Strip club annexation sparks uproar in Doraville

by: John Bachman Updated:

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - Doraville is getting its first strip club, through annexation, and some residents fear the action will open the door for more to set up shop because of a move the city council is scheduled to make Monday night.

Starting Jan. 1, Doraville's city limits will expand along Tilly Mill Road to Peachtree Industrial Boulevard to include a strip mall and a strip club across the street. It's the strip club causing the controversy.

"I own a home here. I don't want it," Doraville resident Diane Griffith said.

"It doesn't bring the right crowd, but at same time, it does bring profit to the city," added Adam McDougal, another resident.

This will be the first strip club in the city limits. There are a couple of clubs on Buford Highway in unincorporated DeKalb County, but this would be the first in Doraville. As a result, the city is taking a closer look at its sex-oriented business laws.

That originally included a license fee of $5,000 but Monday night, the city council lowered it to $350.

"Wow. Can't believe that. That would just mean more in the area, which we certainly don't want," Griffith said.

"You're getting 5,000 (dollars), now you're only getting 350. Doraville's already in enough problems moneywise, so why are they wanting to lower it?" McDougal said.

Channel 2's John Bachman spoke by phone to a special attorney hired by Doraville for the case. The attorney said $5,000 in licensing fees is just too high and the move to lower those fees is a move to avoid future lawsuits.

The fee is supposed to be revenue -neutral. Several nearby cities charge $350 or less. Still, some people in Doraville don't like one strip club and worry it could encourage more to open in the city.

"I just like to keep a little of the country in the city. That's the way it's always been," Griffith said.

The Doraville city attorney said the city has a good ordinance regulating strip clubs. He said Louisville, Ky., had a $5,000 strip-club license fee and a club won a lawsuit. Louisville had to pay its own court fees and the fees for the strip club.



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