West Chester officially votes to temporarily ban sexual encounte - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

West Chester officially votes to temporarily ban sexual encounter clubs

FOX19 NOW file FOX19 NOW file
WEST CHESTER, OH (FOX19) -

Trustees officially passed a moratorium Friday on sexual encounter establishments.

It goes into effect immediately and runs through Aug. 17, said Barb Wilson, a township spokeswoman.

West Chester leaders announced earlier this week they revoked a business permit for a previously approved swingers club scheduled to open in December.

Officials cited a dated trespassing charge against the owners when rescinding the permit, owners of The Champagne Club confirmed to FOX19 NOW.

While Friday's vote occurred in an early morning meeting with little fanfare, it was standing room only during Tuesday's West Chester Township Trustees meeting.

Several people spoke out about the swinger’s club setting up shop inside city limits.

“I’m adamantly opposed to allowing this kind of thing into our community,” said West Chester resident Lisa Shu.

The club, located on Harwood Court, aligned with West Chester’s “sexually oriented business” licensing resolution. It was set to open in an industrial area permitted under the “sexually oriented business” zoning rules.

But community members raised concerns once it came to light that the club would sit about 652 feet from a daycare. The law requires that such businesses be at least 500 feet away.

“Through this recent review process, the township discovered the law governing sexually oriented businesses may have developed a distinction between “sexual encounter establishments” and other sorts of sexually oriented businesses. This distinction identified “sexual encounter establishments,” may not be entitled the same First Amendment protection as other sexually oriented businesses,” said Township Administrator Judi Boyko.

After opinions were expressed, trustees decided to authorize a 9 month moratorium, or temporary ban, on the issuance of a license for a sexual encounter establishment. 

“The moratorium tonight will allow the board of trustees time to study possible changes to West Chester’s existing zoning resolution and license resolution regarding sexual-encounter businesses,” said West Chester Board of Trustees member Mark Welch.

FOX19 NOW tried to contact the owners of the Champagne Club, so far, we haven’t heard back from them. In a press release sent out last week, they expressed their side of this matter.

The press release stated, “We have operated a private club similar to this one in Indiana for four years with absolutely no problems needing police intervention. Our members are of high standards and never create an issue for neighboring businesses.”

The president of the board said in the next 9 months, he wants to research other cities that have establishments of this nature to see how those establishments fared in the community.

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