The D.C. Council voted Feb. 7 to impose a moratorium on the opening of additional strip clubs in Ward 5.
Councilmember Vincent B. Orange, Sr. introduced the moratorium in response to concerns from residents who said the ward had been adversely affected by an overconcentration of strip clubs, topless bars, gentlemen’s clubs and adult entertainment establishments.
The legislation also prohibits the operators of such clubs from transferring the license for clubs that offer nude entertainment.
About 100 senior residents from Ward 5 attended the Feb. 7 council meeting, wearing white t-shirts that read: “NO MORE STRIP CLUBS.”
The strip club moratorium follows an effort by the council in January to limit the number of medical marijuana cultivation centers and dispensaries in Ward 5, which has an industrial and warehouse corridor that make it an attractive home for businesses that are less likely to win approval in more residential areas.
“Without the introduction of this emergency legislation, Ward 5 would stand as the dumping grounds for the city, with an overconcentration of medical marijuana cultivation centers and adult entertainment establishments,” Orange said in a news release announcing the action.
“The passage of emergency legislation will put the brakes on additional medical marijuana centers and adult entertainment venues coming to Ward 5. Without the passage of emergency legislation, there stood the potential of 15 medical marijuana centers and dispensaries, and six adult entertainment establishments coming to Ward 5. This was clearly, too much for the residents of Ward 5 to bear,” he said.
“I am pleased my colleagues on the Council joined me in sending a strong message that a limitation on the amount of adult entertainment establishments coming to Ward 5 was critically necessary,” Orange added.