Strip club restrictions passed in LaPorte County

2012-11-23T00:00:00Z Strip club restrictions passed in LaPorte CountyStan Maddux Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
November 23, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Restrictions governing the operation of strip clubs have been adopted in LaPorte County in response to a so-called gentleman's club that wants to go up near Michigan City.

LaPorte County Commission president Ken Layton said he expects a legal challenge.

He added the measure adopted Tuesday night was crafted after restrictions adopted in Illinois and Florida that already have withstood legal challenges.

"We feel confident that what we have adopted will prevent us from losing in the district appeals court here in Indiana," said Layton.

Among the restrictions is that nude dancers and patrons cannot be within six feet of each other.

"If they are scantily clad or show any nudity whatsoever they cannot be within a six foot radius of the patron. That, of course, is to stop the pretense of the lap dances and stuff like that," said Layton.

"I believe that might be one of the very most restrictive portions of it," said Layton.

Such establishments would also have to close at 2 a.m.

Layton said contingencies were also placed in the ordinance that outlines the process to be followed to pull the operator's license if the restrictions are not followed.

John Burys, a Chicago area businessman, wants to put up a gentleman's club on U.S. 35 just south of U.S. 20 east of Michigan City.

It is his second attempt after his first proposed site on U.S. 421 near Interstate 94 south of Michigan City was turned down last year.

His attorney Dave Ambers said no decisions have been made on what his client's next step might be.

Burys feels the restrictions, especially the six-foot distance requirement and closing at 2 a.m., would seriously limit his ability to run a successful business.

"He's certainly going to have to weigh his options of how he moves forward," Ambers said.

The newly adopted restrictions replace previous measures that were viewed by LaPorte County officials as too restrictive and unconstitutional.

Some residents would like such establishments prohibited, but since a ban cannot legally be imposed the idea is to either discourage them from coming or at least control what goes on inside them, Layton said.

"The regulations are all geared toward maintaining a sense of decency," said Layton.

 

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