Council to consider strip club

The City Council on Wednesday will consider an appeal of the Planning Commission’s rejection of a conditional-use permit for a strip club in northwest Grand Junction.

Planning commissioners on Aug. 12 refused to grant the permit to businessman Kevin Eardley, who has proposed building a two-story, 9,879-square-foot topless bar at 2258 Colex Drive.

The City Council can uphold the Planning Commission’s decision, reverse it or remand the issue back to the board. Council members are only considering evidence and testimony that was presented to the Planning
Commission, meaning no public testimony will be taken during Wednesday’s hearing. Four council members must agree in order to reverse the decision.

If council members reverse the decision or send it back to the Planning Commission for further
consideration, they must determine that one of four things happened:

• The commission acted in a manner inconsistent with city codes or state or federal law.

•  The commission made erroneous findings based on the evidence or testimony.

•  The commission failed to consider mitigating measures or revisions offered by the applicant that would have brought the project into compliance.

•  The commission acted arbitrarily, capriciously or abused its discretion.

A point of contention with the Planning Commission’s decision that could be raised is the fact that some planning commissioners contended the business would be incompatible with the neighborhood, but widened the definition of a “neighborhood” to include the entire city. That interpretation drew criticism from some in the community, including former planning commissioners.

Representatives for Eardley argued in their appeal that the commission should have judged the application based on whether a bar in that area of the city meets the city’s zoning and development code, rather than how the bar is used, because strip clubs are considered a use-by-right under the city’s standards for adult
entertainment businesses.

Advocates have said as long as the club meets a strict set of criteria — including being at least 1,000 feet away from certain other land uses — and conforms with zoning codes, it should be approved.

On the other hand, the city has received more than 30 letters of opposition from residents who claim the club will lead to a spike in crime, among other negative impacts.

Wednesday’s council meeting begins at 7 p.m.


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