Archive for Thursday, February 24, 2011

Jefferson County Commission denies permit for Meriden strip club

February 24, 2011, 8:43 a.m. Updated February 24, 2011, 10:26 a.m.


— Officials in a northeast Kansas county say a controversial strip club will not be allowed to open in their area.

The Jefferson County Commission voted Wednesday night to deny a permit for the strip club on the outskirts of Meriden.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the proposed site of the restaurant, bar and strip club also is less than 1,000 feet from Jefferson West High School.

Hundreds of people had turned out at earlier meetings to object to the proposal from Lawrence developer Zach Snyder.

Commissioner Roy Dunnaway says the proposed site along a busy highway was the main reason for denying the permit. He says the area along Kansas 4 has a high accident and fatality rate, in part because it has several ramps that drivers find confusing.


jhawkinsf 7 years, 3 months ago

Good. It doesn't belong next to a school. Just outside city limits would be fine, that way people who want to go there can, while it's not in the face of kids.

kristyj 7 years, 3 months ago

Editor Note- Jefferson County is in northeast Kansas

Grump 7 years, 3 months ago

I predict that Jefferson County will lose the lawsuit that Snyder will almost certainly file and wind up paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and damages to Snyder. Not a wise use of taxpayers' money.

kusp8 7 years, 3 months ago

I think i read in another article where Snyder was quoted as saying he would file a lawsuit against Jefferson County, so I guess it's only a matter of time...

kancan5 7 years, 3 months ago

It may be a just matter of time, but we have more in our arsenal than just the County Commisioners decision. There is currently a bill in the Kansas House, Community Defense Act, House Bill #2107, that will restrict businesses such as this one statewide. It came out of committee last week even stronger than it went in, and it is expected to pass the House and go on to the Senate. So unless he plans to sue the entire state of Kansas, it would probably be a waste of 'his' money. We have a very strong, supportive group in Jefferson County that has been working to prevent this business from succeeding here in our backyard. After all, there is plenty of vice just down the road in Lawrence and Douglas County . . . you can keep it.

Ken Lewis 7 years, 3 months ago

It is not law yet. IIt has not passed either the House or the Senate. The Senate rejected this bill last year as an uncessary intrusion of State authority.

Again, it comes down to a simple rule. If you dont like strip clubs....DONT GO!!!!! But that does not give you the right to restrict the freedoms of others.

kancan5 7 years, 3 months ago

and we have a winner . . . the "don't restrict our rights& freedoms card" has been played . . . well, right back at ya buddy. Why do you suppose people choose to live in smaller communitues or rural areas? Because they don't want to be around certain influences, perhaps? Or they want a better life style? And why do you suppose some business owners try to force their way into those smaller communites? Do they believe its easier, less restrictions, fewer resources to launch a counter campaign? Probably.

Let me tell you about MY rights according to the Supreme Court: in 1973 the US Supreme Court ruled that each community can set its own community standards. In 1981, Chief Justice W Burger defended that ruling, and addressed the rights of communities to refuse businesses such as this one . (Schad v. Borough) "Citizens should be free to choose to shape their community so that it embodies their conception of the 'decent life'" . Justice Rendquist ruled with him. If you want to argue First Amendment rights, there are things that are NOT protected by that particular Freedom; again, the US Supreme Court interprets the First Amendmant like this: "This much has been categorically settled by the Court, that obscene material is UNPROTECTED by the First Amendment". (Miller v. California, 1973).

Those points should be enough, but also consider the negative seconday effects to a community. Numerous studies PROVEN that crime accelerates on all levels when SOB establishments are introduced. (ironically, Sexually Oriented Businesses are abreviated/referred to as SOB's in kidding) Jefferson County doesn't have as many resources as neighboring Douglas, Shawnee, or Leavenworth Counites. We are not without excellent law enforcement protection, but a handful of deputies cover 500 square miles of mostly rural county. If you would do your homework, you would find that the business owner proposing this establishment already operates one in Douglas County, and records indicate that DougCo deputies made 39 visits to his business last year.

So my friend, I have every right to protect my home, my property values, and my life style. Don't use your "don't tread on my rights" argument on me.

LoveThsLife 7 years, 3 months ago

It is also an issue with it being next door to a school, a church and close to someone else's personal residence. I certainly wouldn't want a strip club pulling down my property values. The citizens of Jefferson County (in particular Meriden) have every right to be upset over this. Not to mention the fact that when he initially filed for approval of his business he did not disclose that it would be a strip club.

kernal 7 years, 3 months ago

culturechange, so you don't have a problem with a strip club situated one thousand feet from a high school?

Ken Lewis 7 years, 3 months ago

I did not say I was ok with it next to a high school. I am not ok with the other elements of the bill which restrict behavior inside the club where only the patrons can see. I cant say this was a bad decision by the commission. There is probably a better location for it, but the House will seeks to run all the clubs out of business regardless of location.

Ken Lewis 7 years, 3 months ago

kancan5, your right. Who gave you more rights than me?

bartwmitchell 7 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like kancan5 is the type of person who helped remove the pledge of allegiance from classrooms and probably spells Christmas.....xmas. You know, the type of person who is running this country into the ground.

pooter 7 years, 3 months ago

Probably a good thing.

Without importing them, just how many women are there in Meriden anyone would pay to see naked anyway?


Ken Lewis 7 years, 3 months ago

This State law is not in the bag. It has not passed either the House or the Senate. The Senate rejected it last year. We shall see if all these new "freedom loving", "civil rights campaigning", "individual rights and liberties" Republicans in the House and Senate are prepared to mean what they campaigned on by using these words or if this was just political rhetoric to get elected.

RaynRavyn 7 years, 3 months ago

@Pooter Very, very few. Lol. Especially if you are from here. You would end up watching family dance around in their skivvies, or less. Awkward. Rofl

CHKNLTL 7 years, 3 months ago

Warning: naked boobs can be distracting while driving. even when contained in a building!

Bug 7 years, 3 months ago

Jhawkinsf-the club is outside of city limits. It's in the county which is why the county commission heard this and not the City of Meriden.

Kancan5-don't count your chickens. HB 2107 is unlikely to pass the Senate. Most people in this state would rather have their government working on real and substantive issues, such as the budget and education. There has been a great deal of public complaint about the fact that this bill has wasted time best used on issues that affect all Kansans. You don't like strip clubs, stay out.

Jeff Co can count on a lawsuit and they can count on losing it. This has been mishandled from beginning to end. Sucks to be a taxpayer in Jeff Co.

LoveThsLife 7 years, 3 months ago

How is it a waste of time to pass a zoning law? Give me a break...the bill is common sense. Don't put up a strip club (or for that matter a bar) near a school.

I'm just glad I don't live in Meriden, because I would be upset with the county for even approving a bar/restaurant at that location.

Ken Lewis 7 years, 3 months ago

The bill is more complicated and restrictive than that. It bans nudity and lap dances which are only visible if you are inside the club.

bartwmitchell 7 years, 3 months ago

Everyone talks about the distance from the school as being the problem. There has been a bar well within a 1000ft from the grade school for at least 20 years and there has never been any bitching about it. That is a pointless argument. Besides the Club is not even on the same street as the high school. Unlike the bar which is a hop and skip away from the grade school.

1029 7 years, 3 months ago

I think the old Carnegie Library should be turned into a strip club. Or, have a strip club in the basement and a Cheescake Factory on the main level.

sissezz 7 years, 3 months ago

well even if they build it ,according to Kancan, its gonna fail cuz no one in that county wants it there in the first place. (yeah right)

somedude20 7 years, 3 months ago

"the "don't restrict our rights& freedoms card" has been played . . . well, right back at ya buddy. Why do you suppose people choose to live in smaller communitues or rural areas? Because they don't want to be around certain influences, perhaps"

I bet people thought the same when Mal-Mart and all that jazz opened down on 6th. Bet they liked not having all that crap built down there and we all know how they protested. Got em nothing but the City Of L had a nice legal bill though. Just sayin (FYI I think strip clubs are a waste of money just like I think eating too much junk food and getting fat is gross but people do it)

Bug 7 years, 3 months ago

The real issue here is NOT that this club is going to be located near a school, church and private residences. The real issue is that Jeff Co zoning code allows this use in this specific area. Douglas County zoning prevents SOB's being located near schools. Jeff Co does not. This is a huge oversight in the county regulations and one that will cost taxpayers a great deal of money when the developer sues them. When judges hear a case, they have to make decisions based on matters of law, not on public opinion. As the current zoning code stands, Snyder has every right to open a strip club in this location. Jeff Co is going to lose this one, and bad.

Grump 7 years, 3 months ago

Given the behavior of the Planning Commission and the audience at the hearings, it may well be a federal judge who ultimately hears this and who will slap Jefferson County with huge attorneys' fees and damages. What happened is going to make a federal judge mad.

bartwmitchell 7 years, 3 months ago

I grew up in Meriden and now live about 7 miles away. I drive by the proposed strip club every day. At one time the building in question used to be a restaurant and there were never any wrecks there at that time. The wrecks that have occured in the area which have made the 65mph speed limit drop to 55mph were all caused by students in the school which is within 1000ft of the club. This club will do nothing to disrupt the flow of traffic. That is an empty excuse the hypocritical citizens of Meriden are using to keep their consciences clean.

Originally when the city thought it was just going to be a sports bar they had no issues with the building, traffic or otherwise. Now after he has dumped probably near a hundred thousand dollars renovating the building they have denied his permit. So when the owner sues the county for his losses and wins the taxpayers (myself included) will have to foot the bill. Real smart move citizens of Jefferson County. Instead of bringing in more tax revenue that might actually help drop taxes we decide to screw ourselves for peace of mind.

The owner has said that he will be very discreet with signs on the club and entryways. The building has no windows so you wont see anything going on inside. So in reality if you find the club offensive dont go in. Let everyone else make there own choice. Its called the American Dream. That used to actually mean something. You know, back when smoking in a bar was up to the owner of the establishment.

bartwmitchell 7 years, 3 months ago

I read this whole string of comments on here and it is absolutely ridiculous that people get so upset. If the guy had some naked chick neon sign or called the bar "The Stripclub" I could see an issue here but if it is discreet, who cares. If the local community feels so strongly about opposing the club then they probably wont go inside and spend any money. So what does that mean exactly? Well damn, I guess it will just go out of business and the problem is solved. Maybe a little common sense could come into play here.

pizzapete 7 years, 3 months ago

Exactly, if you don't like seeing boobs don't go in there.

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