News blog for Seattle's Wedgwood and View Ridge neighborhoods

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City won’t step in to stop Pandora’s Adult Cabaret

Posted by Mike on July 5th, 2011

Update July 6: Pandora’s announced on its Facebook page that it won’t open its doors as planned today “because we’re still awaiting our final inspection for Pandora’s. This should take place any day and we’re not expecting any issues to further delay our Grand Opening! As soon as we get the all clear I’ll let you all know.”


The city’s planning department has no reason to block Pandora’s Adult Cabaret from opening, according to a letter received today.

The club is set to open on Wednesday, July 6, at 8914 Lake City Way N.E. That location is right on the line that splits the Maple Leaf and Wedgwood neighborhoods, and the community councils of both have written the city to say they believe the club’s permit was improperly issued.

But today Diane Sugimura, director of Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development, rejected the councils’ argument:

Adult cabarets are allowed in most downtown, industrial and commercial zones, subject to dispersion requirements. Since this use is permitted in the zone, it does not require public notice and does not allow for a discretionary review. A strict reading of the current code, coupled with the dispersion analysis provided by the applicant and verified by DPD did not give us reason to deny the adult cabaret permit.

The letter says the councils’ reasoning that the club is too close to a Maple Leaf day care business doesn’t apply because the business is not a city recognized “child care center.” “In this case, we do not believe an error has been made.”

It also rejects arguments the councils made that the site is improperly zoned. The full text of the letter is here.

“At this point, it is unclear what the ‘next steps’ will be although this topic will be a source of discussion amongst several groups over the coming days,” Per Johnson of the Wedgwood council writes on their website.

Construction at the club continued this morning, although the sign outside still carried the name of the previous business, the Seven Seas Restaurant.

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15 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Jean // Jul 7, 2011 at 12:12 am

    Can we all sign a petition to against it? It will ruin our neighborhood! I don’t want to drive by an adult club every day and have to explain to my kids what it is!!

  • 2 Jean // Jul 7, 2011 at 12:22 am

    Can we all sign a petition to against it? It will ruin our neighborhood! I don’t want to drive by an adult club every day and have to explain to my kids what it is!!

  • 3 Josh // Jul 7, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    For a city that seems to take pride in being liberal and open to various forms of culture, businesses, and types of people, it’s sickening how ultra conservative Seattle’s laws are with strip clubs. Guys like to have a good time and watch some nude women on occasion. Get over it.

  • 4 Ryan // Jul 7, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    @Jean Take a little personal (and parental) responsibility and deal with it. If you’re not mature enough to find a way to either discuss or not discuss what that particular business is, then maybe you weren’t mature enough to have a child in the first place.

  • 5 Mrs Baker // Jul 7, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Distasteful and not in keeping with the fairly nice direction that area was going. I would never have bought a townhouse anywhere near a strip club. Rick’s worked out so well for Lake City, I can see why Seattle thinks its a good idea to plop these people in a residential area. I wish men would stick to the Internet for their porn fix.

  • 6 Wanacmoore // Jul 8, 2011 at 5:48 am

    In the past I have patronized these kinds of facilities and have not seen these drugs, prostitution, and other events some of you have been talking about. Most guys go in, sit down, enjoy the show, and leave. The roudy ones are like Chip n Dales. Women seem to be way more vocal at these places then men. Maybe its because we have had them for men longer. Not suprised to hear just women complaining. Either way, I dont like churches in my neighborhood or door to door bible thumpers, but I deal with it because of freedom of speach. Guess what I am saying is if you refuse this kind of establishment, then you have to do the churches too.

  • 7 WheresTheHarm // Jul 8, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    If the establishment is not in a residential zone it conforms with the code, and those living in a residential zone nearby are going to have to tolerate it. Having to “drive by” it to get to your house isn’t really a very good argument. A person has a right to operate a business without interference as long as their business is properly placed and isn’t violating any ordinences. We won’t tell you how to keep your yard and raise your children when we have to drive past your house to/from the strip club….deal? PS: I’m a woman, and I have never been to a strip club. The doors to the club are closed, so you don’t have to see anything you do not want to see. “It’s a place for grown-ups” is an adequate explanation for a child….no different than a liquor store or an R-rated movie.

  • 8 Margaret // Jul 8, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    I too was a bit alarmed that a new adult strip club was setting up shop so close to home. As a professional planner myself, I checked out the zoning and Seattle land use code and it appears the permits were issues correctly. Signing a petition won’t get you anywhere as they give you no legal standing for the land use decision. The ship has already sailed on this land use at this location. If you want to have a say in FUTURE land uses, get involved in the Comprehensive Plan update for Wedgwood and Maple Leaf neighborhoods. Seattle is just starting the process to update its Comprehensive Plan city-wide and is soliciting public input.
    If the new strip club becomes a nuisance (noise, parking issues, out-of-control customers) then you might have some legal recourse against them, but this won’t stop another strip club from setting up shop since it is a permitted use in the C1 zone. Maybe the nearby daycare should get itself recognized by the City to qualify as being too close to the adult business. Personally, I don’t have a problem with the strip club. They’re a part of life. Quit being a NIMBY.

  • 9 Mike // Jul 9, 2011 at 11:48 am

    If you have to explain daily to your kids what a strip club is they are way sheltered and you as a parent will probably have issues when they can make decisions for themselves. There are women that patronize these establishments as well. Also how many and what happens at Bacholorette parties?Oh yah the women dont discuss that. This business is a real creation of jobs and not government backed job creation that tax payers ultimately pay for (funding road projects that have already been funded by taxes now feds fund more)Where does the funding come from.I would dare to bet that almost any person that says their to good for this has a family member/relative in the same industry they just dont know it!

  • 10 JustininViewridge // Jul 10, 2011 at 11:42 am

    The Children! The Children!! PLEASE!! Don’t use your children to shame people! It’s shameful.. If your too uncomfortable to tell your kids it’s an adult place I can’t wait till you have to tell them about sex and drugs. If you don’t take responsibility and explain the “real” world to your kids to run the risk of having a meth addicted pregnant felon in your home in 10 years. Or worse, they could end up working there…

  • 11 JessAlan // Jul 11, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Freedom is a good point here. If there are people wanting to open a strip club or a restaurants, & they have proper permits, then let them open. If they become lawbreakers, then close them! I have never in 40+ years at these clubs dealt with anyone asking me for anything but a dance! I’ve not seen raids by cops, fights, or even loud screaming going on! I lived in Lake City for awhile & enjoyed being able to go to a restaurant or a strip club. I respect your feelings, but respect mine too! Yeah, freedom is a good point here!!

  • 12 Matt // Jul 12, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    The bigger problem is that the city skirted proper procedure, failing to post a land use board for a rezoning. Like it or not, members of a community should have a say in what businesses go into a community.
    For all the people who say that this sort of establishment does no harm, I must reluctantly agree with you. However, I personally wouldn’t want the patrons living in, or even passing through, my neighborhood; I’ve yet to meet a strip-club patron who wasn’t either a criminal or an idiot (usually both). And if you don’t think my opinion’s valid, ask the people who live near where Rick’s used to be.

  • 13 MC // Jul 12, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    “The bigger problem is that the city skirted proper procedure, failing to post a land use board for a rezoning.”

    Apparently your reading-comprehension skills aren’t quite what they could be. As the planning director explained clearly, no rezoning was needed.

  • 14 RobertK // Jul 24, 2011 at 11:00 am

    You people who shelter your kids from the reality of adult establishments b/c anything to do with the human body are pathetic.

    More sinners going to church than in these kind of clubs.

  • 15 Re: Jean and Mrs Baker // Jul 25, 2011 at 11:59 pm

    Jean: I am a mother and I have 2 kids. Everyday we passed by the new strip club and yes, we will see this club everyday now. Just for your information, I do not have a problem having a strip club near by our neighborhood because business is business. Who cares if we have strip club near by our neighbor! Just as long there are no loud noises or whatever! It’s none of our business!! If the strip club meets the code, we can’t do anything about it anyways.
    I have already told my kids that the strip club business is a place for grown ups to enjoy adult entertainment. Kids would be like “oh” and they don’t care. You don’t need to tell your kids in details like “there are naked girls dancing inside the strip club.” If your kids pointed out at the place and ask what it is, just tell them in less detailed as possible and leave it simple! Most likely the kids will only ask once!
    Jean, Get over it! You have more important things in your life!

    Mrs Baker: Really?! Get over it! Sheesh!