CRESTVIEW — No strip clubs will be allowed on Main Street, city officials said.
That's clear following discussion that preceded the City Council's unanimous vote to send a downtown rezoning proposal to the state Land Planning Agency for approval.
Consultant Jack Dorman has advised city officials in creating a “downtown mixed-use” zoning category, replacing current commercial zoning. The new zone would permit both residential and commercial activities downtown.
Before Monday's vote, Dorman requested formally including a description of activities to be encouraged downtown, including retail, office, restaurants, governmental and entertainment.
City Council members raised concerns that what was meant to encourage family-friendly entertainment “could be sidelined into something else."
“What are implications of adding ‘entertainment’”? Councilwoman Robyn Helt asked. “Could it be a strip club?”
Though Dorman said the word could be interpreted that way, Theresa Gaylord of the Local Planning Agency said city regulations already define what types of entertainment are allowable downtown.
Allowing residential units will encourage a vibrant downtown after the current 5 p.m. daily “shutdown,” Dorman said.
“Once residential development occurs in this area, the new residents are expected to create demand for more services and businesses and thereby allow for the profitable expansion of business hours downtown,” Dorman’s report states.
A major source of downtown residents will be the Florida A&M University pharmacy school. Its students and staff have difficulty finding safe accommodations close to the school’s Alatex Building home, city officials have said.
An April workshop on the proposed rezoning drew more than 40 downtown business and property owners and their “unanimous endorsement of the effort we are trying to accomplish,” Dorman said. “Not one single objection was raised.”