The Brookhaven City Council voted Tuesday to negotiate with a Buford Highway strip club to see if there is a way the business can operate within the bounds of strict limits of a local ordinance.
The council voted to talk with the Pink Pony in private in hopes of reaching a mutual agreement, even as one council member complained the city would be taking a “bribe” if Brookhaven allowed the nude dance club to continue as long as its owners paid a fee, according to published reports of the meeting.
Earlier this month, the Georgia Supreme Court sided with Brookhaven, ruling that the city had the right to regulate sexually oriented businesses. The ordinance requires a city license and dictates that the club must close at midnight and no alcohol can be served if dancers are semi-nude. The ordinance also says dancers cannot remove all their clothes.
But one council member said Brookhaven would be taking a “bribe” if the city allowed the Pink Pony to continue if they paid a fee, much like the fee DeKalb County required when it had jurisdiction.
“Is Brookhaven about to accept a bribe?” Councilwoman Rebecca Chase Williams wrote in an email to constituents before the meeting. “When we became a city, we all agreed that we wanted to limit the proliferation of sexually oriented businesses —that is, strip clubs, massage parlors, and sex toy stores that could turn Buford Hwy. into Cheshire Bridge Road or some kind of red light district.”
Council member Bates Mattison said the purpose of the vote to negotiate was to simply allow the two sides to talk, according to the Reporter Newspapers.
Mayor J. Max Davis agreed with Mattison.
“The Pink Pony reached out to us after we won the lawsuits and filed an injunction to see if there was any possible way to come to some sort of an agreement, short of padlocking their doors in a couple of weeks,” Mayor J. Max Davis said, according to the Brookhaven Post. I’ve always made it my policy as mayor to listen to all sides on all issues involving our city and I make a point to encourage citizens and businesses to speak in the spirit of trying to reach agreement.”
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