Skip to comments.Swinger's club draws opposition
Posted on 12/19/2005 6:16:18 PM PST by SJackson
New Haven's lawyer says a fight with the adult club could be tough and expensive A "swingers" club opened in New Haven Township despite a new ordinance attempting to regulate adult-oriented entertainment in the rural township.
The town board members and residents expressed disapproval and tried unsuccessfully to discuss the new club with one of its owners at the board's regular meeting Thursday night.
Michael J. Bennin, who along with David Holman are listed as owners of the facility called Club WetSpot, refused to answer questions at the public meeting. He said his attorney, Jeff Scott Olson, was unavailable and several times responded to questions about the business by saying he could not answer questions without his attorney present.
He did say his attorney said the club doesn't fit under the town's ordinance. That ordinance was adopted by the town in September, before the club opened.
The club is listed on the Web site of NASCA, an organization for those who enjoy the "swinging" lifestyle. In a question and answer section on that group's Web site the lifestyle is described as primarily for couples who enjoy sex with those who are not their partners. That can be either with a single person or with groups. It notes that single men and women can attend.
On the local club's Web site, it says that single men need a sponsor for admission. Single women and couples apparently don't. The Web site indicates that people attending should bring their own liquor, but the club supplies mixers.
Town Chairman Bob Krause said he visited with Bennin at the club last week and gave him a copy of the ordinance. At that time Bennin claimed to be unaware of the ordinance, Krause said.
The club, located on Gillette Drive in Adams County, is on the site of a former recycling center. Krause said the property sold for $100,000 and the 12,000 square foot building on it has been partially remodeled for the new club. The club is in about 4,500 square feet within the building. A two-story structure has been constructed within the building, bathrooms have been added, heating added and rewiring, Krause said.
No building permits have been issued for the structure, and they are required by Adams County. Krause also said no well or septic permits have been issued. He said the club relies on a holding tank, but another person at the meeting said he thought new septic tanks had been installed.
The county has not inspected the place, Krause said, because it does not have a certified commercial building inspector. The county's building inspectors are certified for home inspections, he said, and did not want to inspect the commercial site fearing a lawsuit.
The county's zoning administrator was not available for comment Friday.
The town's attorney, Eric J. Pollex said businesses like these are designed to get around ordinances. He also indicated that the club's attorney, Olson, travels the country defending adult-oriented establishments.
"It's (the ordinance) is crystal clear that it applies to strip club and applies to any adult-oriented business," said Pollex, who wrote the ordinance.
Krause said ordinances like New Haven's are difficult to enforce, because the clubs claim they impinge on 1st Amendment rights to free speech.
Pollex said quietly when Krause finished speaking, "if not done right."
"This will be a big fight and it's going to be tough," Pollex told the board. He said he did not agree that the club was "outside the box" set up by the ordinance. The downside of fighting the club's operation would be that if the town loses it would have to pay the club's attorney fees, he said. That could be as high as $500 per hour and could reach $600,000 or more.
Becky and Ken Hutchinson, who live next door to the club and have two children, said, "We don't need this." Becky Hutchinson said the club has a lot of traffic and patrons come out and "talk trash" that can be heard by the children. The Hutchinsons' home is about 30 feet from the club, which has put up a fence.
Ken Hutchinson said that during construction, he was approached and asked if his well could be used. He agreed and was given $100. He understood that the use would only be during construction, but the well continues to be used.
Pollex asked Hutchinson to call him to discuss that situation in private.
Pollex also said he would call or meet with the club's attorney and notify the board of the results of that meeting. He did advise the board to put the subject on its next meeting agenda. That meeting is scheduled for Jan. 19 at 7 p.m.
The NASCA Web site lists seven other clubs in Wisconsin in Kenosha, Oshkosh, Janesville, Madison, Merrillan and Milwaukee.
---No building permits have been issued for the structure, and they are required by Adams County.
---no well or septic permits have been issued.
---The county has not inspected the place because it does not have a certified commercial building inspector.
But as the owners likely know, important for a town of less than 700
The downside of fighting the club's operation would be that if the town loses it would have to pay the club's attorney fees, he said. That could be as high as $500 per hour and could reach $600,000 or more.
Don't know if it's worth a ping.
Time to put on some Sinatra records.
They're life's losers. Let em swing and save the hassle, taxpayers bucks, etc...Who really cares?
Trash talking in the parking lot? What no pictures?
My ex-wife didn't need a fancy "club".
Why do you care? I'd really like to understand why people want to stop these things. I know it's easier to explain to children that certain people aren't right as rain when they are banished from view, but that ain't forever and maybe the visibility today is better left to a parent's explanations then to a dial-it-futureward strategy.
"On the local club's Web site, it says that single men need a sponsor for admission. Single women and couples apparently don't. "
Is gender discrimination at a public business legal? Didn't some bars get in trouble for having different prices for men and women?
Moral Absolutes Ping.
Free speeh? Free speech should be what it was intended to mean - the spoken and written word.
Isn't it amazing to what vile depths our country has sunk? So a club dedicated to fornication and adultery can open where ever it wants, in a regular neighborhood, breaking local rules, and already plans to fight, hoping to break the bank of the small town?
I know I'm bad, but I say gas can and lighter.
Or local people walking up and down in front of it with camberas and signs 24/7. Signs like "We don't want an adultery and fornication club in our town".
Ask yourself - why is illicit sex now holy and protected? What happened in the last couple of generations? And if anyone thinks that wild sexual behavior does not have terrible ramifications, such a person is eiather an adolescent in age or emotional maturity.
Freepmail me if you want on/off this pinglist.
I knew a couple that went to bars and whichever partner got picked up the other went home and watched. Weird folks but they are still partners. They own a used car lot. I guess you could say "Think Used"
Weeell.. A gas can and lighter might be an actual violation of the First Amendment. Let me see here. Yes I think it is! But protesting the place with cameras and signs might be an expression of your First Amendment rights. Yes - I think there's a real difference to your proposed solutions there...
Because they care about their lousy little rural Wisconsin town.
These guys may have picked the wrong site. Six or seven years ago Perrier, after being turned down for a water plant site west of Milwaukee (??) decided they'd head for the sticks where no one could afford the legal fees. They picked New Haven, where the citizens didn't want a water plant. After a fight of several years, which included a recall of several town officials which the New York Times (??) addressed as anarchy, Perrier gave up their plans and built in Michigan.
Wow - they own the whole (lousy rural Wisconsin) town? Simple then - just don't go there it will shrivel up and die. I don't like VHS - gone! Off the channel rotation even. Maybe it's still care maybe I don't care.
Classy. : )
I think all of these kind of places should be built right beside the homes of folks who think as you do.
Property is the root of all freedoms. I don't own the town I live in, only a single plot within it. That one's mine. So that's all I control. Should such an enterprise move nearby, values will have declined a decade in advance such that I will have moved. Just like changing the channel.
I don't own the town I live in, only a single plot within it. That one's mine. So that's all I control. Should such an enterprise move nearby, values will have declined a decade in advance such that I will have moved. Just like changing the channel.
But I thought enterprises like this were victimless??