LAKE FOREST : Late Ruling Delays Strip-Club Hearing

A last-minute procedural glitch delayed a public hearing on plans for an adult cabaret this week, disappointing more than 100 people who showed up at the City Council meeting to speak on the issue.

City officials were not able to get a ruling from the Fair Political Practices Commission about potential conflicts for council members Helen Wilson and Kathryn McCullough in time for the council meeting.

Wilson lives near the proposed site of the strip club, and McCullough belongs to a church in the same neighborhood. The proposed cabaret is planned for a shopping plaza at 20562 Regency Lane.

The public hearing was rescheduled for March 21.

"This is very important to the community," Mayor Richard T. Dixon told the audience. "We need to make sure our I's are dotted and T's crossed."

The continuance was requested by applicant Mark Bailey, who wanted to make sure all council members were able to review his request to open a second topless club in Lake Forest. Bailey currently runs Captain Cream's on Lake Forest Boulevard.

Bailey is asking the council to overturn a denial of his application by City Manager Gaylord Knapp. Lake Forest currently has a moratorium on strip clubs while the city develops a comprehensive adult-business ordinance. Bailey lost a recent court challenge to the moratorium.

The possibility of a second adult cabaret opening in Lake Forest has sparked a strong response from residents, who have organized rallies against the proposed strip club in recent months.

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