July 23, 2016

Partly sunny

Strip clubs on Brunswick city agenda today

BRUNSWICK — City lawmakers are considering tightening regulations of strip clubs and other adult entertainment establishments.

At today’s meeting, City Council is expected to consider a resolution asking the Ohio attorney general’s office for help in researching the legal issues.

City Manager Jim Lukas said research is needed to protect the city legal liability because “the laws may have changed.”

“If so, does it warrant changing our code?” Lukas said.

Council’s action follows an Oct. 11 incident at Christie’s Cabaret, 1246 Pearl Road. Police responding to a report of a theft discovered one of the topless dancers was a 17-year-old North Ridgeville girl.

The girl was taken into custody along with two friends, who also worked that night as dancers, who were also arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Christie’s Cabaret has not gotten a warm welcome in the nearly 10 years the club has operated in Brunswick.

In 2006 and 2007, the city attempted to block the liquor license renewal for the club, citing regular calls for police assistance at the club and the shooting of a dancer in 2004.

In 2003, the city was named in a federal lawsuit after trying to block Christie’s from opening its topless club in Brunswick.

A federal judge ruled against the city and the business was able to open.

Fisher said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine offers assistance to municipalities interested in strengthening their adult entertainment laws while following the constitution.

“This is just to have them review our existing regulations and advise us if it would be appropriate to consider amending it,” Fisher said.

The Ohio Revised Code requires the attorney general provide legal guidance to communities in coming up with ordinances regulating adult entertainment businesses.

“The issues that involve this type of business are more of a constitutional nature than those in the Ohio Revised Code and the attorney general is interested in helping us with those issues,” Fisher said.

According to the attorney general’s office, the state can provide legal assistance to cities and towns that draft ordinances that follow the state’s model ordinance.

The regulations in the state’s “model ordinance” would not prohibit adult entertainment establishments, but would place stricter regulations on those who operate and work at the establishments.

One of the regulations contained in the state document would require workers in a “sexually oriented business” to register with the city and provide a recent photograph, state ID number and Social Security number.

Fisher said he couldn’t say which regulations Brunswick might consider, but said they would look at all the possibilities and suggestions the state provides.

“It’s been several years now and perhaps it’s time again to review it and consider proper changes and amendments,” Fisher said.

Brunswick City Council meets at 7:30 p.m. Monday in council chambers at Brunswick City Hall.

Contact Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.

Loren Genson About Loren Genson

Loren Genson was The Gazette's senior reporter. From August 2012 through September 2015, she covered Brunswick city and state and national government. To contact The Gazette, call the managing editor at (330) 721-4065.