Friday, October 29, 2010

Strip Club To Be Continued

The North Bay Village Commission failed to act on the building proposed at 1415 JFK Causeway during the special session last night. They deadlocked 2 - 2 as Paul Vogel was absent owing to a family illness. Prior to that, the Planning and Zoning Board met, with only three members present. They voted 3- 0 to recommend denial of the plans, not based on use by the way, but on the number of incomplete items on the application.

This means that the subject is continued, not dismissed, and most likely will come up again at the next meeting, November 1 no less, of the City Commission, if Dr. Vogel is back. If he's not, it will be continued.

The developer's argument is that he is just asking for a building to anchor the proposed Baywalk. He has not marketed to any specific tenants and cannot speak to who would be interested. Further, the developer argues that North Bay Village does not have the right to consider use of a building when approving plans.

On the other side, Planning and Zoning is saying that there is an excessive number of items on the plans that have been left blank, including the much touted landscaping which was delivered last night, too late for consideration. The Commission had serious questions about the parking since Isle of Dreams (Scott Greenwald) and Channel 7 are currently in a lawsuit about that very subject. In other words, P&Z found the plans are not ready for full consideration, and the commission believes approval would put us in the middle of the current lawsuit.

Now, as regards the triple-D elephant in the room - what are they proposing? The lawyers for Scott Greenwald expressed shock and dismay at the rumors that this is intended to be an "adult" entertainment complex and wondered however did this vicious rumor got started.

Robert Leider, General Manager of Channel 7, was able to shed some light on that. It seems that Greenwald's attorneys met with Channel 7's attorneys a few months back and Greenwald's team wanted to know if Channel 7 had a problem with a "high end gentlemen's club" next door. Channel 7 in fact does have a problem with that as they are a 24/7 operation with over 300 staff members on varying schedules and they are not thrilled about employees leaving or arriving in the middle of the night to a parking lot full of strip club patrons.

After this clarification, the lawyers dropped the subject and returned to stressing all "legal use" and sternly warning the city that we have no rights regarding the decision to approve or disapprove the building. You know, if the glove don't fit, we must acquit.

Citizen turnout was light, which surprised me. This is a big issue. Speaking in favor of the proposal was Skipper Fane Lozman, who lives on a garbage scow west of Harbor Island. He threatened to not invest his many millions earned from lawsuits his brilliance as a financial guru, in North Bay Village.

Then he mentioned me! (OMG, he knows who I am!) In the first mention, he said I was probably hanging out at the new gay club The Bay here in North Bay Village. (Well, I was there Wednesday for disco night with Nancy.) Then he confusingly said that I had a group of young people illegally voting from my address. Later, I asked him what he was talking about but he turned and walked back to the safety of the brightly lit auditorium without explaining what he was referring to but did shout that I am the subject of a criminal investigation which is news to me. The mystery remains. Fane's like that.

Kevin Vericker
October 29, 2010

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