S. Lake Union nightclub may be closed as 'chronic nuisance'

SEATTLE - In the past 13 months, South Lake Union's Citrus nightclub has been the site of a gang-related shooting, an officer-involved shooting, a bathroom peeping, multiple fights and brawls, and more.

Last week, the City of Seattle finally said enough is enough, sending a letter the club's landlord on Feb. 20 notifying him that the nightclub on his property had been declared a chronic public nuisance.

"The city takes a chronic nuisance property declaration very seriously," Sumeer Singla, the Seattle City Attorney's West Precinct liaison, said in a press release. "Our goal is to always work with property and business owners to address nuisance issues. If, however, we cannot reach an agreement or the problems persist, the city is prepared to use all available remedies under the Seattle Municipal Code."

After visiting Citrus 55 times from Jan. 1, 2012, to Jan. 23, 2013, the Seattle Police Department hopes the declaration will force the nightclub to shape up and curb its ongoing criminal problems.

According to police, representatives from SPD met with Citrus' managers twice in the past year discuss the problems, but nothing changed.

The club's security staff has also been less than cooperative with officers in the past, at one point claiming gunshots were just some fireworks, according to police.

The city has also received complaints from the neighboring Fred Hutchison Research Center, whose executives claim they have found discarded weapons and broken bottles on their campus. According to the Hutch, Citrus' issues have made it difficult to provide a safe environment for staff and patients, who come and go from the center 24 hours a day.

As a chronic nuisance property, the city can require Citrus to upgrade its security or take other measures to curb crime.

If the club fails to do so, it can face fines of up to $25,000 or simply be shut down.

Citrus club managers did not return a call from KOMO News' web staff.

Ed. Note: It was originally stated David Pitt was the owner of Citrus not the landlord for the property. We regret the error.