Milford city zoning to keep Zippers closed

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

An April 9 fire that destroyed Zippers Gentleman’s Club in Milford may have brought an end to exotic performances in the city.

“It will not be able to rebuild as Zippers,” Milford City Clerk Carrie Funk said.

Milford Zoning Administrator Don Brinkley said the club was considered an adult cabaret, which is no longer allowed in the city.

“The building can be rebuilt, but the use is not a conforming use,” he said. “It was when it was new but, now that it’s been destroyed, it can’t be rebuilt for that use … Because it was in place when the new ordinances were (made), it was accepted as a nonconforming use.”

Current zoning ordinances do not allow sexually-oriented businesses in any of the Milford zoning districts. Brinkley indicated a changed ordinance does not mean a business must immediately close.

“As long as they’re existing, you can’t say, ‘You’re done for,’” Brinkley said.

Funk said the club was subject to several sections of the zoning ordinance. She emphasized section 17.7 of the Milford Zoning Ordinance.

The section reads, “Any non-conforming building or structure damaged more than 50 percent of its replacement value exclusive of the foundations at the time of damage by fire, flood, explosion, war, riot, or act of God shall not be restored or reconstructed and used as before such happening …”

The club and other nearby buildings were declared a total loss, according to a statement from the Milford Fire Department after the fire.

Club owner Dan Lewis was unsure whether the club would be rebuilt after the fire. He said he recently submitted a proposal to the city for a multipurpose building on the site.

“The current ordinance does prevent us from being able to do that, but I checked with them because, ordinances can be changed,” Lewis said. “We’re just trying to see if there’s anything that can be done.”

He said one component of the building would be a gentleman’s club, another would be a sports bar and a third component would be open to options. Lewis indicated a franchise business could be housed in the third portion of the building. Lewis said he has yet to officially hear back from the city council regarding the proposal.

Lewis had nearly finished a major renovation of the club’s interior before the fire destroyed the building and several surrounding structures. He said demolition of the club began Tuesday, after neighboring businesses were able to remove their goods. He expects the demolition to be finished by the weekend.

What’s considered a sexually oriented business?

-Adult arcades

-Adult bookstores, novelty stores and video stores

-Adult Cabarets

-Adult Motels

-Adult Motion Picture Theaters

-Adult Theatres

-Adult Employees

-Escort Agencies

-Nude Model Studios

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