I received this email from Elizabeth Kirmo.
Sending you this note just in case you haven’t heard what’s happening (proposed not happening yet) at 4721 Market Street, Ventura. Hala Enterprises LLC, has applied to the planning commission to open a full nude “gentleman’s club“. Everyone I have talked to is shocked and outraged that this has been kept a secret. I’ve come to understand after talking to persons at the planning commission that no announcement was required since they did not apply for a liquor license.
Well, now the information is out and citizens have a right to know. Hala’s request has been temporarily denied by the planning commission but they have appealed the ruling. A formal appeal meeting has been set in front of the planning commission for some time in mid to late October.
With your contacts in the city and as a paper known to fight for the rights of Ventura citizens, I hope The Breeze can help inform the people of our lovely city of something that could potentially change their quality of life without ever being aware of it.
I’m sure the business owners on Market Street and surrounding area who are aware of what’s happening would be glad to talk to you.
Thank you for your time and consideration.”
I understand your concern but this is much more complicated than you would assume. First of all, their application was not denied by the planning commission, as it has not yet gone to them.
In August the City rejected an application by Agassi Halajyan to open a strip club with nude performers at 4721 Market St. Community Development Director Jeff Lambert rejected the proposal because the proposed site is within 500 feet of ABC Auto Care, whose owner said he runs an automotive training facility for high school students.
You, and other citizens were not informed because in most cases the City is not required to inform residents of proposed projects. If they were going to sell liquor (they aren’t) they would need to get an ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Commission) license that would require notification of a limited amount of adjacent property owners.
Or, if someone is requesting a variance from an existing code, neighbors need to be notified. For instance if your neighbor was requesting permission to reduce their required front yard from 20’ to 10’ you would be notified and could attend hearings. But because, under current code, this use is allowed (and they are not requesting any code deviations)notification is not required.
Jeff Lambert’s reason for rejecting the application is being questioned by the applicant. Halajyan has appealed the decision, claiming that ABC Auto Care does not have a business license to operate as a school and has not been performing as such. Lambert said that he planned to look at auto facility more closely to determine if it is indeed a school.
If Lambert maintains his position to disallow the use, Agassi Halajyan will certainly appeal the decision to the Planning Commission. If they uphold Lambert’s decision, Halajyan would then appeal to the City Council. If the Council agreed with the ruling, Halajyan would likely sue the City.
Courts have ruled uniformly that adult businesses cannot be prohibited as they are protected by First Amendment speech. The courts cannot decide cases because they “might” find the use in bad taste. Halajyan would probably win his case if he decides to take his argument to court.
Resident’s concerns, regarding adult businesses have caught the attention of the City Council. During the City Council meeting on September 14, the Council voted unanimously to adopt an urgency ordinance amendment to the San Buenaventura Municipal Code.
This amendment added licensing provisions, operational regulations, and permitting provisions for performers and non-performers of adult-oriented businesses. The ordinance was enhanced to reduce and/or preclude undesirable secondary effects including, but not limited to, increased crime, blighting influences in the community, decrease in property values, and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. The urgency ordinance is effective immediately; the regular ordinance, which was introduced on the same evening, will be heard by the City Council for a second reading on September 21, 2015. The City last updated its adult business provisions in 1994.
Six months ago Donald Trump was sitting around with some friends (probably drinking) and said “Guys I have this hilarious idea I’m going to run for president and be completely outrageous. Good for a few good laughs and free publicity.” I think CNN and Fox are secretly paying him to boost their ratings.
Livability.com has selected Ventura as the 23rd most livable city (still pretty good). Go to www.venturabreeze.com to read the whole story.
A little about -“Why Ventura, CA is Top 100 Best Place to Live”
Warm weather, beaches, and a vibrant arts scene make Ventura an easy sell
“With near-perfect weather, ocean and mountain views, a thriving arts community, and endless recreation, dining, and entertainment options, there really isn’t much not to like about Ventura, California.”
I want to congratulate the Masons of California for placing a cornerstone during an ancient ceremony held at Community Memorial Hospital. This ceremony is part of the new construction of the hospital that is still about a year away from completion. I know that it looks closer than that but there is a huge amount of mechanical lines and equipment to still be installed.
I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.
~ Louise May Alcott