Strip club permit goes before city for third time

The Grand Junction Planning Commission has twice rejected a conditional-use permit that would allow a proposed strip club to serve alcohol.

Yet the issue will go back before the board a third time tonight, because City Council members say planning commissioners either haven’t adhered to the city’s zoning code or provided enough evidence to support their decision.

Local businessman Kevin Eardley is seeking to build a club at 2258 Colex Drive in northwest Grand Junction.

The Planning Commission voted in August not to award a permit after some members claimed the club was incompatible with the neighborhood but defined the “neighborhood” as the entire city. Eardley and his representatives filed an appeal, and the City Council instructed the planning commissioners to narrow their definition.

Three months later, they again rejected the permit, arguing that the club didn’t fit in with an adjacent residential use or in an industrial zone because it might deter other businesses from moving in.

Council members, however, remanded the issue back to the Planning Commission. They directed the board to specifically indicate why the club conflicts with the residential use and other businesses.

Some council members have said some commissioners are hung up on the adult entertainment aspect, rather than alcohol service, even though the city’s zoning code allows topless bars as long as they meet a strict set of criteria. One element of those criteria is that the business be more than 1,000 feet from several land uses, including residentially zoned land.

The two homes next to the potential strip club are on industrially zoned land and therefore considered a non-conforming use.

City Senior Planner Senta Costello wrote in a staff report that both homes have been vacant for several months and the property is for sale and being marketed as industrial land.

Eardley has said he will open a fully nude club that would be open to patrons as young as 18 if he can’t serve alcohol. He also has threatened to sue the city for the right to serve alcohol.

Tonight’s meeting begins at 6 at City Hall, 250 N. Fifth St.


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