Posted by Lisa Strawbridge - email
TOLEDO (WTOL) - Concerns are growing in one Toledo neighborhood about a new strip club setting up shop under the cover of a nightclub.
The property in question is at the New Towne Square plaza located next to the former North Towne shopping mall.
A member of Toledo City Council and others are teaming up to make sure the strip club doesn't happen.
It's hard to tell what's going on inside because the windows are boarded up, but council's Lindsay Webb and others are concerned those who have applied to open up the Lookers Lounge nightclub will instead operate like other businesses nearby -- a strip club.
"I think I've heard from enough sources in the neighborhood to suspect this business owners' intention," said Council Member Lindsay Webb.
"They have witnessed platforms being built, so a platform generally has one use."
Neighbors are urging the city to enforce its laws which prohibit strip clubs from being within 500 feet of businesses catering to minors like the nearby toy store and miniature golf course.
"We now have a more stringent code that is specifically written so we can't see businesses of this type this close to sensitive uses," said Toledo Block Watch Coordinator Michael Dearth.
Another concern is Lookers Lounge opening up as a nightclub, then introducing nude dancers at a later date. "If it's done after the permit has been issued, after the certificate of occupancy has been issued, then we'd have to pull that," said Toledo Chief Building Inspector Chris Zervos.
What Webb wants is communication from the permit applicant, Steve Reisner, if the business will merely be a nightclub. "If that's his intention that's one thing," said Webb, "If it's his intention to open a sexually-oriented business, we can't stand for that as the City of Toledo."