Initiative Measure 93
INITIATIVE MEASURE NO. 93 AN ORDINANCE to Prohibit the City of Seattle from Allowing any for- profit Professional Sports Organization to Vacate Facilities Leased from the City prior to the end of the term of any Existing or Future Lease, and Providing a Method to Enforce this Restriction Whereas, from time to time, the City of Seattle leases facilities and services to for-profit professional sports organizations; and Whereas, for-profit professional sports organizations have vacated sports arenas in other municipalities and damaged the people of those Cities; and Whereas, the economic cost to the City of Seattle and its taxpayers caused by a for-profit professional sports organization vacating the leased premises earlier than the term provided for in such leases is impossible to measure because of intangible items such as goodwill, cultural and general economic benefit to the City; and Whereas, a for-profit sports organization may seek to offer compensation to the City of Seattle in exchange for being allowed to vacate a lease early and remove a professional sports team from the region; and Whereas, any compensation paid to the City of Seattle by a for-profit professional sports organization could not be reasonably or fairly distributed to all affected business and property owners; and Whereas, the Supreme Court of the State of Washington has determined that such leasing of facilities or other goods or services by a jurisdiction of the State of Washington may be for consideration of any value provided that such value be agreed to by an appropriate legislative authority, and the terms of such are not subject to judicial review; and, Whereas, the Charter of the City of Seattle expressly reserves legislative authority for the City of Seattle to the People of the City of Seattle; Now, Therefore, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY OF SEATTLE AS FOLLOWS: A new provision of the Seattle Municipal Code is added to read as follows: Sec. 1. All leases of goods, services, real property or facilities by the City of Seattle to for-profit professional sports organizations or to any other public entity, or non-profit organization, which may in turn provide such goods, services, real property or facilities to a for-profit professional sports organization, must be for a term certain and be specifically enforceable. Sec. 2. The City of Seattle shall not enter into a lease with any professional sports organizations, nor amend or take any action with respect to any such existing lease, which in any manner would allow vacation of the leased premises prior to the end of the term of such lease. Sec. 3. Nothing in this resolution shall prevent the leasing or providing of goods, services, real property or facilities to a for-profit professional sports organization provided such lease or governing document is for a term certain and contains a specific enforcement provision. Sec. 4. Notwithstanding any of the language contained in sections 1 through 3 of this initiative, nothing in this resolution shall be interpreted or applied so as to limit or restrict any Washington State legislative or constitutional grant of power to the legislative authority or other officer of the City of Seattle, and the reach of this initiative is expressly circumscribed and limited by any such legislative or constitutional grant of power. Sec. 5. Any resident of the City of Seattle shall, by virtue of his/her status as a taxpayer in the City, have legal standing to challenge, in King County Superior Court, any act, lease, ordinance, or resolution taken, entered into, or enacted by the City of Seattle which allegedly violates this initiative, within ninety (90) days of such act, lease, ordinance or resolution; such a resident shall be entitled to injunctive relief preventing said act, lease, ordinance, or resolution from becoming effective, without the necessity of any bond being posted, so long as the elements necessary to obtain injunctive relief pursuant to RCW 7.40.020 are established to the satisfaction of the Court. Sec. 6. If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected.