City Council should decide on strip club

Sending a controversial decision about a proposed strip club back to the Grand Junction Planning Commission probably won’t resolve the issue.

The Grand Junction City Council will likely have to make the final decision in the case. It ought to do so sooner, rather than later, instead of hoping the planning commission can somehow craft an acceptable decision on its third try.

True, the planning commission has first authority over conditional-use permits, such as that sought by Kevin Eardley for a strip club on Colex Drive, near the 22 Road interchange on Interstate 70. But City Council members are city residents’ elected representatives. They should make final decisions in tough cases.

That’s the reason planning commission decisions may be appealed to the City Council, just as Eardley has done twice now. And, as The Daily Sentinel reported last fall, the council has the authority to uphold a planning commission decision, reverse it or remand it back to the planning commission.

Having remanded it once already, with the result being a planning commission decision that the majority of City Council members believe still doesn’t meet the city’s criteria for determining such issues, it’s time for the City Council to take control.

The decision in this instance is only about whether to allow the proposed strip club a conditional-use permit to serve alcohol. It is not about approving or rejecting a strip club.

Such a club can operate on that property in that neighborhood without obtaining a conditional-use permit so long as it doesn’t serve alcohol. Eardley has said he will do just that with his proposed club if the permit to allow alcohol is rejected.

Furthermore, Mayor Gregg Palmer is probably correct that some planning commission members want to control an activity they personally dislike — operating a strip club — by denying the permit to allow liquor sales. We made the same argument last fall.

Given that likelihood, and the fact that the planning commission has twice failed to appropriately apply city rules in determining whether to approve or deny the permit, we think it’s time for the City Council to seize the decision-making reins. And to accept the public reaction for whatever decision is ultimately made.


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