Town of Hollywood strip club controversy going to court

HOLLYWOOD, SC (WCSC) - By Harve Jacobs  bio | email | Twitter

HOLLYWOOD, SC (WCSC) - A man who wants to open a strip club and adult video store in Hollywood is suing the town.

The club called Pinky's, is located on Highway 17 and was supposed to open last month.

"I want to operate as a gentlemen's club and adult retail store, side-by-side in two separate units," said club owner Mark White via telephone from New Orleans.

White says that officials broke the law by first approving the zoning for his businesses and then disapproving it, telling him he had to go before the planning commission to get zoning approval.

"I know all the people on the planning commission would rather fight it than agree to it," White said. "They're elected officials and they want their constituents to know that they're tough on adult entertainment."

A letter dated Jan. 19 states the zoning was approved as long as White completed a checklist.

"They need this, they need that. They named 10 different items that I have to do so I said, 'OK, this is cool, I'll do it.' "

Then on Feb. 7, the town's zoning administrator sent an e-mail to White telling him in order to get the building permit he had to have cleared zoning. The e-mail states that the Jan. 19 letter was sent in haste, and that the proper procedure is to have the planning commission determine the proper zoning.

When White went before the planning commission, he said the panel rejected his drawings for parking plans on the property. White then hired attorney Thomas Goldstein. He has filed suit against the town.

"They're not going to issue a business license," White said. "They're not going to do that unless a judge tells them to do so."

White wants a federal judge to issue a temporary restraining order to allow him to operate the strip club until a jury trial is held on the zoning issue.

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