Strip Club Zoning

The controversy began a few weeks ago when word spread that the Viper Club in Southwest Lincoln was considering a move downtown.

But outcry from businesses across the street and residents prompted the city to take action.

The co–owner of Dietze Music downtown says looking at the for rent sign across the street from his business at 12th and O the past few years hasn't been pleasant, but looking at a strip club would have been worse.

 Ted Eschliman Co-Owner says, “I think you'd see a slow deterioration of this whole area. I can't see the banks wanting to be around that… It's just…”

Plans for the Viper Room to move downtown weren't hitting the right note with potential neighbor Dietze Music. “A good chunk of our business is to schools. We have 5th and 6th graders who walk out in the fall and the idea of johnny and Susie walking out of here with mom and dad and seeing the naked silhouette or whatever they would have for a billboard kind of terrified me.”

Ted eschliman wasn't the only one who thought a strip club was out of tune with the rest of downtown Lincoln. “Upon looking at it and considering some of the public comment it was decided that maybe it's not appropriate for the other types that are in the area,” City Attorney Rod Confer says.

City department heads have proposed a new ordinance, effectively banning any new strip club from opening in the downtown district.

But existing ones will be able to stay open. The current codes don't allow any strip club East of 17th street.

The re–zoning proposal would extend that ban to all of downtown. Which Eschliman says would be right on key with Lincoln's future city plans. “Downtown is a signature of the whole city. It speaks of what we are to those who don't live here.”

This doesn't mean the Viper Room can't move into this vacant building. The proposal still needs to be approved by the city council, which will likely happen in August after a public hearing.

Our messages to the Viper Room were not returned, so we went there and we were told the manager was unable to make any comment on the story.