Battle Over A New Adult Nightclub

By: Cristina Pfeffer Email
By: Cristina Pfeffer Email

It all began back in January 2013, when Kelly Haeusler, owner of Airport Veterinary Clinic was looking to expand her parking lot onto the vacant lot next door.

But what she found next surprised her.

"I was shocked,” said Haeusler.

When Haeusler further investigated the matter, she discovered the city had apparently made an agreement with Trident LLC. out of Atlanta, to build a strip club on the site.

"It was kept very quiet by the City of Destin, and their answer to that was it was all filed at the City Clerk's office, but who knew,” stated Haeusler.

Residents claim the city agreed to give Trident a lot without having to meet the city codes for adequate parking.

The agreement also allows Trident to sell alcohol in an area zoned industrial which had been prohibited.

"As we increased in numbers and started to speak out on what we thought was fair and some of the injustices that were brought to this process, they began to look at that more,” said Dan Dufault, President of Citizens for a Greater Destin.

Destin City Officials have filed a lawsuit against Trident LLC., saying the company has not proven a legal chain of title.

But the legal actions didn't stop there.

"Two days later, on Thursday, Trident sued the City of Destin in Federal District Court for a variety of issues; I mean everything but the kitchen sink. Saying you can't do that,” said Haeusler.

Residents main concern is they feel the strip club doesn't belong in Destin.

"If they played by the rules like everyone else does to meet the code, we wouldn't be getting a 5,500 square foot strip club, on a narrow lot in the heart of our city, with almost no parking."

Destin City Leaders declined to comment on the issue or the pending lawsuits.

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