Bonita Springs Business Owners Fear Impact Of New Strip Club
Wednesday 22 September 2059 83649 Shares
Bonita Springs, FL – A newly-approved strip club in Bonita Springs is causing concern among some residents and business owners who feel the club would be out of place.
Jeb Smith, a businessman from Clearwater, filed paperwork to obtain a “Sexually Oriented Business” permit for a property at 26701 Highland Woods Blvd near Highland Woods Country Club. After much dissent from local residents, the permit was finally approved with construction set to begin in May.
The area consists mostly of a shopping center and nearby country club.
“It’s quiet. There’s not a lot of retail traffic. There’s not a lot of people,” said Hyacinth Belcher, a resident of Highland Woods.
Belcher said her audio visual business has sat near the property for 15 years. She feels the potential new neighbor could drive them away.
“It’s just not something anybody who works or lives here wants to see or be around just because it’s a family oriented business,” said Belcher.
Belcher and the owners of several nearby businesses feel a gentleman’s club does not make sense for the area.
“I do feel like it’s completely out of place,” said Belcher. “It doesn’t match the type of business that’s in this area.”
Belcher also said 50 percent of her business comes from churches and charitable groups.
“Half the business, that’s a lot,” said Belcher. “They might very well be offended and may decide to take their business elsewhere.”
The businessman who filed the permit said he does not understand the concerns. He insisted there will be plenty of security and that his investors are spending $2 million to make it as nice as anything people see in Las Vegas.
Belcher and other owners have voiced their concerns to police. The Vice Unit is in charge of approving “Sexually Oriented Business” permits.
“Honestly we wouldn’t want to stay here and I think a lot of people don’t,” said Belcher.
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