NORTH MIAMI (CBS4) – The first strip club in North Miami is one step closer to reality.
At a heated meeting Thursday night, the North Miami Board of Adjustment voted 5-to-2 to grant the strip club a zoning variance, allowing the proposed 20,000 sq. ft. structure on NE 151 Street to sell alcohol, even though it is closer than the mandatory minimum 1,500 feet from residences.READ MORE: 1 Killed After Being Struck By Tri-Rail Train South Of Commercial Blvd.
The proposed adult entertainment club, to be operated by The Sunny Isles Eater, would also be a few hundred feet away from a gymnastics school constantly filled with young children.
Parents showed up at the meeting Thursday to voice their concerns.
“I am very surprised,” said Miami Gymnastics and Dance Academy Owner Natalia Pyrig. “I never expected corruption like this going on the city of North Miami and in the United States at all.”
Emotions bubbled over at times in the council chamber. At one point, a speaker continued talking despite being asked to sit down. In another instance, parents shouted “answer the question” to a board member.
“They’re going to have a strip club,” Flavia Hayoun said. She has 2 daughters who attend the gym 4 hours a day, 6 days a week. “It’s going to have violence, drugs, and alcohol. It’s not right.”
Wearing neon t-shirts and holding signs that read “Children’s Safety Comes First”, kids also filled the room, some even took to the podium during public comment.
“Please protect us, because us, we are the future city, and building that is not really protecting us at all,” one gymnast said.READ MORE: Police Ask For Public's Help In Identifying Suspected Hit-Run-Driver In NE Miami-Dade
At times, the youth presence was questioned.
A board member told parents their kids should not be in attendance.
And North Miami’s former mayor even angered parents by explaining what happens inside strip clubs.
“It is where mommies and daddies can go to watch other people dance naked,” explained Kevin Burns. Parents in the audience gasped in shock.
While the decision is controversial, the attorney for the strip club says it’s perfectly legal.
“I think it’s a fair decision,” said Jeff Cazeau. “It’s what the law required.”
Cazeau argued precedence has been set because other businesses in the city have been granted similar variances.
Parents argued those other businesses were not strip clubs. In fact, this would be the first strip club in the entire city of North Miami.
The gymnastics school owner said she plans to take the fight to court. She claims the entire meeting should not even have taken place. She said it goes against the city charter, but the city attorney disagreed.MORE NEWS: Car Slammed Into Miami Home, Three Dead, Two Hospitalized
In a separate vote, the board decided to allow the club to open from 4pm to 4:30am on weekdays and 1pm to 5:30am on weekends. Those times will be reviewed again 3 months after the club opens.