Forest Park's adult entertainment ordinance wins support

The City of Forest Park's adult entertainment ordinance has been upheld the federal court, with the exception of a regulatory fee sought officials. It is under review the U.S. Court of Appeals.

An attorney for the owner of the city's two adult entertainment clubs said the clubs will appeal the ruling. Aubrey Villines represents Jack Galardi, owner of Pink Pony South and Crazy Horse Saloon.

"With the utmost respect to the court, we think the court is totally wrong, and we're confident we're going to prevail," said Villines. "Even if the court upheld most of it, it's not totally valid, and they've tried three times to make it valid."

Villines said he has a conference Friday with the judge in the case.

The U.S. District Court in Atlanta ruled that the city's entire ordinance is constitutional, with the exception of the regulatory fee leaders want to impose on owners to offset the added costs incurred the city to police the clubs. City leaders consider the ruling a victory.

"Neither of the clubs has ever been charged the fee under the existing ordinance," said City Manager John Parker. Villines said he has filed a motion for reconsideration of the ordinance, and will appeal if necessary.

The city revised its adult entertainment ordinance in March 2009, barring complete nudity, tipping, lap dances and alcohol sales. The following year, the city council issued a moratorium on permits to adult clubs until March 15, to give the city time to properly advertise proposed changes. After taking public input, the city adopted a new ordinance with the tighter restrictions.

Galardi's business has had a presence in Forest Park for 16 years, said Villines. "We don't see how they can do this now, after they've changed their minds, and after we've spent millions of dollars," he said.

Villines said the clubs create jobs, and are good for the economy of Forest Park. "We are the third-largest tax base in the city," said Villines. "This is something that employs people, we draw people into Forest Park who spend money here on their way to see us. There is no other reason to come to Forest Park, except for the Farmers Market."

But Parker said getting the tighter restrictions is all for the public good. "The city has passed an ordinance that is designed to limit negative effects of the clubs as much as possible," said Parker. "Our citizens tell us that they do not want the illegal and undesirable conduct that comes directly from unregulated adult entertainment."