Arrow-right Camera

Washington Voices

Testimony Taken On Variance For Adult Club

Thu., May 18, 1995

In/Around Nevada/ Lidgerwood

A dozen people - from owners of Tidyman’s and the Lyons movie theaters to parents and police volunteers - testified Tuesday against allowing a variance for an adult entertainment center with topless dancing at 6363 N. Lidgerwood.

In the 90-minute hearing before Greg Smith, city hearing examiner, residents raised the spector of more crime, illicit activity, and the disintegration of the American family.

“I’m old enough that I can control it, but for young men if you see topless you want to be bottomless,” said Richard C. Mertens of 624 E. Liberty.

At issue, was the request by Tim Cameron and his attorney Brian Butler for a variance to the requirement that adult entertainment be at least 750 feet from other uses - in this case residential.

The measurement must be from property line to property line, according to an ordinance that passed the Spokane City Council in 1988. Opponents said the law was a good one, had withstood court tests and should not be revised to accommodate a business that would be detrimental to the neighborhood.

But attorney Butler said his client has met the test of a variance in that the city ordinance is “unduly burdensome” and unless eased would prove to be “unreasonable or confiscatory.” There were no other locations on Spokane’s North Side that could accommodate the use, he said.

Among those who testified was Lee Smith, the newly installed governor of Moose Lodge No. 161, which would relocate if Cameron purchased the building for the adult club. He said Moose executives met in special session and decided against selling the building.

“The board of officers has rejected this sale at this time,” he told the hearing examiner.

But after the hearing, Butler said he had a different view. The building was on the market, he said, and there is a binding agreement between the parties.

“It’s a little more complicated than they led us to believe,” he added.

Smith has two weeks to issue a ruling on the variance. His decision can then be appealed to Superior Court.

Click here to comment on this story »