Monday, July 05, 2010

Standard-Examiner: Strip Club Not Ready to Shut Down

It appears to us that Lighthouse Lounge owner Mr. Chevalier is holding the most important legal card in this matter

The Standard-Examiner reports this morning that the Ogden City zoning issue respecting the Lighthouse Strip Club is far from over, and that club owner John Chevalier has filed an appeal of Boss Godfrey's decision to shut down all sexually-oriented operations at the club by July 6. Barring a resolution favorable to Mr. Chevalier, it looks like there's going to be a big legal battle:
Strip club not ready to shut down; Lighthouse Lounge owner says Ogden city ordinance is illegal
As we reported in an earlier WCF article, Mr. Chevalier has already lawyered up; and he once again sets forth his legal posture in today's Jessica Miller story:
"We believe the ordinance is illegal," Chevalier said. "Their new ordinance does not follow state law. To get rid of a sexually-oriented business you have to let them (recoup) their investment or repay them. They are still just saying get out."
Being the curious type, we Googled, and happened upon an interesting online legal brief by Salt Lake City lawyers J. Craig Smith and Scott M. Ellsworth, which we believe, (at least upon cursory review,) accurately states the applicable Utah law on the subject, and fully supports Mr. Chevalier's above point:
The Utah Law of Nonconforming Uses
Here's the controlling legal principle of Utah law (from the above linked brief,) which we believe will make Mr. Chevalier the ultimate winner if this matter winds up in court:
If property is in lawful use prior to the enactment of a restrictive zoning ordinance, and the new zoning ordinance prohibits the use (thereby rendering the use "nonconforming") the property is generally held to have a "grandfathered" or "vested" right to the nonconforming use.
It thus appears to us that Mr. Chevalier is holding the most important legal card in this matter; and we're hoping that Boss Godfrey will therefore exercise wisdom, and negotiate a solution which will not force the adverse parties into court. Having said that, we also recognize that Godfrey enjoys wasting taxpayer money tilting at legal windmills, so we'll stand by with abated breath, and continue to watch this matter as it develops.

So what say our gentle readers about all this? Will Boss Godfrey negotiate a solution which will keep this matter out of the courts? Or will Emerald City's Despot on Nine continue to exercise his iron hand, and do his part to foster a full employment economy for Utah lawyers?

13 comments:

Kurt said...

Since when was dancing women anything but a good thing? Ain't nobodies business but their own.
The city council should be ashamed of this nonsense. Get your uptight morals out of the public square, and solve real problems, instead of wasting your time on promoting puritan hypocrisy and body-hating fear.

Naked dancing women do not commit crimes, put the city further in debt, or distract from the general welfare. They are just humans dancing. Which, as any Humanist will tell you, is a good thing.

Mohammed said...

Godfrey's on the right track, but he's not going far enough. In a proper theocracy, all women would be required to wear the burka.

OgdenLover said...

Driving south on Wall, I noticed that Northern Exposure is located fairly close to the new WalMart (if it ever comes to pass). Might that be a reason for this sudden increase in bluenose activity on the part of City Hall?

ozboy said...

In his stupidity, the little Wizard is actually creating a lot of publicity for this sleazy little T&A bar. Left to its own devices, the joint just sits there and exists. Being persecuted, along with the attendant press, does nothing but makes more people aware they can go down there and for the price of a few beers see some young thing flaunt her stuff. This could be the best thing for business this bar owner ever dreamed of!

Hell it's Monday, family night, I just might round up the wife & kids and go on down tonight and check out what them damn Philistines and Laminites are up to now.

Hindman said...

I don't care about either business but I don't understand why, if the law has been on the 'books' since 2000, why now has Godfrey decided this law needs to be enforced?
I have lived here for about 26 years and until this issue came up with Godfrey didn't even know the Lighthouse Lounge was a functioning business.

Hindman said...

I don't care about either business but I don't understand why, if the law has been on the 'books' since 2000, why now has Godfrey decided this law needs to be enforced?
I have lived here for about 26 years and until this issue came up with Godfrey didn't even know the Lighthouse Lounge was a functioning business.

got down sit on a bench said...

The only reason this is an issue, is cause goffy needs the property for one of his pals. that is how it works in this town. pay to play and they the bar is not paying so they don't get to play.

Bonk said...

So Godfrey wants businesses in Ogden and jobs and employment, but only if he personally approves it. Otherwise he'll shut you down.

Someone needs to shut down Godfrey. I don't approve of his business. Ethics. Him. He's offensive to me.

Ernie the Attorney said...

What's occurring here is known in legal parlance as a regulatory taking. In point of fact, it's nothing but theft.

Dollar bill fan said...

And if they keep closing the strip clubs. where's a guy to go to see all those cute boobies?

Monotreme said...

Comment bumped to front page

Curmudgeon said...

Comment bumped to front page.

Bill the Gentile said...

I confess to a narrow but stubborn libertarian streak when I say this, but even if you are morally opposed to having a strip club in downtown Ogden this business is profitable and a number of livelihoods are dependent upon it. Considering all of the empty storefronts around this city, the costs to the taxpayers to defend Godfrey’s decision in the inevitable lawsuits, and the tax revenue generated by The Lighthouse, it would be fiscally responsible to simply let them be.

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