Maumee City Council yesterday took formal action to try to strip the XO Club of its liquor permit.
During a special meeting, council approved an emergency resolution opposing renewal of the controversial club's liquor permit, based on substantial legal grounds including that the club sold beer to an underage person; violated the city's zoning code; failed to check identification of people buying alcohol, and violated a court order that set terms under which it can operate.
The vote was 6-0, with Councilman Thomas Shook absent.
The resolution, along with a statement from Law Director Sheilah McAdams detailing reasons for the objections to the renewal, will be forwarded to the Ohio Department of Commerce's Division of Liquor Control. According to the law director, the club has continued to operate as a sexually oriented business in violation of the city's zoning code.
In addition, the club's location interferes with the public decency, sobriety, peace, and good order of the neighborhood that includes schools, medical offices, and restaurants.
A hearing will be set to review the matter with a division attorney serving as hearing officer. The attorney will make a recommendation to the division's superintendent, who will then decide whether to sustain or overrule the objection, said Matt Mullins, spokesman for the Division of Liquor Control. The decision can be appealed.
The city has requested that the hearing be conducted in Toledo.
City officials had hoped to thwart the BAS Enterprize, Inc., request to expand the area covered by the original liquor permit, but the Division of Liquor Control has approved the expansion to include the patio area at the club at 1500 Holland Rd. Ms. McAdams received notification of the division's approval yesterday.
That means that the city's objection to the renewal of the liquor license will now include the patio area, she said. The club's current liquor license is due to be renewed by June 1 (along with other such permits in the division's Region 2, which includes Lucas County).
No request has been submitted yet by BAS Enterprize for renewal of the permit, Mr. Mullins said yesterday. The XO Club can continue to serve liquor while the city's objection is being considered by the division, he said.
BAS Enterprize is challenging Maumee's zoning law that restricts sexually oriented businesses to industrial districts. While the litigation proceeds, the club is allowed to operate as a nightclub with live entertainment but without any activities that would classify it as an adult cabaret, based on an agreement with the city.
Earlier this month, a U.S. District Court judge found XO in contempt of that order and directed the club to close off its “playpen” and “VIP room.” According to police inspections, dancers were having contact with club patrons in those areas.
Police are continuing to monitor activities at the club, Ms. McAdams said.
XO Club is operated by Halo Ventures, Inc., a Nevada corporation which is a subsidiary of BAS Enterprize, Inc., an Ohio corporation. BAS Enterprize's president and sole shareholder is Hayat Dandan of 328 South Berlin Ave., Oregon, the Ohio Division of Liquor Control said.
Ms. Dandan could not be reached for comment yesterday.