Thursday, April 07, 2011

Detroit Works Project + Strip Clubs

The Detroit Works Project released a series of policy audits recently that chronicled both the advantages and limitations of Mayor Dave Bing's proposal to encourage Detroiters to relocate to more densely populated neighborhoods. If you haven't seen them already, they are available here.

Of course, there is one advantage to the Detroit Works Project that - quite frankly - I can't believe no one has commented on already.

For decades now, one politician or activist after another has talked about getting the various strip clubs throughout Detroit to move out of the neighborhoods and into a designated area that is away from families and churches. The Detroit Works Project has the potential to make this actually happen.

As people move out of largely depopulated areas, one of these vacant areas could be set aside as a special district for strip clubs and related establishments. Existing strip clubs in Detroit could be offered the opportunity to close their current location and move into this new area. They could be incentivized to make such a move by being allowed to stay open later, have their dancers go fully nude and still serve alcohol (such as Windsor currently does), or any number of other options.

The area could be constructed in a way that it is largely blocked off from the outside world, residents and businesses outside of the strip club zone would not have to see or hear anything that happens inside of it. Plus, the area would still be accessible to police, the fire marshal, and other government inspectors as needed.

Some of the incentives, such as anything involving the restrictions attached to liquor sales, would likely require approval from the Michigan Legislature. However, given the shear number of people who wished for a way to  move strip clubs out of neighborhoods over the years, I believe it would be quite possible to achieve such an approval.

Anyway, with all of this talk about the Detroit Works Project in the news media, I wanted to add this possibility to the discussion. As always, please feel free to add your thoughts to the comments section below.
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