Commissioners turn down Show ‘n Tail request

By: David Demarest
By: David Demarest

Bay County - Former Strip club owner Alan Johnson has a decision to make.

He can keeping looking for a legal location for the old Show 'n Tail nightclub, he can abandon plans to rebuild the business, or he can sue Bay County officials for refusing to establish a method to grant variances to the county's adult business ordinance.

Last month, Johnson requested a variance that would allow him to build a new Show 'n Tail on a piece of property near the corner of North Lagoon Drive and Thomas Drive.

The land doesn't meet the current requirements because there are at least 2-homes within 15-hundred feet of the location.

At last month's meeting, county commissioners instructed the legal staff to come back with a method that would allow them to grant variances to the adult business ordinance.

But after debating the issue Tuesday, they decided to stay with the status quo.

Bay County Commissioner Mike Thomas indicates that the decision could very well lead to a legal battle, saying, “Most of the commission felt like that they just ought to leave it alone and we might have to go to court. I hope that's the correct decision I think we stand to lose a lot of money in court battles, but this is always going to be a hot topic. It's one of those things nobody wants in their back yard. I imagine now we will be in a lawsuit and have to go from there."

County officials mapped out 11-possible sites where Johnson, or anyone else, could legally build a strip club.

Most are located in Bayou George or in West Bay, near the entrance to the new airport.

There are 2-locations in industrial parks in unincorporated Bay County around 17th street, in what was Cedar Grove.

However, Johnson only seems to be interested in a beach location.

The commission already rejected 2-locations in the McElvey Road commercial park off East Thomas Drive.

The original show-n-tail, located on Thomas Drive across fro the beach, burned down in 2006.

Johnson can't rebuild on that site, because it's in a tourist corridor.

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