SEATTLE - After unsuccessful attempts in trying to get a South Lake Union nightclub to clean up its act, Seattle city leaders are now taking legal steps against it.
City officials have declared Citrus Restaurant and Lounge, on Fairview Avenue North, a “Chronic Public Nuisance,” and if the club doesn’t add more security or take other safety measures, the city will shut it down.
Police have visited Citrus 55 times the last year for a gang-related, triple shooting, late-night melees, hit-and-runs and a robbery.
In January 2012, three people were wounded after a shooting outside of the establishment. Then in November, officers shot a gunman outside of the restaurant. On Sunday, a man allegedly punched two women at the business.
KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter James Schugel spoke with Troy Selland, who owns Citrus.
“You can clean up the act by working the city. Prevention is key,” Selland said.
Selland said he has even offered to pay off-duty Seattle cops to handle security, but was turned down.
“And the reason we’ve been turned down, we don’t want the police officers to put themselves in an ethically compromising position,” said Selland.
Selland told KIRO 7 that the incidents that happened outside of his club are in an area where he doesn’t have jurisdiction, and he can’t control the people who show up.
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is across the street from Citrus and has expressed concern for patients and staff. In a letter to city officials, they indicated how increasingly difficult it has become to provide a safe, secure campus. Also, the letter stated discarded weapons and broken bottle have been found on the property.
Karen Kois lives nearby the club and said she doesn’t necessarily want Citrus to close but would like the business to clean up its act.
“I’m really happy the city and police department have taken action,” Kois said.
The city is hoping it can negotiate an agreement with the owners on Monday.