The recent decision by Logan Circuit Judge Tyler Gill directing the county judge to allow an entertainment permit to a south Logan bar featuring pole dancing, has prompted a magistrate to look into tougher local laws hoping to prevent an establishment like the Tenn-Tucky State Line Tavern from opening in Logan County again.
“I know we can’t do anything about what is here now, but maybe we can make our ordinance more strict to keep it from happening again,” said Magistrate Jo Orange.
Sheila Haley, owner of the Tenn-Tucky State Line Tavern, applied for the permit in March of 2012 so that she could pay for pole dancers to entertain patrons at her establishment. Her request for an entertainment permit was denied by Judge/Executive Logan Chick who said in his ruling, “I must deny this application for an entertainment permit, as certain conditions exist that lead me to believe the proposed establishment could have an irreversible negative impact on the safety and well being of the residents of this county, as well as those who are required to regulate this establishment.”
Haley hired an attorney and filed an appeal of Chick’s ruling soon after.
In his ruling Gill states that the Kentucky statute that allowed Chick to deny the permit was too vague and thus, unconstitutional.
“That portion of the statutory scheme is invalid as it attempts to convey unfettered arbitrary power in violation of Section 2 of the Kentucky Constitution and is void for vagueness in violation of the right of due process under the 14th Amendment to the Federal Constitution,” Gill wrote in his order.
In the order, Gill does state that Chick did nothing wrong in initially denying the permit.
“I think we need to look at the county’s adult entertainment ordinance to see if changes need to be made to prevent something like this from occurring again,” said Orange at the end of Tuesday’s Fiscal Court meeting during post agenda items.
At Tuesday’s fiscal court meeting, it was asked who would be responsible for fighting Gill’s decision that ordered Chick to allow the permit.
County attorney Joe Ross said that would be up to the Attorney General’s Office, who could intervene, but he didn’t know if they would take it up. Ross said his office technically could, however, he said it would be a huge undertaking and he did not have enough staff to do it.
Orange suggested sending a letter of behalf of the county to the Attorney General asking that they look into it. Ross said that would be where to start.
“Any motivation you could give would be helpful,” said Ross.
Orange said this was a big concern and the county needed to look into what It could do to keep this from happening again.
Magistrate Russell Poore shared Orange’s concerns and added a few of his own.
“My concern is the landfill,” said Poore, who is worried when the landfill closes in 2015, will they sell any left over space to another waste business.
Along with the landfill, Poore mentioned the transfer station and turkey farms and said something needed to be put on the books to protect the county before things actually happen.
“The county needs to consider asking Joe (Ross) to write up some regulations that if some of these that come in, we have laws and control over,” said Poore.
Orange asked Poore if he was talking about land use planning. Poore said you could call it what you want, but warned when you say “zoning,” it scares people.
Ross said he and Poore had talked about it and having an ordinance in place before would have been useful.
“I do think that it would be a good endeavor to have something beforehand,” said Ross.
Orange requested a copy of Gill’s ruling, as well as a copy of the county’s current adult entertainment ordinance. The issue is to be brought back up, said Orange at a future meeting.