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Seattle City Council unanimously approves resolution supporting extended nightlife service hours

Seattle City Council unanimously approves resolution supporting
extended nightlife service hours

Mayor Mike McGinn’s proposal will go to the Liquor Control Board for further review

The City Council unanimously approved a resolution today supporting a petition to the Washington State Liquor Control Board (LCB) to allow for the creation of extended hours service areas within local jurisdictions. This effort was proposed by Mayor Mike McGinn as part of Seattle’s comprehensive Nightlife Initiative, which aims to maintain public safety and provide businesses with greater flexibility to adapt to the market demands of residents and visitors.

“A vibrant, safe nightlife is good for business and good for public safety,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “The City Council’s approval of this resolution follows a broad public outreach over the past year about how extended liquor service hours should work in Seattle. I thank the City Council, City Attorney Holmes and Chief Diaz for their work on the Nightlife Initiative. I’m confident that by working together with the Washington State Liquor Control Board, we can achieve our goals of a more safe and vibrant city.”

“The City Council looks forward to working with the Washington State Liquor Control Board on the next steps toward realizing this initiative,” said Council President Richard Conlin. “Extended hours of service will invigorate Seattle’s nightlife and help spur our economic recovery.”

The resolution launches a two-step process to extend service hours:

  • The resolution asks the LCB to build a regulatory framework to consider and approve petitions from cities to allow extended liquor service.
  • If these proposed rule changes are adopted, Mayor McGinn, the City Council, and the City Attorney can then work with the public to craft a specific proposal for extended hours service in Seattle.

“We believe that this initiative will strengthen public safety as well as promote a vibrant nightlife. We fully support this effort,” said Seattle Police Chief John Diaz. Police resources are often challenged at 2 a.m. when everyone leaves bars. Along with the other components of the Nightlife Initiative, this will help the City maintain public safety and deploy officers more effectively.

“The City Attorney’s Office will work with the Mayor, SPD and the City Council to ensure that the proposed rule changes provide comprehensive safeguards that will ensure public safety,” City Attorney Pete Holmes said. “The extended hours program will succeed if we anticipate and plan for problems that may arise.”

With today’s action by the City Council, the rule change application will be submitted to the LCB in the next few weeks. The LCB has 60 days to decide whether to initiate the rule making process, Mayor McGinn hopes to have extended service hours implemented in Seattle in 2012.

[Go to Council Newsroom]

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