LAPORTE COUNTY – Restrictions governing the operation of strip clubs have been adopted in La Porte County in response to a so-called gentleman's club that wants to go up near Michigan City.
La Porte County Commission president Ken Layton said he expects
a legal challenge.
He added the measure adopted Tuesday night was crafted after restrictions
adopted in Illinois and Florida that already have withstood legal challenges.
''We feel confident that what we have adopted will prevent us from losing
in the district appeals court here in Indiana,'' said Layton.
Among the restrictions is that nude dancers and patrons cannot be
within six feet of each other.
''If they are scantily clad or show any nudity whatsoever, they cannot be within
a six foot radius of the patron. That, of course, is to stop the pretense of the lap dances and stuff like that,'' said Layton. ''I believe that might be one of the very most restrictive portions of it.''
Such establishments would also have to close at 2 a.m.
Layton said contingencies were also placed in the ordinance that outlines the process to be followed to pull the operator's license if the restrictions are not followed.
John Burys, a Chicago area businessman, wants to put up a gentleman's club
on U.S. 35 just south of U.S. 20 east of Michigan City.
It is his second attempt after his first proposed site on U.S 421 near I-94
south of Michigan City was turned down last year.
His attorney Dave Ambers said no decisions have been made on what
his client's next step might be.
Burys feels the restrictions especially the six foot distance requirement
and closing at 2 a.m. would seriously limit his ability to run a successful business.
''He's certainly going to have to weigh his options of how he moves forward,''
The newly adopted restrictions replace previous measures that were viewed
as too restrictive and unconstitutional.
Many citizens would like such establishments prohibited but since a ban
cannot legally be imposed the idea is to either discourage them from coming or
at least control what goes on inside them.
''The regulations are all geared toward maintaining a sense of decency,'' said