Archive for Friday, October 26, 2012

City officials say ‘sex club’ does not violate ordinances

October 26, 2012

For a year, city officials have been investigating complaints of a swingers club operating in a western Shawnee industrial area, within a couple of blocks of a Montessori preschool and nearby residences.

But assistant city attorney Ellis Rainey said Friday that city officials have determined that ordinances regulating nudity and adult entertainment businesses in Shawnee do not apply to the private club, known as KC Playroom. And the establishment, which is being operated as a nonprofit enterprise, does not require an occupational license, he said.

The club, which leases space in an industrial building on Martindale Road, was referred to as a “sex club” in an email City Manager Carol Gonzales sent to members of the Shawnee City Council on July 24.

“We have reviewed the investigative and legal research that we did last year,” Gonzales wrote in the email, “and while we think we will come to the same conclusions — that it is a private use of a privately owned building, therefore subject to building and fire codes, but not other regulations applicable to businesses — we want to do some additional research to be sure. I will keep you posted.”

A resident who complained about the establishment in an email to city officials earlier this year, however, said he was disappointed the city had not kept him posted or done anything about the club.

“We sent you information on (the) sex club here in Shawnee back on July 11,” the resident, who emailed Gonzales under the name “Bob Smith,” wrote on Oct. 24. “To date, nothing has been done to have this business licensed and permitted. Frankly, we are very disappointed in many ways. When we told ALL of you about this, only ONE council member (Michelle Distler) even responded.”

In a July 12 email, Distler thanked the resident for his correspondence and said “we look forward to understanding what’s going on here.”

The city manager, however, “seemed like it was not a big deal,” the resident’s Oct. 24 email claims. “And still to date nothing has been done.”

Gonzales disputed that assessment.

“Mr. Smith, actually quite a bit has been done,” Gonzales responded in an Oct. 24 email. “Other agencies have already been brought in and are also looking into issues that fall within their purview. I am unable to share and am not even privy to much of the information, related to confidential review.”

However, Gonzales added in the email, city officials have been told that the owner of KC Playroom has indicated that the club will close at the end of the year.

“We don’t know if that will happen, but we are in communication with other agencies that are working on this issue,” she wrote.

An area business owner, whom sources have identified as the operator of KC Playroom, did not immediately respond to an interview request.

Rainey added Friday that “to date, the representations of KC Playroom are that the space is leased for private party purposes, as compared to any business, trade, occupation, or other profit business activity.”

“The activity is represented as private activity occurring solely within the confines of private property, which is not open to the public,” Rainey added.

Based on those representations, he said, city ordinances regulating adult entertainment do not apply. And because there is no alcohol being sold, Rainey said, city ordinances regulating nudity on premises licensed to sell alcohol do not cover the club.

Comments

funtimeluvncouple 2 years, 1 month ago

When are people going to figure out we are all adults here? First off most if not all swingers clubs operate in the evenings so a school being nearby is irrelevant unless the kids are busy working all day and going to night classes. Second of all very few clubs allow drugs on the premisis and when someone gets out of line they are NOT allowed back! I can go on and on about how this article is wrong but very simply an adult choosing to have sex with another adult is none of the news' business and just because people may not agree with our choices they should learn to keep it to themselves. I also think that Mr. Smith is probably someone using a fake name to cause problems due to his/her own insecure sexuality. The lifestyle is not for everyone out there, if you are not secure in your relationship it will only be a problem. And if you think it can make a boring relationship better it won't. but for the people who enjoy the lifestyle it can be a great fun and interesting thing to add to their lives oh and for the people complainihng that this club should be shut down, I really do hope that you realise that there is probably 4 or 5 others in the kc area alone and every major city has one. Plus now that the story is out there more people will be joining in and checking things out porn and sex is the biggest business in the world and complaining in the open about someone elses's choice while watching porn dreaming about what we live makes you a hipocrit.

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angela68 2 years, 1 month ago

Well despite the ridiculous comments from funtimeluvncouple, I as a mother, with 5 children and a taxpayer in this city disagree. I also disagree with your comment about porn. It may be a big business for people who are desperate and have no morals but it also objectifies men, women and in sad cases children and has NO redeeming qualities or purpose whatsoever. There is nothing good about it, not to mention the marriages it destroys. REAL men and women do not feel the need to participate in what you call a "lifestyle" that is quite frankly unhealthy and degrading. You can call me a hypocrite all you want but it does'nt change the fact that this kind of behavior is wrong. If it's so great and wonderful go do it in the privacy of your homes, hopefully you don't have children. Sadly, many serial killers begin with an addiction to porn, not to mention the latest victim Jessica Ridgeway in Colorado. I don't need to dream about anything except loving my husband and family and treating all people with the dignity and respect they deserve.

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sm5815 2 years, 1 month ago

While I agree quite closely with your personal beliefs angela68, it's an extremely slippery slope to look at the law for enforcing them.

As a new father with a daughter living in Shawnee, I don't love the idea of a swingers' club on my back doorstep. However, what I find objectionable or not ideal is my beliefs, and so long as the objectionable acts are not impairing the protection or freedoms of my life (which this is admittedly not), then I cannot put any legal fault on their shoulders.

As for the comments about porn addiction being correlated to serial killers and the implication that a swinger's club will lead to something bad to Shawnee: please remember this is just that, a correlation, and not a causation. It could easily be the inverse: that those predisposed to being a serial killer seek out porn in large quantities. In other words, the porn didn't cause the mental imbalance, but rather the reverse. This is the much more likely scenario, and if it wasn't porn, it could easily be prostitutes, alcohol, narcotics, or perhaps simply more killings.

All of my defenses for these things I may disagree with come from that fact that I myself play video games. As a generation that grew up with them, I find it to be of natural entertainment value, much like some folks enjoy TV. I know in my heart that the regular reports about video games and violence and their resulting in shootings is hog-wash. It's simply looking for a scape goat, and people that don't agree with them leveraging the hammer of social ire against injustice to wipe them away, or at least lock them down. These children that commit these horrible crimes didn't do it because of the violent video games. The violent video games were there just like violent movies, violent sports, and all of the other gluttony, depravity, and other dark corners we harbor as a society. Those outlets have always and will always exist in some form, and they do not cause the violence. They are a product of it.

Vis-a-vis, sex and the businesses around sex are no different!

Many people correlate being Muslim with being a terrorist. I am not a Muslim, but we have Muslim places of worship here in Shawnee, and I will fight for their right to practice their beliefs to my dying breath, because those freedoms are THEIR right as much as it is MY right, and the correlation does not equal the crime. Guns are correlated to violence in this country, but we stand up for our right to keep them (as we should!)

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angela68 2 years, 1 month ago

Regardless....porn, strip clubs and swinger clubs do nothing to enhance, improve or help society. Hopefully, no one will ever treat your daughter in this way and your argument does not hold any truth other than the fact that PORN and these other unhealthy choices do NOT treat a human being with any dignity.

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funtimeluvncouple 2 years, 1 month ago

Ciggarettes, doesnt enhance society either yet it is still legal to smoke. My rights in the united states go right up to the point where they do not violate someone else's and the same goes for everyone else. That is what makes this a free country. So if you have your way as would many others you would force people to conform to your wishes. . .sounds more like a police state is what you would prefer to live in. I know of one that may be right up your alley then, they shoot rockets to antagonize the rest of the world and shell a nation with which they once were a part of. The leader lives a life of luxury while the citizens live in poverty affraid to even speak an ill word about the government in private for fear of being thrown into prison and forced into hard labor. So you ready to move yet?? Sounds like just the place to instill hard line values into your children and you dont have to worry about strip clubs or swingers clubs and likely not even porn or access to it. Sound like a place thats just perfect for someone who feels others do not have the right to make their own choices when it comes to their rights. yes, I do think North Korea is just the place you are looking for. Yet I dont think your new neighbors would agree that our freedoms should be as limited as you like, angela.

So remember the freedom you have to think the way you do and the ability to freely discuss politics without fear and even the right of others to assemble even if its to do things YOU do not agree with is protected here and too many people take that for granted. I choose to exercise MY right to be different and my freedom to NOT accept society accepted norms as being proper.

Oh and remember that every time you ask the government to take a freedom from someone else that its only a matter of time before someone asks the government to remove a freedom that you appreciate.

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