San Joaquin County supervisors will consider this morning whether to adopt an ordinance that would require a new application by the owner of a nightclub planned in Lockeford, to allow dancers to perform at his establishment.
In a response to a lawsuit filed in federal court by Timothy Kruppe over the legality of the county's use permit process, the Community Development Department has proposed an "interim urgency ordinance" regarding entertainment.
The ordinance is designed to provide legal protection to the county in case a federal court strikes down the county's use permit ordinance.
Kruppe, who plans to open a nightclub this month called On the Beach on Highway 88, received a business license from the county that allows him to open his nightclub. However, county officials haven't yet acted on his use permit application that would allow dancers at his establishment.
And if the Board of Supervisors approves the new ordinance today, Kruppe's use permit application will become void, and he will have to file a new special events permit application, Assistant County Counsel Mark Myles said Monday.
Kruppe's nightclub application has stirred controversy in Lockeford due to his background as the former owner of two adult businesses in Lodi. Kruppe owned Adult Pleasure World on Sacramento Street from 1992 to 2004, and Intimates on Houston Lane for eight years until selling the businesses last year.
The urgency ordinance is needed because, without it, the federal court could rule that any kind of entertainment would be permitted regardless of how it would affect neighboring property, according to a staff report by county Community Development Director Kerry Sullivan.
"The creation of these potentially permanent inconsistent and incompatible uses presents an immediate threat to the general health, welfare and safety of the community," Sullivan said in her report.
The ordinance would delay consideration of Kruppe's application by two weeks, assuming he files his new application promptly. Furthermore, Kruppe would have to renew his application every 30 days to allow entertainment, Myles said.
But Kruppe's attorney, George Mull of Sacramento, says the proposed ordinance really has nothing to do with the On the Beach nightclub. Instead, it relates to any kind of live entertainment, such as museum entertainment, jugglers and ballroom dancing, Mull said. This affects any potential live entertainment in the county, he added.
"Unless they already have a (use) permit, that's true," Myles said.
Mull said he isn't sure what to make of the proposed urgency ordinance.
"It adds this very strange new thing," Mull said. "It's really poorly crafted."
A hearing on Kruppe's lawsuit against the county has been postponed from April 7 to April 21 in U.S. District Court in Sacramento.
Here are the basics:
- Use permit applications that have not been approved by the county are null and void. Applicants must file for a special event permit instead.
- The county's Community Development Department has 15 days to rule on the application.
- The special events permit is good for 30 days. Permit holders must reapply every 30 days.
- The ordinance requires a four-fifths vote today by the Board of
Supervisors to go into effect. It will expire in 45 days unless
supervisors extend it. Then the ordinance will be valid for up to
22 months, 15 days.
Source: San Joaquin County Community Development Department