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City gets new tools to deal with nusiance properties
The City of Renton is adding new tools to their toolbox in an attempt to deal with businesses that receive an inordinate number of police calls.
The City Council this month approved an ordinance giving the city the ability to revoke the business license of chronic nuisance properties, such as taverns that get many calls for fights, noise and other police complaints.
“We’ve had an increasing number of problem establishments in town and several are repeat customers,” said City Attorney Larry Warren. “One thing we have control over is the business license.”
The ordinance defines a chronic nuisance property as one that has received more than six calls for police service within a 60-day period, 10 calls for service in a 180-day period of 14 calls for service with a 12-month period.
Mayor Denis Law said the ordinance was aimed specifically at a handful of establishments and cited the Golden Dynasty tavern on Park Avenue in North Renton as an example, though not the only trouble spot in the city.
But the bar, formerly known as Trophies, has received more than 200 calls for service in the past several years, according to the mayor.
According to records from the police department, the Trophies/Golden Dynasty property has already received four calls for service this year, 15 calls last year, 37 in 2012 and a whopping 135 calls in 2011.
The business also has violations from the Liquor Control Board.
“We’ve had this problem for years and years,” Warren said, adding that despite changes in management, the problems continue.
Warren said that points to a business that “attracts the wrong crowd through their business practices.”
“Citizens shouldn’t have to pay for your lousy business practices,” he said, referring to the cost of sending police to the same places over and over. “They change ownership, but they don’t change practices.”
“Nothing has changed,” reiterated Law, citing an increased police presence as the reason for the drop in calls from the area.
Both men said this was not something that would be done lightly as Law acknowledged that pulling a license “will kill a business.” But Law said he wants to be as aggressive as possible to try and protect the citizens who live near these businesses.
“We need to have some way to deal with these businesses,” he said.
Both Law and Warren said that some businesses have responded well to city requests and said the city hoped to work with establishments before having to pull a license.
“There are some owners that will work with us,” Law said, but added “we’re going to find every tool possible to do our job of protecting the neighbors.”