April 16, 2007
Strip club crackdown coming

Having finally won the lawsuit, the city of Houston is planning to crack down on the SOBs.

Houston police vice officers are working with city attorneys to determine which topless clubs, modeling studios and adult bookstores to target first.

They've got a long list.

As many as 150 businesses -- including multimillion-dollar operations like Treasures and The Men's Club -- could be forced to relocate or close. In the meantime, their employees face arrest.

"Now is the time for them to move," Mayor Bill White said. "We're going to enforce the law."

I'll say it again, I still think the 1500-foot minumum-distance requirement, coupled with a lack of grandfathering, is a bad idea. I thought so in 1997, when I voted for Ray Hill in the City Council special election, and I think so today. I'm not sure what we're going to gain by throwing a bunch of people, mostly women, out of work; there's also the loss of the tax revenue these places generate to consider. I guess we'll just have to see how aggressive this enforcement program will be.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 16, 2007 to Local politics

Any idea if anyone has mapped the circles around the sensitive sites? Where in the city is eligible for a SOB?

I have some problem with these efforts to control business that many people clearly want. These distance ordinances are onerous...putting them farther away just means the customers are going to drive farther after imbibing the costly stripclub cocktails.

Posted by: Cynthia on April 16, 2007 2:30 PM

It's not only a bad idea, it's contrary to 80 years of legal precedent in zoning cases. Houstonians ought to be up in arms at the idea of city government having the power to decide which businesses are permitted to remain and which must move, close or see the owners go to jail. This is a massive expansion of local governmental authority that concerns all of us.

Posted by: Dennis on April 16, 2007 3:06 PM

I have some severe concerns with the piece including churches as a "sensitive area" along the lines of schools, residential areas etc. I'm not sure its defensible to say that rights of one LEGAL activity (church) outweighs the rights of ANOTHER LEGAL activity (topless clubs) but they don't ask me these things when drafting legislation so there.

The tax revenue is another issue, but I imagine that any losses could be recouped with the rise of "mixed use" development in the future.

Either way it will only affect me if I get a friend who has a bachelor party that I'm invited to. Otherwise I don't darkent the doorstep of those establishments.

Agree with you on the out of work meme as well, although I'm guessing that the social conservatives will say that out of work (with no public support) is better than working there.

Just a guess.

Posted by: Cory on April 16, 2007 3:11 PM

Cynthia - Don't know about mapping, but back when the law was being debated, the strip clubs claimed it would put 90 percent of them out of business.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on April 17, 2007 9:57 AM

I'm glad the city has nothing better to do then exhast their resources in strip clubs. There are murderers and excaped convicts running around along with who knows how many illegal immigrants. But we should definantly focus all efforts on strippers. The city needs to get a #$%^&*( grip.

Posted by: Heather on April 17, 2007 11:20 AM

The city has got to get a life, and stop focusing on strippers. Mayor white should focus on other important matters for instance war we r the biggest city that runs the risk of being attacked next. Focus on better security in theairports and homeland security. Mayor White get a life!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Posted by: Samantha Martinez on April 23, 2007 1:59 PM