Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Detroit May Crack Down On Strip Clubs

WDIV-TV is reporting that the Detroit City Council will consider a proposal to ban alcohol from strip clubs in Detroit. The proposed rule changes would also stop lap dancing, close VIP rooms and force topless dancers to wear opaque pasties. It would also require the topless dancers to remain 6 feet from the patrons and on a stage at all times.

Rob Katzman, owner of the Toy Chest Bar and Grille (18728 Ford Rd.) in the Warrendale neighborhood, told WDIV that these potential changes would put nearly all of the clubs out of business. The Toy Chest is 1 of approximately 30 strip clubs in Detroit; meaning that we have 1 strip club every 4.6 square miles on average.

Quite frankly, I think this is an incredibly stupid idea from an urban planning perspective. Vibrant cities have a variety of entertainment options, even ones that some people might think of as morally objectionable.

More importantly, if all of the legal strip clubs in Detroit are driven out of business by excessive regulation then that will simply create a tremendous opening for the illegal strip clubs who will inevitably set up shop. No matter what one might think of the current, legal strip clubs in Detroit, there can be little argument that the illegal ones that appear from time to time are much worse.

These problems, of course, are compounded by the fact that the Detroit Police Department currently has a shortage of police officers to handle their existing case load. There is simply no way that they will be able to respond effectively to the scores illicit strip clubs that we will soon have in our neighborhoods.

I have to admit, though, that I don't think that the Detroit City Council would be entertaining this proposal if it wasn't for the fact that at least one member of the council will soon be under federal indictment on corruption charges. This, of course, puts every member of the council under a cloud - forcing them to appear as upright Christians who can be trusted for another term of office during an election year.

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