The license would have created a second Sensations location just blocks from downtown.
“I’m not overly surprised,”
He compared the situation to a video store with X-rated films in the back corner being forced to carry nothing but X-rated films.
Since he announced his intentions this past spring,
In almost all cases in
“In this case, the underlying zoning is industrial. While the adult activities are permitted in the industrial zone, the liquor-related activity is not,” explained zoning supervisor Susan Thompson. “A bar or a restaurant that serves alcohol, any of those uses are not permitted and would have to go to the zoning board for approval. Those other things didn’t have any influence.”
This creates a unique Catch-22 for
Last year, the zoning code pertaining to adult-oriented activity within
moved into an area that was closer than 500 feet to residential property, the zoning board granted a variance.
That decision was overturned, however, prompting a lawsuit by the bookstore against the city. Although that case is ongoing, a judgment in federal court declared that the city of
“It turned out that our old code was unconstitutional,” said planner Bill Hoyt. “When we mapped it out, we were able to identify only about two or three locations that a business like this could locate. The court said that wasn’t sufficient.”
Now, though a number of qualifiers are attached, adult-use is permitted in C-4 commercial zones and I-1 and I-2 industrial zones.
But according to Thompson, the sale of alcohol is not permitted use in an industrial zone.
“Normally it wouldn’t be zoned for anything other than industrial use like manufacturing and warehousing,” she said. “(The judgment) said that we weren’t providing enough locations for adult-oriented businesses that are permitted under the Constitution. We added that they can go into light industrial districts, but we didn’t also say that you can have bars, restaurants, that kind of thing.”
“They hatched that along the way,”
He still has the option to go before the Zoning Board of Appeals to seek the transfer through non-permitted use, but said that he does not intend to appeal the decision.
“That’s a trap,” he added.
According to Thompson,
“I’ve heard that we’re forcing them to do an all-nude bar, but at this point, they couldn’t go forward with that either,” she explained. “They still need to ask for a variance to waive the parking issues.
“If they had come to us before they announced their intentions, we could have guided them and helped to smooth this out. Now he’s made this big investment and has this big building. But I understand why they might not want to do that.”
In 1993, the zoning department rewrote the code to block
“I’ve built up a large female clientele over the years, and they are not going to go downtown for all-nude,” he explained. “And we’ve talked about secondary effects — Sensations has had no secondary effects. (CenterPointe) Mall is doing better than it ever was, and we didn’t drive away Krispy Kreme or PetSmart. That’s not the same story for places like the Red Barn (Adult Bookstore on
, with full-nude dancers). Those places do drive down property values.”