New Traffic Study Needed For Strip Club Proposal, Says Mendon Board Of Directors
MENDON – If a proposed adult entertainment club in town is to move forward, it will have to replace its ten-year-old traffic study with an update, board members said at a hearing public Tuesday evening.
Representatives of Showtime Entertainment, LLC, appeared before the board of directors on Tuesday to consider his application, which proposes to build a 4,806 square foot adult entertainment club at 49 Milford Street (Highway 16) with a capacity of 165 customers.
Specifically, Showtime wants the board to review its alcoholic beverage license application and amend its existing adult entertainment license, which the board issued to the applicant about a decade ago.
The owner of the proposed club, George Funari, owns the land on Milford Street where he wants to build the business. The place is in the Mendon Adult Entertainment District, which was established in 2008 after a vote in the town hall.
The last time club officials appeared before the city was in March, at a zoning appeal committee meeting, when they were given a special permit. The site plan for the project has been approved by both the Planning Council and the Conservation Commission, Thomas Lesser, the project’s lawyer, said at Tuesday’s meeting.
The proposed club plans to serve alcohol and food and offers approximately 40 on-site valet parking spaces with a small smoking area at the rear of the building. The club will only have valet parking, Lesser said.
“Nobody supports this company”
But the proposal’s traffic study was carried out more than 10 years ago, which was a point of contention on Tuesday for the three-member select committee.
That study was done for a 6,800 square foot building – larger than what’s on offer now – and concluded that there would be no impact on traffic, Lesser said.
One of the main reasons for this was that most road traffic occurs during traditional peak hours, while strip club patrons typically take the roads after 8 p.m., when there is less traffic, a Lesser said.
But a lot has changed in the past decade, said Mark Reil, Chairman of the Board of Select, from opening an Amazon warehouse near Milford to housing development projects across the region. .
“Ten years ago it was very different, so that beckons me in terms of road safety,” he said.
Other selected board members agreed, with Lawney Tinio making it clear that the new study would not change his opinion of the project much.
“No one is supporting this business coming to town, but I’ll honestly say I don’t support it. My personal opinion is that it is just a complete waste of time, ”he said.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is planning a major overhaul along this road to Harford Avenue East, said city administrator Kimberly Newman, which may also feature a turn lane and sidewalks.
Lesser said they would get an updated traffic survey to show that if there was an increase in the number of cars, it would likely be “incremental.”
At the Zoning Appeal Committee meeting in March, Lesser said the adult entertainment club may be one of the smallest in Massachusetts. He said he remembered when the Select Board licensed the proposal to entertain, although he didn’t think it was an enthusiastic endorsement.
“I’m not sure anyone wanted to grant Showtime this entertainment license, in all fairness, but the council consulted with the town attorney to explain that the law in question, 1413A, is discretionary,” Lesser said. , stating that the council will grant permission unless it fears adverse effects related to public health or safety.
When the city passed and amended restrictions to further regulate adult entertainment businesses in Mendon in 2010, Showtime filed a lawsuit against the city, arguing the restrictions were unconstitutional limitations on its free speech.
The restrictions included the building could not measure more than 2,000 square feet or more than 14 feet, could not operate until 4:30 p.m. and could not serve alcohol, Lesser said Tuesday evening.
The council ultimately granted the plaintiff a liquor license after the Massachusetts Supreme Court found that its decision to ban alcohol from adult entertainment businesses on the basis of crime prevention violated the right to freedom of speech, which makes it an unconstitutional condition, according to the lawsuit.
The company will only have valet parking, Lesser said, which means customers won’t hang around the back of the building, which borders a neighborhood between some wetlands.
It was a major concern of neighbors before, Lesser said.
The public hearing continued until December 1. If the Select Board approves the project’s request and agrees to amend its existing adult entertainment license, then Showtime can apply for a building permit before building its club.
Construction could take 12 to 18 months after being approved by the select committee, Lesser said at the zoning appeal committee meeting in March.
Lauren Young writes about business and pop culture. Contact her at 774-804-1499 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @laurenwhy__.