Scottsdale Strip Laws to Be Decided Tuesday

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — In what has been a lengthy process of deliberation between local strip club owners and city politicians, highlighted by vocal threats of legal action from local owner Jenna Jameson, the Scottsdale City Council said it would decide on Tuesday whether to put controversial strip club regulations on the city’s next ballot.

Jameson, part owner of Babe’s Cabaret, has accused the City Council of a “right-wing agenda,” claiming the new ordinances would force the closure of any sexually oriented business in the city. Representatives from Skin Cabaret, the city’s second club, have maintained similar claims.

If approved by voters, the new city regulations would prohibit strip club dancers from performing within six feet of customers and outlaw nude performances, essentially muting the point of a strip club in the first place. The new regulations also would make it illegal for patrons to drink, or the clubs to sell alcoholic beverages of any kind, a second blow to the clubs.

Attorney for the clubs have asked the City Council for a referendum that would include working with the clubs to find a mutually agreeable solution. In January, supporters of the two clubs turned in more than 9,000 signatures to the County Recorder, spearheaded in large part by the group Citizens Against Bad Government.

“The city should concentrate its limited resources on important consensus issues and not on matters which merely reflect officials' personal agendas,” Citizens Against Bad Government said in a statement.

Jameson has long claimed that the ordinances came about as a result of her celebrity status.

“I believe this would not have become an issue if I hadn't invested in the club,” Jameson said. “The mayor and her council members used my fame to generate publicity that panders to the Religious Right, without regard to the rights of the majority of our citizens who simply want to enjoy adult entertainment.”