Town draws line on exotic dance clubs

May 08, 2000|By ANDREA ROWLAND

WILLIAMSPORT - The Williamsport Town Council on Monday voted to change the town's zoning text to prohibit new exotic dance clubs, but to allow new tattoo and body piercing studios on a case-by-case basis.

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The council had originally proposed barring all three types of establishments from opening in Williamsport.

Councilwoman Gloria J. Bitner cast the only dissenting vote on the tattoo and body piercing portion of the zoning text amendment.

Monday's vote followed a well-attended April public hearing on the issue.

The majority of the 20 or so people at that hearing objected to banning new tattoo and piercing salons but supported barring new exotic dance clubs.

Some of the people who attended the public hearing also sat in on a May 1 council workshop, at which the issue was discussed prior to Monday's vote.


Assistant Mayor James Black said he was impressed by a visit to Williamsport's only tattoo studio, and suggested allowing by special exception new tattoo and body piercing salons within any of the town's zoning districts.

Applications would be considered on a case-by-case basis. Applicants rejected by the town's zoning board would have to go before an appeals board, said Williamsport Mayor John W. Slayman.

Black spoke against allowing new exotic dance clubs.

The Williamsport Planning Commission had sent the council a letter recommending the proposed zoning text change in its entirety.

There are no exotic dance clubs in Williamsport, but the owners of Mr. Natural's Tattoo Studio and Ms. Natural's Body Piercing at 3 N. Conococheague St. would have to apply for a special exception should they decide to move to a different location within town limits, said Town Attorney Edward Kuczynski.

Mr. Natural's owner Jared Jordan said he thought the extra paperwork would prove burdensome, "but if that's the way it's gonna be, that's the way it's gonna be."

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