As Denise Whitaker with KOMO 4 News reported yesterday (watch video HERE and read her article HERE), the Wedgwood Community Council, Maple Leaf Community Council, and the Stratford at Maple Leaf believe that the adult cabaret permit issued for the proposed Pandora’s Adult Cabaret at the former Seven Seas restaurant was issued in error. As mentioned in previous posts (HERE and HERE), we recognize that adult cabaret’s are legally protected uses, however their location is subject to their proximity to other adult cabarets and uses accustomed by children such as child cares, schools, community centers, parks and open space. For the City’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) to issue a permit authorizing a new adult cabaret, it must demonstrate that it is not within 600 feet of another adult cabaret or 800 feet of the aforementioned land uses, as summarized from Section 23.47A.004(H) of the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC).
Our contention is founded in 3 central points, which were summarized in our joint letter of contention sent to DPD Director Diane Sugimura available for download HERE. These 3 points are summarized as follows:
- The proposed site is located within 600 feet of a state-licensed at-home day-care, which should be classified as a child care given that it is “established or otherwise recognized as legally-established,” as required under (SMC) 23.47A.004(H). The code does not specify that the child care center must be permitted by the City.Furthermore, a state-licensed at-home day care is not explicitly excluded from the definition of a child care center, which is considered an institutional use (SMC 23.84A.018):
“Institution’ means structure(s) and related grounds used by organizations for the provision of educational, medical, cultural, social and/or recreational services to the community, including but not limited to the following uses:…
Child care center’ means an institution that regularly provides care to a group of children for less than twenty-four (24) hours a day, whether for compensation or not. Preschools shall be considered to be child care centers.”
There is no identified number of children which must be served by a facility to be considered a child care center. It also doesn’t specify that off-site premises are required to be considered a child care center.
- Inaccurate information was provided to DPD by the applicant for the permit issuance. The Dispersion Plan and Data provided by the applicant is intended to model the distance between the proposed adult cabaret and those uses prohibited within 800 feet of the site. The plan and data submitted by the applicant fails to identify the state-licensed day care although its presence is easily identified using the State’s Department of Early Learning Child Care Check online search tool, which we understand is an online tool the applicant was aware of.
- Public notification should have occurred prior to issuing the permit for the site as the parcel where the applicant proposes the adult cabaret uniquely falls under two zoning designations: Commercial-1 (C-1) and Lowrise-2 (L-2). Adult cabarets are legal commercial uses on parcels zoned C-1, but not L-2. While the building and a portion of the parking is within the C-1 zone, this does not exclude the fact that the parcel is also zoned L-2. Therefore, public notification for the adult cabaret should have occurred prior to issuing the permit.
Item 1 above was initially summarized in an email to the Mayor, select Councilmembers, and Director Sugimura on June 15th. We have not heard back from the City regarding this issue apart from the comments made in Ms. Whitaker’s news report and a note that Mayor McGinn will be providing us with a response soon. In the meantime, our joint letter has been sent to the City to provide greater context and details to our contention with DPD’s permit issuance for Pandora’s Adult Cabaret.
We are anxiously awaiting the City’s review of our 3 points of contention and a decision on previously permitted adult cabaret.