Shelby Co. Commissioners discuss strip club zoning

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - After Memphis City Council members recently took a clear stand on trying to keep adult businesses away from family oriented neighborhoods, Shelby County Commissioners are letting their positions be known.

At their last meeting, Memphis City Council members passed a zoning ordinance to prevent the future establishment of a strip club in a Cordova neighborhood.

At a Shelby County Commission committee meeting Wednesday, Commissioner Steve Mulroy speculated that council members might have amended the ordinance to prevent legal loopholes.

"I imagine there might be some concern the developers might have sufficient influence to get an exception to that," Mulroy said.

Commissioners established their own sexually-oriented business law after Cordova residents were enraged over rumblings that strip club mogul Steve Cooper planned to build an adult establishment near a church and park.  That didn't happen, and the upscale 'Stella Marris' restaurant was built at the site instead.  

But an ordinance similar to the one council members recently passed is supposed to come up at a future commission meeting.

"We pledged as a legislative body to fight that if they did attempt to become a club," Commissioner Wyatt Bunker said.

While commissioners are united on keeping sexually-oriented businesses out, the ordinances could crumble if the Memphis and Shelby County governments merge.

"If we do consolidate a Metro Government, we have to revisit all of this, and what I suspect would likely happen is a combination the county and city approaches," Mulroy said.

Meanwhile, the Cordova neighborhood near Fischer Steele Road is watching Stella Marris like a hawk, and reporting back to lawmakers.

We will let you know if there are any new developments.

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