CHULA VISTA, Calif. - The Chula Vista City Council approved an ordinance Thursday that regulates sex-oriented businesses in the city.
Thursday night's special meeting was called as a response to numerous citizen complaints about the opening of a new strip club called Eyecandy Showgirls, which applied for a license from the city as a comedy club.
Nude dancing cannot be outlawed since it is considered part of the Constitutional right to free speech. It can, however, be regulated.
The Chula Vista City Council quickly voted to set up legal guidelines that includes a ban on lap dances.
Chula Vista Police Chief David Bejarano said other rules include, "...the distance between the patron and entertainer; no touching, no direct tipping; ensuring there's proper security. ”
He also warned of secondary effects of sex-oriented businesses and that they can be magnets for trouble.
"Tthe potential for prostitution, the additional calls for service, drug activity, disturbances at the business," said Bejarano.
One man chastised the council for allowing Eyecandy Showgirls to open under the guise of a cabaret theater while seeking a license as a comedy club.
“This is a horrible situation," said Larry Breitfelder-Navas, a candidate for the city council. "This is the last place a business like this should have been located. This is death to our investment on the Bay Front.”
The strip club is legal, but it now has to follow rules within the ordinance. That's when an already downsized police force will have to shift resources at times to investigate and make inspections.
“In many cases obviously it has to be a plain clothes covert operation so it does require quite a bit of law enforcement to make sure they're complying with all regulations," said Bejarano.
The ordinance takes effect immediately, although the club has 90 days to comply with several requirements such as a guardrail around the stage.