Uproar over proposed topless club

April 7, 2009 9:15:06 PM PDT
The public is joining the fight against the prospect of a sexually-oriented business opening around the corner from HISD's district headquarters.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

A businessman wants to take an old restaurant at Mangum and the Northwest Freeway and turn it into a topless club. The thing is, neither the district, nor any of you for that matter, can do anything about it.

HPD's Vice Division has gotten an earful. Eyewitness News has learned the city ordinance does not provide for public protests. It's up to the police department to approve an application for a sexually-oriented business.

HISD's girl's softball teams have waited a long time for a softball field. The one near Delmar Stadium is earning praise, although some parents fear that the newness will soon be sullied by the topless.

"I don't think it should be in this neighborhood, not this close to a high school stadium," said one parent.

Just down the street from Delmar is 2425 Mangum, an old steak and ale restaurant with new intentions as the signs state. HPD's Vice Division says the applicant wants the property to be a sexually-oriented business, or SOB, a topless club called Honeys.

"Honeys, huh? Well, there's a lot more room if they go down the following block and keep it away from our daughters," said parent Vincent Villarreal.

HISD is also objecting. The district's legal department has sent a letter to the police department stating its case. The Delmar Sports Complex where students regularly gather is about two blocks away from the proposed club.

"We believe that we do qualify here as a school," said HISD Spokesperson Norm Uhl.

By law, SOB's cannot be within 1,500 feet from a school.

As the police department nears the end of its 20-day investigation before making a decision on the SOB license, Dr. Steven Levy of the Lone Star Children's Medical Clinic also hopes he's heard.

"This is totally inappropriate," said Levy

His established children's clinic is right next door. Levy and his attorney are exploring the law. Honeys is not the neighbor he wants.

"That element does not need to be in proximity to a children's hospital," said Levy.

This is the second time the business owner has applied for an SOB license. The first application was denied for a number of reasons. HPD says it should have its decision by next Monday. A nearby neighborhood has also joined in the fight.

We had hoped to talk to the person who applied for the SOB license, but he sped off.

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