By Mark Davenport Email
HOLLYWOOD, SC (WCSC) – Three town council members in Hollywood voted to revoke the business license of Club 17 South Wednesday night.
In a special meeting to hear changes of the club's policy made by owner Cynthia Magwood, council members decided the club's doors should remain closed.
Magwood hired attorney David Aylor to represent her and Club 17 South. At the meeting, which resembled a jury trial, Aylor called witnesses, cited police reports and made his closing argument.
"Most clubs are lucky having people coming in the doors at all," Aylor said. "In fact, their club was getting popular and maybe a little above and beyond what their security was at that time. It is a concern but it shouldn't be a reason to shut them down."
The case, he presented to a packed room of Hollywood residents, wasn't enough to restore Club 17 South's business license.
Club 17 South first opened its doors Oct. 6, 2010. It quickly became the weekend hotspot in Hollywood. Magwood says many nights over 200 people were packed into the club.
But since it's opening, Hollywood Attorney John Austin says the club has broken multiple town ordinances including everything from disturbances and noise violations to a shooting in the club's parking lot Jan. 2, 2010.
"We have a knowingly repeated violation that threatens the neighborhood…Threatens the peace and quiet of the neighborhood," says Austin. "The question isn't whether this revocation should be upheld. It's how could you let this club continue to operate?"
One of the big issues Hollywood has with the club is its closing time. The club has been reported closing many nights at 4 a.m. That is two hours after the town allows bars to operate.
Magwood stated before her business license was revoked that she didn't know that was in the town ordinance. The town of Hollywood clerk says a list of ordinances was sent to Magwood's address notifying her of the rules.
Regardless, Aylor testified in order to strengthen Club 17 South's case, Magwood made changes to the club's policy effective immediately if her license is returned. Some of those new rules include, no one allowed in the club under 21 years of age, closing time to be strictly enforced at 2 a.m., heightened security detail and adding a metal detector for safety at the club's entrance.
Even after addressing the changes, the three-member voting panel revoked the return of the license. Magwood and her attorney will appeal the decision Monday night, Jan. 24, 2010, at Hollywood's town council meeting.