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Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - 12:02am
LAS CRUCES, NM — Despite backlash from citizens, Las Cruces will soon have it's first strip club in a long time. On Tuesday, city council voted to grant the club owners a special use permit.
It will be located on Westgate Court near Amador Avenue in an industrial part of town.
The city council voted 6 to 1 to grant The Bronx Club a special use permit. The vote reverses the planning and zoning commission's decision against it.
"I'm certainly glad that council seemed to understand the constraints of their authority. As a lawyer, that's a good thing to me," said Attorney Karen Wooten.
The strip club meets the city's requirements that adult establishments be at least 1,000 feet away from any schools, churches, day cares, parks and residential areas and also 500 feet away from any businesses that sell alcohol.
Wooten said there was a lack of substantial evidence for the denial, the commission failed to correctly apply the design code and it was a violation of her clients' constitutional rights.
The city council agreed.
"Planning and Zoning did not have sufficient information or cause to not allow it. It probably should have been passed at that level but they chose, and we understand, they chose not to do it, came forward to us and we did the right thing," said Mayor Ken Miyagishima. "That's one of the things we just had to stick to the constitution of the United States. We can't let the moral issue come into play. We had to look at it on its merits and it's facts. We're just following the law of the land."
The attorney for the strip club owners says she still disagrees with the conditions of the special use permit.
City council's vote keeps specific conditions set forth by the commission, including building a wall or fence around the property, posting no parking signs and picking up trash daily.
City Councilor Miguel Silva, the only member to vote against it, said he disagrees with those conditions..
"I felt that the zoning laws were inconsistent regarding placing this type of establishment within 500 yards of a liquor license. I don't think there was much clarity there and then second, I don't think that the conditions that we placed on the strip club. I didn't agree with them as well," said Silva.
It's unclear if the club's owners will appeal those conditions.
The city council also discussed granting The Bronx Club a liquor license.
They voted as Councilor Olga Pedroza stepped away from the chambers and so the vote was tied, three to three.
That issue will now go to the state board for approval.