On Monday, the Wedgwood Community Council trustees discussed the possibility of suing the City over its permit issuance to the Pandora Adult Cabaret for the former Seven Seas Restaurant. As you may be aware, this has been an issue that the WCC has been working on closely with the Maple Leaf Community Council, Ravenna-Bryant Community Association, Meadowbrook Community Council and the Stratford at Maple Leaf. Due to the City’s response to our opposition, the sole form of recourse left to the WCC is a lawsuit.
The case that we would be required to make before a King County judge would be difficult to explain in this format. So, in an attempt to keep our explanation simple, we decided that while we felt confident in presenting a strong defense of our contention with the City’s inaccurate interpretation of the code, we felt equally strong that we would not be given the chance due to failing to respond to the City within 21 days of the permits issuance. The Land Use Petition Act requires that any lawsuit is filed within 21 days of a permit being issued. As there was no public notification of the permit issuance, which was part of our contention to the City, we were not aware of the project in time to file our complaint within 21 days. Therefore, we unfortunately determined that this technicality would likely prevent us from ultimately being successful in court. Furthermore, as a community council who’s funding is driven by membership dues, we did not think that pursuing a lawsuit against the City was the best use of these limited funds.
Since the WCC made its decision on Monday, we received an email from the mayor on Tuesday in response to our email complaint. The mayor’s response, while appreciated, provided no insight or explanation that has changed our position that the City has poorly and inaccurately interpreted their own code. However, as described above, we don’t believe we would have been successful at getting beyond the fact that we didn’t respond within 21 days of the permits issuance to even argue our case.
In the end, the WCC has chosen to not pursue legal action against the City. We are encouraged that the owner of Pandora’s Adult Cabaret reached out to us earlier and has told us that he would like to be a valuable part of the community. We will continue to work with the owner if/when issues arise to resolve them amicably.