We’ve learned additional details about the city’s decision to not grant a permit for the BadWill Market that forced organizers to cancel this Sunday’s third edition of the monthly outdoor sale. Anybody else already putting together a Capitol Hill flea market — or thinking about it — might want to pay attention. It turns out, there’s a reason you don’t see more markets like BadWill.
According to Seattle Department of Planning and Development spokesperson Bryan Stevens, the city rejected the BadWill application for use of the sidewalk near the HG Lodge because the club’s permit is currently OK’d only for restaurant use, not retail. “The permitted use in the space was for a restaurant, not a drinking establishment (nightclub) or retail sales use,” Stevens tells CHS. “If they obtain a permit from DPD for a retail sales use within the building, then SDOT will reconsider the request for a retail market adjacent to the building along the sidewalk.”
Until HG gets that cleared up — either sticking with only a restaurant use, applying to be a nightclub or adding a retail permit — BadWill is in limbo.
The situation may not be unique to the HG Lodge. To hold similar events in venues permitted only for non-retail uses, Stevens said businesses will need to obtain temporary event permits. As the BadWill situation illustrates, obtaining such a permit is far from an automatic process.
We have a note out to HG Lodge to learn more about their permit situation and what their plans are. In the meantime, the best advice to flea marketers might be to either make sure you have your permits ahead of time or keep things on the very, very down low.