There has been a lot of things going on in regards to the two clubs along Queens Chapel Road, NE. The first issue revolves around how the Stadium Club received permission to locate there after claiming not to be a sexually-oriented business. The second is the ABC License renewal for the nightclub, DC Star.
I received this press release from the Ward 5 Improvement Association. Apparently there is some very interesting issues coming to light in regards to how this strip club became to be in Ward 5 near RIA.
Ward 5 Improvement Association
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: OCTOBER 28, 2010
CONTACT: Don Padou
(202) 832-4038, cell: (209) 728-4407
BZA Holds Hearing on Spread of Red Light District in Ward Five
Washington DC —The Board of Zoning Adjustment held a hearing yesterday on whether strip clubs are “sexually oriented businesses” under DC regulations. The Board’s decision is due December 7 and will determine if a red light district is allowed to spread in Ward Five.
The hearing was the result of an appeal brought by the Ward Five Improvement Association, which challenged the Stadium Club’s Certificate of Occupancy issued by the DC Zoning Administrator. The Stadium Club is a strip club that opened at 2127 Queens Chapel Road NE in April 2010.
The Association presented evidence that the Stadium Club provides lap dances and that strippers engage in sexual fondling in exchange for payment from customers inside private “champagne rooms.” James Redding, an owner of the establishment, said customers pay $600 per hour to spend time with a stripper in the 8’ x 6’ private rooms.
Matthew LeGrant, the Zoning Administrator, testified that he determined the Stadium Club was not a “sexually oriented business” based on a review of the architectural drawings and a promise from the owner of the establishment.
“The Zoning Administrator didn’t do his job,” said Don Padou, President of the Ward 5 Improvement Association. “He is required to investigate before issuing a certificate of occupancy, but he did nothing of the sort. He simply took the owner at his word. Mr. LeGrant never once visited the establishment or even looked at its website.” Mr. LeGrant provided the Stadium Club with expedited, personal service by approving the Stadium Club’s certificate of occupancy the same day the application was submitted.
Mr. LeGrant also testified that his staff “made a mistake” when they put a hold on the building permit for another strip club in the same area, Club AKA 555 at 2046 West Virginia Ave NE. Mr. LeGrant said that he was reversing the hold and would allow the building permit to be issued so the strip club could renovate and open its doors.
“The Zoning Administrator is willfully looking the other way on this one,” said Mr. Padou. “These strip clubs are sexually oriented businesses and they are the last thing we need in Ward 5.”
I find it interesting, if true, that LeGrant could not see clearly what the Stadium Club’s intention was unless the owners falsely presented themselves to him. Getting approval at the time of submission, if true, is suspect beyond measure.
In regards to DC Star (the club next to Stadium Club) has a liquor license renewal hearing coming up on December 20, 2010. If you would like to testify on this ABC renewal license, you must register by 12/06/2010. This blog will post further details in the near future on this process.
I have heard from a lot of residents in the area that have concerns on both of these night clubs. Majority of these residents live close to the area and are constantly battling the trash and loud noises from having these clubs so close to their neighborhood and homes.