Land use initiatives aplenty this year in Seattle.
Strip clubs aren’t directly on the ballot, but this year Seattlites are voting on a proposed 4-foot rule (between dancers and patrons) and forced bright lighting (to keep the cockroaches off the floor during business?) to regulate all 4 of our fair city’s strip clubs. There are so few clubs because there has been a “temporary” moratorium on new clubs for nearly two decades now which is still being fought over in the courts (right?). It seems that Seattle is becoming the most socially conservative liberal city in America.
As this great Seattle Times article points out, Portland is at the other end of the spectrum, with over 13 times as many strip clubs per person as Seattle, yet it’s still a great place to live (although I can’t vouch for Voodoo Doughnut – they don’t hold a candle to TopPot Doughnuts).
How does this tie into real estate? For starters, strip clubs are primarily opposed by their residential neighbors. Also, strip clubs (or a de facto ban on strip clubs) reflect on and affect the character of Seattle (for better and for worse). And this is really a property-rights issue: can you do what you want with your land or should the effect of your use on your neighbors be considered? Whatever you believe, I hope you get out to vote or send in your ballot this year.