Liberty Township seeking to close teen dance party

By Tiffany Teasley – bio | email

LIBERTY TWP., OH (FOX19) - Every Saturday night Urban Splat Paintball becomes a dance party for local teens, but the party could soon be over after Liberty Twp trustees say there are safety and zoning violations.

"I like coming because it's just really fun, all of your friends are there's great music," said Katie Shepard, who attends the party.

For the past two months hundreds of teens have been lining up for Saturday dance parties. The teen party known as "Club Splat," holds foam parties, slip and slide and glow stick parties for 15 to 18 year old who pay $10 to get in.

"Most places aren't open every Saturday and Club Splat is, so it's nice to have a place that's always there," Shepard said.

But, Liberty Township trustees have a preliminary and permanent injunction to prohibit the teen parties, citing the maximum occupancy is 182 patrons.

In a statement to Fox19 Trustees say" Fire and safety codes are in violation and this presents serious risk of harm to patrons."

"We don't believe that there are any zoning violations whatsoever," said Mark Pannek, the owner.

Pannek says the their maximum occupancy is actually 400 patrons.

"The Township has clung on to a clerical error that was submitted a year ago by an architect which frankly is inaccurate," Pannek said.

Despite hiring Sheriffs deputies to check teens as they walk in seen in this video provided by the owner, Pannek says the Township simply doesn't like the teen parties in their backyard.

"They really don't like the teenagers dancing," Pannek said.

A hearing on the matter is set for Tuesday, the Township withdrew the original zoning violation filed in May. The teen party has closed voluntarily and will host parties at other venues until the legal matters are sorted out.

Copyright 2010 FOX19. All Rights Reserved.