AMERICAN FAMILY ASSOCIATION OF PENNSYLVANIA
The City of Meadville and Synn City
December 2005 -- Meadville City Council pass a zoning and licensing ordinance to regulate sexually oriented businesses.
September 22, 2005 -- Undercover police discover alcohol being made available to customers of Synn City between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. which is against the law! They allegedly saw 29 violations. The City Council of Meadville moves closer to passing a licensing ordinance to regulate sexually oriented businesses.
July 29, 2005 -- Don't think it Can't Happen in Your Community -- The City Council and residents in Meadville, PA didn't think it would happen there . . . . but now a sexually oriented business is scheduled to open on August 5th -- just 1/2 block from the local Christian Bookstore! Contact the AFA of PA for help in stopping one of these 'businesses' from opening in your neighborhood.
Once again another example of why municipalities need to put in place ordinances to regulate sexually oriented businesses prior to them leasing property and opening their doors. Meadville was one of the municipalities in Crawford County that the AFA of PA contacted last fall about the need to pass zoning and licensing ordinances. Apparently they did not feel the need to do so and now a sexually oriented business will be opening its doors in downtown Meadville on August 5.
The business is an adult entertainment club to be called
Owners Elona Andrews and Michael Scibica said their tentative opening date is Aug. 5.
"We want to bring people into
There's disagreement with Scibica's assessment.
"This is not good for the community," said Keith Watson, owner of Gospel Book and Supply Store,
"I'm saddened to hear about it and disappointed," he said. "We want businesses that are good for the community, and that's not. We want a standard of decency."
The Rev. David Findlay, pastor of St. Brigid Roman Catholic Church, said an adult entertainment business is not appropriate for the community.
"Who wants to be around that?" he asked rhetorically. "It's too bad it has to be of interest and an occupation to some people."
Rick Williams, the city's director of zoning and planning, said a check with the city's solicitor found the city can do little to prevent the club from opening at the downtown site.
"It does meet our zoning code," he said. "Whether it meets anything else, I can't tell you. But as far as zoning goes, we don't have 'adult entertainment' specified anywhere, so it loosely falls under private clubs and social halls."
Scibica said he and Andrews, his girlfriend, intend to have something a bit more upscale and inclusive than other adult entertainment clubs in the region.
"We will have adult entertainment, but the club will be for everyone," he said. "We would like to get something in for the women."
Scibica, owner of Mad Mike's Tatoo & Piercing,
"I'm not setting any ironclad hours at this time, but that's what I'm shooting for," he said.
"I want to cater to people who work the type of schedule I do. I work late at night and there is never anyplace to go that enabled me to socialize with other people who are up half the night."
The business will operate as a membership club, with a one-time $5 membership fee and a daily cover charge of $10.
The bring-your-own-bottle club faces a number of restrictions under state law, including prohibiting the consumption of alcohol between the hours of and if a cover or entry fee is imposed. State law also prohibits lewd or improper entertainment in a bottle club, but state courts have consistently ruled that nude or nearly nude dancing is a protected form of speech.
Meadville Police Chief David Acker said that all applicable state and local laws will be enforced.
"There's rules on behavior and activities even though it's a private bottle club," he said. "If there's anything going on (that shouldn't be), I'm sure the district attorney will look into it."
Diane Gramley of Franklin, president of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Family Association, a nonprofit that champions "traditional family values," said that once a business is in place, there is little that can be done.
"My immediate reaction is this is another example of why municipalities ... need to pass ordinances that regulate sexually oriented businesses. (Without it) they are opened to these businesses moving in," he said.
Gramley added, "It is going to destroy families."
Scibica said there is no reason for the community to fear the business. It will be well controlled and operated and there have been similar businesses in the city in the past with no effect.
But he is not shying away from any controversy the business creates.
"That's just part of the fun. It adds to the publicity. The louder these groups yell, the better for me," he said.
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