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Ordinance No. 00456

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City Council meeting minutes of Oct 1 2007


An Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Lakewood, Washington, setting forth specific findings in support extending a moratorium established under Ordinance No. 398.

WHEREAS, on November 21, 2005, the City Council for the City of Lakewood enacted Ordinance 398, whereby a moratorium was established upon the filing for licenses, permits and approvals for card rooms within the City of Lakewood; and,

WHEREAS, the moratorium established by Ordinance 398 was extended for additional six-month periods on May 15, 2006, on November 6, 2006, and on April 16, 2007, after an appropriate public hearing was held and findings of fact were made prior to the renewal; and,

WHEREAS, a public hearing was held on September 17, 2007, during which the City Council heard, discussed and considered testimony regarding the moratorium from Assistant City Manager David Bugher and from five citizens; and,

WHEREAS, based upon the testimony and documents reviewed during this public hearing the Lakewood City Council does hereby make further findings supporting the moratorium commenced in Ordinance No. 398 and does hereby direct that the moratorium commenced therein remain in effect while the City continues to study possible legislative action and the legal prerequisites and suitability of regulations that might limit, regulate or ban gambling within the City.



Section 1. Findings of Fact. The City Council does find that sufficient facts exist, as were found at a public hearing held on September 17, 2007, to continue the moratorium established in Ordinance No. 398 and extended for additional six-month terms on May 15, 2006, November 6, 2006, and April 16, 2007. Said moratorium applies to any and all applications for licenses, permits and approvals related to card room businesses within the City of Lakewood. The findings of fact from the September 17, 2007, public hearing are attached hereto, marked as ?Exhibit A,? and incorporated herein by this reference.

Section 2. Severability. If any sections, sentence, clause or phrase of this Ordinance shall be held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, or its application held inapplicable to any person, property or circumstance, such invalidity or unconstitutionality or inapplicability shall not effect the validity or constitutionality of any other section, sentence, clause or phrase of this Ordinance or its application to any other person, property or circumstance.

Section 3. Effective Date. That, upon passage and signatures hereon, this Ordinance shall be in full force and effect upon passage and signatures hereon.

ADOPTED by the City Council this 1st day of October, 2007.



Claudia B. Thomas, Mayor



Alice M. Bush, MMC, City Clerk

Approved as to Form:


Heidi Wachter, City Attorney



BASED UPON ORDINANCE 398, the public record created prior to adoption of that Ordinance on November 21, 2005, as well as the testimony and documents considered and reviewed during public hearings held on January 17, 2006, October 16, 2006, March 19, 2007, and September 17, 2007, the City Council for the City of Lakewood does hereby find as follows:

  1. The findings of fact contained in Ordinance 398 are hereby affirmed and cited in support of continuing the moratorium therein. The findings of fact cited in previous extensions of this moratorium are hereby affirmed and cited in support of continuing this moratorium at this time.
  2. Concern has been expressed that as jurisdictions surrounding Lakewood ban gambling establishments that those establishment will seek to relocate to the City of Lakewood.
  3. The City Council reiterates its concern regarding the consequences of additional gambling establishments relocating to Lakewood and how that might impact the public safety and welfare. This concern is exacerbated with Lakewood being one of the few jurisdictions in Pierce County wherein gambling can be legally located and this fact was recognized by the State legislature, who, in 2007, considered legislation designed to consider alternative regulation rather than the current ?all or nothing? approach.
  4. It has previously been found that additional study should be conducted on this issue at the staff level and before the City?s Planning Advisory Board to determine what specific impacts will be, how those impacts may be mitigated, and whether a ban or limit upon gambling are viable legal alternatives. Such additional study has been commenced and shall continue upon the extension of this moratorium.
  5. The City?s Planning Advisory Board has commenced study of the issues related to this moratorium. Specifically, the Board has studied legal opinions, an Attorney General memorandum, previous Ordinances of the Lakewood City Council, and recent cases decided in the appellate courts of the state of Washington related to gambling.
  6. The Board has considered issues and information related to gambling as it relates to land-use regulations, Tacoma?s gambling regulations, and the revenues the City of Lakewood receives from gambling establishments.
  7. The Board has considered information related to the jobs house-banked card rooms create within the City.
  8. The Board has reviewed state-level gambling licensing programs and categories, a report from the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services on gambling, a report from the Washington State Council on Problem Gambling, and a report regarding unregulated gambling.
  9. The Board has requested information on the numbers and types of gambling licenses issued to businesses within the City of Lakewood, has stated a desire to review crime statistics in and around gambling facilities within the City, and has inquired as to whether it may obtain additional reports regarding secondary effects of gambling.
  10. The Board has expressed a desire to hold formal hearings regarding the issues related to this moratorium, and it did adopt a Resolution on September 5, 2007, requesting that the City Council continue the moratorium to allow sufficient time for the Board to complete their study and work on the issues related to the legality, constitutionality and liability of legislatively enacting a ban, limit or regulations upon house-banked card room establishments.