Strip Clubs Not Likely Off Frankford Avenue

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The idea of an adult entertainment district has many Panama City residents feeling uneasy.

A lawyer hired by the city says a district is the perfect solution to stopping establishments like these, but when that same lawyer proposed Frankford Avenue as the location of choice, neighbors were outraged.

"In addition to the proximity of our children and families, the traffic all hours of the evening on Frankford Avenue, a two-lane road," says Scott Cooper.

The idea of topless bars and porn shops in this quiet community led more than 200 residents to voice their opposition Monday night. It took the reassurance of Commissioner John Pilcher, who represents the area, to quiet some of their concerns.

"I will take the issue to commissioners at next Tuesday's meeting. I want Frankford Avenue to be taken out of the ordinance completely, and I also think the idea of an adult entertainment district should be nixed," says Pilcher.

Other commissioners agree Frankford Avenue is not a good fit, but argue that legally adult entertainment establishments have to go somewhere.

"None of us want strip clubs in our city. We will probably look at a location that no adult entertainment business owner will ever want to open a shop near," says Mayor Gerry Clemons.

Mayor Clemons says without a specified district the city may be vulnerable to lawsuits by sexually oriented businesses, but Pilcher says Panama City Beach simply banned those types of businesses and has not been brought to court yet.