available within the Urban Village boundary: many don't know.

Most significantly, a large majority disagree with the statement " The proposed development at E. Thomas and 24th Ave. will degrade the long-term family oriented quality of the neighborhood" and a similar majority not believe that the zoning change should be denied.

In Summary: our neighborhood overwhelmingly supports urban density, but does not believe that the proposed development will degrade the character of the neighborhood, and does not support efforts to deny the proposed zoning change.

Comments: I reiterate the CHS viaduct survey report's caveat about selection bias.

Maarten's concern:

I might point out that the resolutions put forth by the Frasier Neighborhood Assoc are biased and designed to lead to their conclusion. Since survey uses their logic and phrasing, the results you get from the survey will be biased in the direction they seek.
seems to have been unwarranted. Alternatively, we could infer that it just strengthens the conclusion of the survey, as it produced the strong answer that it did, despite the "leading questions".

A Frazier Park neighbor speculated:

I might guess that most of the respondents have seen dramatic (and possibly negative) impacts of the rezoning in their neighborhood and could want to "spread the pain", or possibly, your own question - " So the question, in my mind, is whether we can afford to continue to protect single family housing against all intrusions?" - captures the feeling.
Thanks again for the speedy and thoughtful responses. Anything else you'd like to be surveyed about?

Feb 4, 2007

Miller Greens project in Frazier Park: your thoughts?

The neighborhood just to the east of Miller Park (the Prentis Frazier neighborhood, around Frazier Park) is very upset by a developer's plans to develop several adjacent overgrown empty lots: see his website for his view, and the Stranger's blog for a quick summary. (and don't forget the CHS: Capitol Hill Seattle blog post)

They are seeking our support for their position: I have prepared an online survey (based on the Madison Valley neighborhood resolution, below) and invite you to use it, so that MPNA can give them a reasoned reply.

Survey location: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=392783251968

Some details:

John Potter from their group writes (edited from several messages):

We are in the process of forming a neighborhood association on the other side of 23rd, Frazier Park Neighborhood Assn. that will include the area from 23rd Ave to the Arboretum, north of E. Madison to E. Helen St.

We also mentioned the proposed condominium development in our neighborhood (proposed rezone from SF5000 to L-1/L-3) and wondered if we could get support from the Miller Park Neighborhood Assn. Below is a resolution that was approved by the Madison Valley Community Council.

The rezone represents a significant precedent setting boundary change from the Comprehensive Plan. We are hoping to get a large turnout at the Early Design Guidance Meeting that will educate all the neighbors about the 11 condominiums going into 3 vacant lots. The DPD meeting we encourage people to attend is:
Wed Feb 7 6:30 pm Seattle Central Community College Room 3211, Project: 3004806 - EDG Address: 305 24th Ave E Planner: Michael Dorcy
We will be taking a petition around after the meeting and would like to get support from both sides of the village boundary. If you identify anyone interested in helping, please refer them to me, John Potter, johnrpotter@qwest.net

(Explanatory links added by Andrew)
At its regularly scheduled meeting on January 17, 2007, the Greater Madison Valley Community Council adopted the following resolution:

Be It Resolved That:

1. We fully support the City's comprehensive Plan, the need for densification, and the Concept of Urban Villages

2. We embrace Green Building concepts and designs

3. Existing zoning intentionally constructs a high-density corridor along E. Madison Street, which we support.

4. The long-standing boundary between this high-density corridor and the surrounding residential zoning should be respected.

5. 24th Ave is a great "family friendly" neighborhood with lots of long term residents.

6. The proposed development at E. Thomas and 24th Ave. will degrade the long-term family oriented quality of the neighborhood.

7. We believe there are sites for this project available within the Urban Village boundary.

In conclusion, we feel the development is inappropriate and the requested zoning change of the proposed Miller Greens Re-Zone at 305 24th Avenue East (DPD Project #3004806) should be denied.

Notes by Andrew:

The neighbors are trying to protect the single-family nature of their neighborhood, while our City is trying to increase the density of housing in Seattle. All the new, higher density, housing is going into the multifamily zoned areas, but most of Seattle's area is tied up in single-family zoned area

Look at this zoning map of Seattle: click on it for a bigger view.
Blue is industrial: little or no housing

Light tan is single family housing.

Other colors are neighborhood commercial ( expect housing above stores), or multifamily housing (apartments, condos, townhouses, interspersed with older housing).

NOTE how little area is available for the desired increased housing density: most of it is set aside for single family housing- the light tan areas.

Seattle has tried several ways to increase the density of single-family zones, which have been vigorously opposed by single-family neighborhoods in some parts of the city (but supported by others). So the question, in my mind, is whether we can afford to continue to protect single family housing against all intrusions?

Thanks for listening, now please VOTE