Back in August, a conditional use permit for a new Grand Junction strip club was denied by the City Planning Commission. Tuesday night, it was back on the table, and shot down again.
Tuesday's voted ended in a 3-3 tie; only six commissioners were present at the meeting. In order for a bar or night club to operate in the city, a conditional use permit is required. So for now, plans to move forward with a new strip club are on hold.
The issue was brought back before the Planning Commission after City Council granted an appeal of the first decision, saying the commission did not clearly define why the club did not meet requirements for the permit.
During their presentation, city staff said adult clubs are legal in Grand Junction, and the commission was only supposed to rule on the proposal based on its status as a bar / nightclub. In that respect, staff said the club did meet the requirements for the permit, one of which is being 1,000 feet away from any churches, schools, community centers, and residentially zoned areas.
Dozens of city residents, including two former night club dancers, attended the meeting to speak out against the proposed strip club. They say strip clubs encourage crime, excessive drinking, drug use, and prostitution among other things. They also expressed concern over what the club could mean for area businesses.
The proposed site for the club is on Colex Drive, which is right behind Western Slope Ford, a few industrial businesses, and empty lots where businesses could build in the future.
In the end, the commissioners who voted against the request shared that concern, saying alcohol and an industrial area aren't compatible.
The group behind the strip club says even though the lost Tuesday night, they will continue their fight.
"The community has spoken. We do not want a strip club here," said Sarah Findlay, who spoke out against the club. "I'm just really excited that it did not pass."
"I will be reviewing the tape of the proceedings and I will write an appeal [Wednesday] morning," said Rob Rowlands, who represents the group trying to build the club.
The group now has ten days to appeal the new decision. That appeal will be heard by City Council in the coming weeks.
Kevin Eardley, the man behind the strip club, did not want to speak to 11 News on camera, but he did say "I will build a strip club in Grand Junction."