Club goes to court over nude dancing
Club goes to court over nude dancing BY STEPHANIE BRADFORD, Correspondent
Club Good Times in Columbia has appealed the borough zoning board's rejection of its request to feature fully nude dancing at its 425 Union St. business.
Allen Shollenberger, the attorney representing the club, said it is a zoning issue and that the board's Feb. 27 decision was a "clear error of law."
The board, he said, did not consider any evidence supporting the club's case, specifically that there are no sites within the borough for adult-use businesses, as required by law. The ruling, Shellenberger said, was "popular, not legal."
The appeal was filed with the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas.
"The borough," Columbia attorney Neil Albert said, is "very serious about upholding (the decision) and responsive to citizens who complained about (the club's impact on) quality of life."
Transcriptions of the hearing have been submitted to the court, and both sides will have an opportunity to present briefs. It will be up to the court to decide if the board acted properly.
Albert said it "could be six months until we have a decision."
Both the borough and the club have additional legal resources available.
Shollenberger said he will make a motion to have attorney Philip George, who practices in New Jersey, approved to be part of the club's legal team.
Columbia Mayor Leo Lutz, meanwhile, said he has been contacted by Randall Wenger, chief counsel at the Independence Law Center, who has offered the borough free legal help.
Borough Council told Lutz at its April 22 meeting to "see what he (Wenger) had to offer," council's vice chairwoman, Mary Wickenheiser, said in an interview.
The Independence Law Center is affiliated with the Pennsylvania Family Institute, a nonprofit organization based in Harrisburg.
According to its website, the Family Institute is a research and education organization that works to "strengthen families by restoring to public life the traditional, foundational principles and values essential for the well-being of society and … promote unity among pro-family groups."
Until the court hears the case, and a decision is made, the club is "bound to … continue with the status quo (partially nude dancing)," Albert said.
nAttorney says Columbia Borough zoners made a "popular, not legal" decision.