Gentlemen's Club Opens Next to Charter School?

08/17/2011

Check out this link to an NBC2 Story about a strip club trying to open next door to a school in Jacksonville, FL and let us know your thoughts?

http://www.nbc-2.com/story/15284768/2011/08/17/strip-club-opens-next-to-charter-school

Story Below:

The school bell will soon ring at Jacksonville, Florida's Duval Charter School, where Katherine Gheerow just enrolled her daughter Brianna in kindergarten.

While signs at the school point to orientation, it's another sign that got Gheerow's attention.

"I was like 'Wow!' and then I'm like 'Really, they're opening up a gentlemen's club next to the school?'," said Gheerow.

Cars on Atlantic Boulevard whiz by a new business, Stillettos Gentlemen's Club.

It sits right in front of Duval Charter, in plain view of school administrators and students.

"I think it's inappropriate," said Gheerow. "I'm definitely surprised. I figured the city would say look there's a school there, open up in another location."

So how did a gentlemen's club with the name Stilettos get a building permit to open so close to a school?

"That project was first permitted as a restaurant," said Tom Goldsbury, chief of the Jacksonville Building Inspection Division.

Goldsbury said the original application back in spring was for a business by the name of "Maria's Steak and Spirits."

"They have since come back and submitted plans for stages, poles, so forth and the seating of the restaurant is now gone on the plans," said Goldsbury.

The new plans came three days after the final inspection for a restaurant.

Goldsbury said new plans mean different rules when it comes to fire codes and distance requirements to schools.

"He asked my code guy 'What happens if I open up Friday night like this?' and we told him, 'Well, we're going to shut you down if you do'," said Goldsbury.

Goldsbury said he'd have to deny an application because the business doesn't have the appropriate permits to build stages and poles.

It also doesn't have the required amount of fire sprinklers.

Code enforcement has been told stages have already been constructed.

Goldsbury said if this is true, the business will be cited for unsafe structure.

"I think they should go somewhere else. I think it's ridiculous," said Gheerow.

The company that oversees Duval Charter School issued the following statement:

"We have concerns about any inappropriate businesses that could compromise the safety and well-being of our students. We will support the city in enforcing any ordinances or laws that will promote a healthy environment for our students."

The owner of Stilettos did not want to comment.  "Imagine that?"

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