Businesses may not be allowed to sell pornographic materials in The Brogue Center, but co-owner Terry Sutton said his proposal for a strip club for the center should be allowed by Chanceford Township officials.
During the latest hearing before the zoning board at Clearview Elementary School on Monday, Paul Minnich, an attorney for PeoplesBank, which has a branch in the center, presented a lease the bank signed with Brogue Limited Partnership, which owns the center and of which Sutton is a co-owner.
According to the lease, prohibited uses include an adult bookstore, any store carrying pornographic literature or magazines and the display or sale of merchandise "generally offensive to the public."
"You didn't want a store selling pictures of naked woman but you want to put in a cabaret," Minnich said.
Though the lease doesn't allow for pornographic materials, the township does allow for such clubs in general commercial zoned areas if a variance is granted by the township.
Foreclosed? Monday was the second day of the hearing, which started in May. An estimated 200 people attended the hearing, and many of the people who posed questions to Sutton are not in favor of the club's opening in the rural southern York County township.
After four hours of testimony, the hearing was recessed until July.
During the hearing, Minnich said Brogue Limited Partnership is being sued by PeoplesBank in the York County Court of Common Pleas to recover more than $1 million in loan debt.
The bank filed two complaints with the courts.
Despite objections from Sutton's attorney, Chris Vetter, Minnich was able to quiz Sutton on the financial woes that have befallen the small center.
Complaints: Chris Cinkaj, a partner in Brogue Limited Partnership, is named in both those complaints while Sutton is not. Gabriel Tsoukalis is a third partner in the partnership.
According to the complaints, Cinkaj, who is listed as the borrower, received a $1 million loan from the bank in 2006 and, in October 2012, the bank sent an attorney for Cinkaj a "demand letter," meaning he and his partners had to pay the loan in full.
The complaints say the partnership defaulted on loan payments.
However, Sutton and his wife, Brenda, and Cinkaj, of Bucks County, are named as defendants in a third complaint the bank filed to recover nearly $80,000 of an unpaid loan.
In the complaint that names Sutton and his wife, the Suttons received a $150,000 loan for the property in 2006 and, in November 2012, were told by the bank to repay the loan in full because they defaulted on payments.
Sutton said the timing is a bit suspicious since PeoplesBank is opposed to the strip club.
"We are not going in default," Sutton said. "We have not missed any payments."
Members only: New details about the club also emerged during the meeting.
It would feature five private rooms - down from the 10 previously proposed - and would employ seven people full time. A further five to 15 entertainers would also work there.
It would be a members-only club in 6,500 square feet. People must be at least 21 years old to apply to become club members, who would be allowed to bring in up to 72 ounces of beer, 750 milliliters of wine or 200 milliliters of spirits.
Sutton said he chose the 72 ounces, which equals a six-pack of beer, because, he said, that's the typical amount a person can drink and still be able to drive a vehicle.
In order to become a member, a person must provide information, such as a name, address, age and sex, typically found on a state-issued identification card.
Near and far: Sutton said he envisions the club attracting patrons from a three- to five-hour radius and from as far away as New Jersey and West Virginia.
Nonetheless, a number of township residents said the club is not a good fit for township.
"Would you open a non-kosher restaurant in a Jewish enclave?" asked resident John Fulton.
The hearing will continue at 6 p.m. Monday, July 22, at Clearview Elementary School, 2650 Delta Road. A fourth hearing date has been set for the same time Thursday, July 25. at the same location.
- Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.