Strip Club Company Sues North Bay Village Over Their First Amendment Right to Naked Dancing
North Bay Village is made up of a narrow chain of islands, and thanks to zoning laws there's only two places in the entire city where a strip club could be located. One lot is currently occupied by WSVN's studios, so that's not an option. The other is right next door, and is the former site of WIOD's headquarters.
In 2003, developer Scott Greenwald bought WIOD's studios and planned to develop the property. Those plans soon grew to include a strip club. A restaurant, pool and parking garage are also now part of the plans.
His neighbors, WSVN, aired numerous pieces attacking the plan, and with the help of concerned citizens convinced the North Bay Village Zoning Board to pass on the plan.
Isle of Dreams now claims their First Amendment rights are being violated.
Reports the Herald:
Isle of Dreams argues that if the City Commission denies them the conditional use application, then there will be no other place in the city where the strip club can be built to meet the zoning requirements. That, said Greenwald, would violate the First Amendment.Yes, its a bunch of zoning jargon. To boil it down, the Supreme Court has ruled that, yes, nude dancing is protected under the first amendment. So cities can't full out ban it, but they can regulate where strip clubs are located.
"I don't think that's a frivolous argument," said Professor [Charlton] Copeland [a professor at UM law]. He said cities can't use zoning rules to completely ban strip clubs, but "I just think the case law is unclear" about the particular facts in North Bay Village.
North Bay Village has tried to pull out every trick in the book to block the building of a strip club on this particular site, but Isle of Dreams says that because its the only place in the city a strip club could be built the city is infringing on their constitutional rights.