Two property owners along East Pike Street are attempting to lop off the third day of the Capitol Hill Block Party, according to city officials who issue permits for events on public property. Parks department spokeswoman Dewey Potter says the city permitted the Block Party to open on Sunday last year (in addition to the traditional Friday and Saturday permit) on a "trial basis," but since then have received complaints that the event causes too many neighborhood problems.
"Their objection has been that three days is just too disruptive for businesses," says Potter. "Their storefronts are blocked, and for residents, it's just too many days of noise in a row."
Founded in the late 1990s, the Block Party has seen the Pike/Pine Corridor evolve around it—from semi-industrial warehouses and bars to a dense residential and retail thoroughfare. "There were no condos in that block when the Block Party started," says event producer Dave Meinert. The city declined to name the property owners who complained or whether their buildings were constructed after the Block Party took root.
"I don't think the two property owners represent anyone but themselves," Meinert continues. "I own a business in the neighborhood, and we love the block party, so does Cafe Vita, the Comet, and Neumos." Meinert says the city and neighbors have plenty to gain from allowing the party to continue at full steam. The city collects taxes on tickets, retail sales, beer garden sales. "It makes a bunch of money for the business around there."
The Special Events Committee will hear from the complainants at a meeting tomorrow on the third floor of the Center House at Seattle Center at 11:00 a.m.