Commission must consider topless club on Kingsbury Grade |

Commission must consider topless club on Kingsbury Grade

Christina Proctor, Tribune staff writer

How much traffic would a topless bar generate? That is the latest question Tamara Laub must answer in her quest to open a topless club on lower Kingsbury Grade.

Laub, owner of Fantasy Girls in Reno, approached the Douglas County Liquor Board last month seeking a cabaret-discotheque license to open Club Eden at the location of the gay nightclub Faces. The board informed Laub that she needed approval from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency first.

The TRPA handed the matter back to Douglas County this month stating Laub’s request was exempt from TRPA review if it didn’t increase traffic by more than 100 daily trips. Whether Laub will pursue a traffic study is unknown. Laub was unavailable for comment Wednesday. Laub’s request is scheduled to come back again at the July 20 meeting of the Douglas County Commissioners.

Commissioner Don Miner said regardless of the traffic impact he believes Laub’s request is inappropriate for the location, which is close to Kahle Community Park and a neighborhood church.

“We may have a question as to how that activity fits under the community plan,” Miner said. “If we decide it should not be an allowed use we could take it to the TRPA governing board. Another option might be to rescind the consistency ordinance that Douglas County adopted six months ago.”

Douglas County zoning ordinances outside the Lake Tahoe Basin only permit topless clubs in industrial areas, but inside the basin Douglas County rules take a second place behind the bi-state regulatory agency.

“The superiority rests with TRPA’s ordinances,” Miner said. “We adopted those to make it less confusing for residents in Douglas County.

“I wouldn’t want a precedent established where various other bars could convert to this type of entertainment.”

Laub’s business plan drew loud opposition from Kingsbury Grade residents. During Laub’s first appearance before the commissioners in June, County Manager Dan Holler said the county received 82 calls against the business and five in favor. The courtroom at the Douglas County Administration Building in Stateline filled with residents wanting to voice their opinions. The majority weighed in against the club.

Regardless of public sentiment, Commissioner Kelly Kite pointed out to the crowd that neither the liquor board or the county commission had any authority to regulate a business based on personal likes or dislikes.

“The law does not allow us to regulate anybody’s patrons or how they conduct business,” Kite said. “We can not approve or deny a business on whether we like it or not.”

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