Controversy over Strip Club deal

Over Thanksgiving, I noted that Mayor Parker had settled a longstanding dispute with a cabal of adult entertainment facilities (colloquially known as strip clubs). The clubs had been in and out of court nonstop since a 1997 ordinance was enacted to confront many of the perceived excesses therein. Specifically, enforcing a “three-foot rule” between the entertainers and patrons, disallowing nudity and removing private rooms. Ostensibly, these regulations were done to help eradicate shady business at these establishments, such as drugs and prostitution. However, there was also obviously a splash of the morality police in the mix; but that is neither here nor there.

The settlement between the clubs and the Mayor, which allows exemptions for lap dances as well as topless dancing, has now come under fire from both local activists and members of the City Council. The Houston Chronicle reports that Bob Sanborn, the director of a non-profit aimed at protecting at-risk children, blasted the deal agreed to by the Mayor. In addition to providing the exemptions to the ordinance, the deal also requires donations to HPD’s human trafficking fund, information sessions on trafficking and mandatory blacklists for employees convicted of drug or prostitution offenses. The deal only applies to a specific 16 clubs.

Click here to read about which Councilmembers opposed this deal!

Strip Club deal reached

I did not really want this to be the first blog to cover this story, given all the lubricious stereotypes that apply to a college student, but since Off the Kuff has noted it, I will as well. Originally from the Houston ChronicleTexpatriate has learned that longstanding litigation between the City of Houston and strip clubs have come to a close.

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At a press conference, Mayor Parker announced that the settlement, which will be described in detail later in this article, only applied to 16 specific clubs that have been “grandfathered” into this agreement. Those were the clubs originally targeted in a 1997 Sexually Themed Businesses ordinance, which prohibited (among other things) building new clubs close to schools or churches, as well as prohibiting full nudity, a distance of less than three feet between any guests and dancers, the elimination of private rooms and a requirement of licensing from the city. Since the passage of the ordinance, the 16 clubs have been in nonstop litigation against City Hall.

Click here to read about the settlement reached!