Thirty days after the city of Chula Vista told operators of Eyecandy Showgirls to either move or shut down, the gentleman’s club is still standing at 215 Bay Blvd.
City Attorney Glen Googins said Eyecandy hasn’t informed the city of its plans.
“At this point, they’ve given no indication to the city that they’re going to cease operations or have relocated by that time (June 7),” Googins said.
Eyecandy Attorney Roger Diamond said he can’t predict what the business will do by that time, but anything is certainly possible.
Deborah Fox, a Los Angeles- based attorney serving as the city’s outside counsel, issued a notice of violation to Eyecandy on May 7 in which the city required the adult business to move or shutdown.
The notice states that Eyecandy violates the city’s zoning ordinance which, according to e-mail from Fox to Diamond, the city adopted in 2007, six years before Eyecandy moved into Chula Vista.
The violation in the zoning ordinance states that an adult-oriented business cannot operate within 500 feet of residentially zoned territory or residentially used property.
Diamond said there is no such code that prohibits the business from operating at its current location.
Eyecandy would consider relocation, Diamond said, but claims his client hasn’t received any assistance from the city.
“The city will not assist in relocating,” Diamond said. “We don’t think they’re sincere.”
Records show the city’s Development Services Department produced a list of more than 200 possible relocation sites with addresses from Otay Lakes Road to Eastlake Parkway, Main Street, Showroom Place and Bay Boulevard.
Googins said the list of alternative locations was provided to Diamond.
Googins also said the potential locations are not recommendations of where the adult business should move, but rather areas where the business would comply with the city’s zoning code.
The city attorney said there is no way around the ordinance other than for the business to move or close down.
“In order to come into compliance with our zoning code, they need to cease operations and relocate to another alternative spot,” Googins said.
Googins said 30 days was ample time to give Eyecandy to move or close down.
Other than the zoning code, Eyecandy is violating a business code, fire codes and a possible signing code, Googins said.
A fire safety inspection conducted by a Chula Vista fire inspector on Feb. 22 shows that Eyecandy is in violation of 10 fire codes ranging from failing to provide fire sprinklers to not servicing all existing fire extinguishers throughout the building.
Diamond said Eyecandy is working on making the necessary changes to comply with the fire safety code.
The Chula Vista Fire Department will be conducting a re-inspection on July 7.
The next step, if Eyecandy is still in operation at its current location, is unknown, Googins said.
Googins said he would have to inquire with Eyecandy to determine their intentions, which would then determine the city’s next course of action.
Googins said if Eyecandy does not give in to the city’s demands then it will seek a court order to cease operations.
Litigation is also an option, Googins said.
Diamond said going through with litigation wouldn’t be wise.
“The city is making a huge mistake that would cost their taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Diamond said.
Eyecandy has not been very communicative with the city as far as what Eyecandy’s intentions are, Googins said.
The last time the city and Eyecandy spoke was about a week ago, Googins said.
To the city’s surprise, Eyecandy opened in October as a strip club, after applying for a business license with the city as a comedy club.
Googins said lying about the type of business it runs could be a violation in itself.
“If it’s a violation of a code provision, we’re looking at that too,” Googins said. “There are general requirements that require you to be truthful in statements you make to government agencies.”
“I’m not sure if any of those statements were sworn statements. It was certainly inappropriate for them to present themselves one way and then open and operate in another way.
After Eyecandy opened, the city managed to impose some restrictions on how the business operates such as limited hours of operation and a no touching rule where patrons and performers must be separated by at least six feet.
Diamond said his client wants to find a solution to the issue.
“We just want to get this resolved in a civil way,” Diamond said.