Bergthold said he helped a bit when West Chester Twp. crafted its ban on these establishments after a club tried to open there. The issue wound up in court.
The owners of the Champagne Club, Melissa Warren and Eric Adams of Sanford Group LLC sued the township after they found their sexually oriented business license and zoning certificate revoked in November by the township’s former director of community development.
In February, a judge ruled the township should not have revoked the swinger’s club’s permit. The two sides settled for $90,000 and a promise the Sanford Group would not try to relocate elsewhere in the township.
So far in Butler County, Hamilton, Liberty and West Chester townships have also outlawed swingers clubs.
Massage parlors are another potential haven for illegal activity and Bergthold said the city wanted to close off that avenue. The new regulations state that there must be a state licensed massage therapist at the establishment.
“It’s trying to be proactive to protect the community,” he said. “Places that could be a subterfuge to prostitution, or sex trafficking… It’s really the requirement that you obtain a license before you open a business of this sort… So the legitimate places will continue and thrive and do well, but the places that are illegitimate will hopefully be weeded out on the front end.”