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Published: Tuesday, 12/10/2002

Deny or give club OK, judge orders Maumee

Dancers at the XO club in Maumee can't start stripping yet, but they may have moved closer to taking the stage.

U.S. District Judge John Potter ordered Maumee yesterday to either issue or deny the Holland Road club an occupancy permit. The city has refused to inspect the club because its managers haven't been specific enough about the type of “live entertainment” that will be featured.

“The city should either deny or grant” the permit, Judge Potter said. “You can't leave [the club] in limbo.”

In response, Maumee decided to inspect the club today. But Sheilah McAdams, city law director, said the occupancy permit will be denied if the club doesn't show its use will comply with the sexually oriented business ordinance that Maumee enacted in June.

Maumee police shut down XO on Nov. 22 after it opened without an occupancy permit. An undercover officer said scantily clad women danced on a stage, and topless and totally nude dancing was offered in secluded areas of the club.

Ms. McAdams said if the club continues to offer topless or nude dancing, it would not be in compliance with an ordinance that requires adult businesses to locate in areas zoned for heavy industry.

She said if the dancers wear “pasties and g-strings,” the club would be allowed to remain in the commercial district.

“The body-to-body contact [reported by the Maumee officer] wouldn't be a use that complies with the ordinance,” Ms. McAdams said.

H. Louis Sirkin, a Cincinnati attorney representing the club, said it's unconstitutional to keep the club from opening because of a suspicion it will violate the Maumee ordinance. He said he is pleased that Judge Potter ordered the city to decide on the permit.

“It's a start,” Mr. Sirkin said. “We can't do anything without an inspection. We have to put the batter up to the plate.”

U.S. District Judge David Katz will conduct a more extensive hearing next Tuesday. XO is challenging the constitutionality of Maumee's ordinance, which was enacted three days after BAS Enterprize, parent company of the club, filed for a building permit. BAS Enterprize is the Ohio parent company of Halo Ventures, a Las Vegas firm doing business as XO.

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