Benjamin, Aaronson, Edinger & Patanzo, P.A.

Oakland Park votes on new Adult Entertainment Ordinance

On July 21, 2004, the City of Oakland Park was poised to pass its new Adult Entertainment Ordinance.  The Commission had passed the Ordinance on its first reading two weeks earlier and it was anticipated that again the Commission would pass the Ordinance thereby making it law in the City of Oakland Park.  However, at the meeting of July 21, 2004, Commissioners, after being presented with both sides of the argument for and against the Ordinance, decided to table it until a September meeting.  The rationale for this decision was that Commissioners wanted more time to weigh the pros and cons of adult entertainment and the studies presented to them before they passed the Ordinance.

    The Oakland Park City Commissioners were well-aware that had they passed the Ordinance, that Federal lawsuits challenging its constitutionality would have quickly been filed.  The Ordinance is quite draconian in its regulations.  The new Ordinance would require clubs to be closed between midnight and 6:00 a.m.; there would be no sale or consumption of alcohol on the premises; full nudity would not be allowed any longer; dancers would be required to remain at least six feet away from patrons and be on stages eighteen inches off the floor; and businesses would be prohibited from being within 800 feet of a church, child care center, school, park or another adult entertainment business.  There also would be licensing of dancers and establishments requiring various fees.  Whether the Ordinance gets passed in September or not is totally up for speculation, but since the City of Oakland Park has had little trouble with the former “Pure Platinum” and now “Spearmint Rhino Club”, the City would be hard-pressed to justify the need for this Ordinance.

    The City of Oakland Park is not the only local city that has been involved in the passage or non-passage of ordinances involving adult clubs.  The City of Miami Beach in a 4-3 decision just recently voted down a proposed ordinance that would allow nude club within the city to serve alcohol.  Currently, Miami Beach City Code does not allow nudity and alcohol to mix.

    The 4-3 vote was somewhat surprising as the City had passed this Ordinance 5-2 on its first reading.  At the commission meeting in July, the vote was 3-3 when Mayor David Dormer cast the deciding vote against the ordinance.  Reports have it that the City Commission chambers were packed with people against the ordinance.  Apparently, one of the City Commissioner’s wives who was against the ordinance, rallied her supporters to be present at the meeting.

    The supposed rationale for the defeat of the ordinance was that the combination of alcohol and nudity would cause adverse secondary effects.  Those opposed to the ordinance contended that the only nude club on the beach, “Club Madonna”, caused adverse secondary effects such as prostitution, crimes, and the lessening of property values.      However, the City of Miami Beach Police Chief was more than willing to testify and has been quoted as saying that “Club Madonna” does not in fact cause crime or cause the city any problems.  He further contends that prostitution and crimes are more related to the Miami Beach Convention Center.  As to the lessening of property values, the surrounding area around “Club Madonna” is going through a revitalization, with new buildings and businesses fighting to get in.  In fact, a Marriott Courtyard has opened up across the street.  Obviously, “Club Madonna” has not lowered property values one bit.

    For those of you who have been following the “Hustler of Hollywood” saga with the City of Fort Lauderdale, “Hustler of Hollywood” is scheduled to have its grand opening on August 3, 2004.  All the permitting problems, sign problems, and other obstacles that were put in the way of “Hustler of Hollywood” have been overcome and it looks like “Hustler of Hollywood” stands to be a fixture in Fort Lauderdale for many years to come.

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