Permit denied to Austin strip club after hundreds sign petition

Austin

Hundreds of people signed an online petition as neighbors are banding together to oppose the opening of a strip club near their homes on Burleson Road near US 183 in southeast Austin.

Construction is well underway for a two-story building. On the side of the building, there’s a sign that says, “Sexually oriented business license pending.” 

In an update Thursday, Travis County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Kristen Dark confirmed an operation permit for the strip club has been denied. 

Neighbor Patrick Lopez said people living in the Addison Community were hoping a building being built would be a grocery store or a shopping center because there isn’t a grocery store nearby right now. 

“I was pretty disappointed,” said Lopez. “My first concern was this is going to scare away businesses that add value to the community.”

But when they found out it was going to be a strip club, “I was really excited when I saw that there was something going up, and then quickly turned to dismay,” said another neighbor Emily Douno. 

Douno said she was “just concerned about driving by it every day with my child, concerned that it’s so nearby.”

Lopez said, “I’ve got 2 boys who are 3 and one-and-a-half. You know, I don’t want them growing up close to something like this.”

In Travis County, officials told us once you obtain a construction permit from the Office of Transportation and Natural Resources, you can go ahead and start building. The business needed an operating license from the Sheriff’s Office before opening.

The office told us Wednesday the application was under review. 

According to Travis County Code Chapter 50, the only location requirement the strip club needs to meet when it comes to homes is to be more than 1,000 feet from a home, school, church or park. 

The code also says the applicant should not have any unpaid taxes, feeds or fines owed to Travis County.

“In an ideal world it would not open, but I don’t know if that is a possibility,” Douno said.

Neighbors said going forward, as more people and businesses move out to this area, they want regulations to evolve as well.

“It kind of just seems like anything goes,” Douno said. “That’s not a good feeling.”

“It would make sense to take a closer look at what’s going on with the Travis County code and maybe update it to reflect the new reality that is people moving out here at a very rapid rate,” Lopez said. 

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