Controversy continues over strip club plans - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Controversy continues over strip club plans

It's now up to a Federal District Court judge to settle the controversy over plans for a strip club in downtown Memphis.

After a nearly three hour hearing in before Judge Bernice Donnald Friday morning, attorneys for both the City and planned topless Club at 616 Marshal say they're confident the judge will see it their way.

"We're going to do what we can to stop it," said Senior Assistant City Attorney J. Michael

Fletcher asked the court to grant an injunction which would shut the club down before it opens its doors.

Fletcher cited a city ordinance restricts adult entertainment downtown.

"You want to see community," Fletcher said. "You want to see people back in the downtown area and

In September, the city issued club owner Charles Westland a permit that would allow topless dancing.

After complaint calls, the city quickly revoked the permit while it reviewed its zoning ordinances.

Westland's attorney, Edward Bearman, said by revoking that permit the city violated his clients first amendment rights.

"Sometimes the Constitution has to stand in the face of things that people don't like," Bea

Like it or not, at least one nearby business owner is looking at the bright side.

"Well if I had to go out and pick my ideal neighbor," said Mike Todd, owner of the nearby Premier Palace banquet hall. "I don't think that's what I'd go out and do, but there's no denying the building certainly looks a lot nicer than it did a coup

Todd said he feels a crowded club offers more security to the neighborhood than an abandoned building.

The judge is expected to issue make her ruling on whether the club can open within the next 10 days.

On Tuesday, the City Council's Planning and Zoning Committee, chaired by Councilman Rickey Peete, will discuss a moratorium on compensated dance permits for adult entertainment businesses.

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