Sexually-oriented ‘adult club’ opening in West Chester

Champagne Club, an “adult nightclub,” is expected to open by year’s end at 9815 Harwood Court, approximately 650 feet away from Cornerstone Child Development Center at 200 Commercial Drive in Fairfield, according to a West Chester Twp. zoning permit obtained by the Journal-News.

The business would be owned by two Indiana residents who already own a “lifestyle” club by the same name in Fort Wayne, Ind. The 8,561-square-foot business will be located around the corner from Commercial Drive and Ohio 4 in an industrial area zoned for such businesses.

This isn’t the first such business to open in Butler County. A similar establishment exists on Cincinnati-Dayton Road in Middletown.

Barb Wilson, spokeswoman for West Chester Twp., said the community’s zoning resolution was amended in 2011 to only allow sexually oriented businesses in specifically designated areas.

“We can’t be subjective about what businesses we allow,” she said. “We can’t say a certain type of business can’t locate in West Chester, but you can dictate where they’re located.

What West Chester can and did do is designate mainly industrial “low impact” areas where such businesses could be allowed and limit them to 500 feet from an existing daycare or school, Wilson said.

West Chester also ran a background check on the club’s owners through the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

In addition, West Chester’s zoning resolution was revised to require such a business to apply for renewal of its business license each year, Wilson said.

West Chester issued that license last Friday to Sanford Group LLC.

Wilson said it is important to note that Champagne Club hours would be “very limited,” opening just 8 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 8 p.m. to midnight on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month.

“It’s a members-only establishment, so it’s not something that people just off the street can go visit this club,” she said. “ You have to have a membership to the organization, and then you pay an admission charge, as well.”

Plans for the club show a lobby, check-in area, lockers, dance floor, kitchen, bar, pool table and nine “meeting rooms.”

The website for the Champagne Club’s Indiana location said it’s about couples and singles getting together in “an erotic nightclub,” “letting them explore at their own pace,” and seeing where that may lead.

The owners of the club could not be reached for comment.

Kim Cash, owner of Cornerstone, said she learned of the Champagne Club last Tuesday from a West Chester business owner, three days before a permit was issued for the club, which will replace former tenant Top-Line Armor Systems.

“Apparently, West Chester doesn’t have to give me a heads up because I’m not in West Chester, I’m in Fairfield,” she said. “I’m only 650 feet from them.”

Cash said it is “extremely frustrating” that she cannot do anything to prevent the business from opening around the corner from her, especially when Fairfield zoning laws prohibit such an establishment within 1,000 feet.

“It’s not exactly good for my business, now is it,” Cash said. “I just think it could bring a lot of unwanted people, crime, prostitution, pornography, things like that to this area.

“If it were Fairfield all the way down (the road) it wouldn’t have been issued because Fairfield zoning laws are a lot stricter. They would have never been allowed to open there if that had been Fairfield.”

Cash on Monday sent an email to parents of children who attend the center to let them know of the club’s opening.

Christian Wood, of Fairfield, whose 5-year-old and 7-year-old sons are enrolled at the center, told the Journal-News she’s “not very happy” about the club’s planned opening.

“It’s not something I want near my kids at all,” Wood said.

Andrea Carlock, whose 4-year-old daughter has attended Cornerstone for the past three years, said having the club so close to the center is not appropriate.

“If this swingers bar would have been located in Fairfield, it would not be there because the zoning in Fairfield is 1,000 feet,” Carlock said. “I just think it’s pretty sad that one street away it’s West Chester and their zoning is only 500 feet.”

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