By: David M. Higgins II
UPDATE 1/23/2020 5:36 p.m.(News Release/Charles County PIO): Charles County is preparing for the possibility that an adult entertainment club may illegally open its doors this weekend in the Bryans Road area. Currently, the club does not have a valid Certificate of Use and Occupancy to operate and an injunction was issued in November 2019 to prevent it from operating in the absence of a valid Certificate of Use & Occupancy. If the nightclub opens for business, as it has advertised it will, the county stands ready to immediately pursue legal action against the nightclub owners because they will have violated the injunction and will be operating without a valid Certificate of Use & Occupancy.
To date, the Board of County Commissioners has taken several actions to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its residents from the potential adverse impacts of the nightclub’s anticipated adult entertainment activities, including:
- Immediately after being notified by concerned residents that the nightclub was promoting adult entertainment in November 2019, county staff investigated the matter and revoked its original Certificate of Use and Occupancy because its activities were not authorized in the zone where the club planned to open.
- On Nov. 22, 2019, the county’s permit revocation was upheld in court and an injunction was issued.
- Commissioners directed staff to begin the process of exploring the development of a zoning text amendment that would consider limits on how, when, and where adult entertainment clubs can operate, with a proposal expected by July 2020.
- On Jan. 14, 2020, the Board of County Commissioners approved a resolution to temporarily suspend approval of site development plans and Certificates of Use and Occupancy for any property whose use will include adult entertainment in Charles County until a zoning text amendment can be considered.
- The nightclub has applied for a new Certificate of Use & Occupancy but has not yet received it because its representatives have not complied with certain requirements in the Resolution.
“The Board of County Commissioners has taken every step that it has the legal authority to execute,” said Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq. “Under Charter Government, a County Executive would have the authority to exercise policing powers to prevent a business without proper permits from opening its doors – without the need to seek relief from the Courts.”
“We are disappointed that our law enforcement partners are not enforcing the injunction ordered by the Courts,” stated Commissioner Thomasina O. Coates, M.S., of District 2, the district where the nightclub intends to open. “Unfortunately, the Board of County Commissioners does not have the ability to compel them to take action on code violations, resulting in the situation that we are now facing as a community.”
Bryans Road, MD- In late November 2019, Triple X4B attempted to open an adult entertainment business in the area. Although a Certificate of Use and Occupancy was issued, it was later revoked by the County’s Zoning Officer and the business did not open.
On Tuesday, January 14, 2020, the Charles County Board of County Commissioners approved a resolution that would temporarily suspend approval of site development plans or Certificates of Use and Occupancy for any property whose use will include adult entertainment in Charles County.
Commissioners took this action so the county can update its zoning regulations to limit adverse public impacts of adult entertainment activities. The resolution took effect immediately and will expire on Dec. 31, 2020.
“Recent efforts to open an adult entertainment club in an area near churches, schools, and residential neighborhoods were unwelcome by the community and it necessitated the Board’s action today,” stated Commissioner President Reuben B. Collins, II, Esq. “We need this resolution to give the county time to conduct a thorough review of our zoning ordinances and a study regarding the adverse impacts of adult entertainment establishments to ensure they are addressed.”
Charles County’s zoning regulations do not currently provide specific guidance or restrictions on adult entertainment clubs and related activities. The resolution requires all applicants seeking a Certificate of Use and Occupancy to provide a written statement that no adult entertainment activities will occur on their property as part of its business operations. The county’s Zoning Officer is authorized to deny any application that does not include it.
Recently, The Southern Maryland Chronicle was made aware that Triple X4B was advertising another grand opening on the Social Media platform Instagram for Saturday, January 25, 2020. It is being advertised as a “Grand Opening Pop-Out event.” As far as we can tell, a “popout” event is similar to a pop-up event, in which the location will always change for the business.
Charles County issued the approved resolution and the revocation of Triple X4B’s Certificate of Use and Occupancy, it was also recently upheld in court and an injunction was issued.
We reached out to Donna Fuqua, Public Information Specialist with the Charles County Government about this new advertisement. She responded in an email stating,” We understand that X4B is once again advertising a new grand opening date for later this month, and the County wants to ensure the community is aware that at present, X4B does not have the required Certificate of Use & Occupancy. While X4B did apply for a new Certificate of Use and Occupancy to open as a restaurant, X4B representatives have not complied with certain requirements set forth in the Resolution. Therefore, X4B cannot legally operate and the County will exercise its enforcement authority to shut it down if it opens for business. “
The Southern Maryland Chronicle will continue to track the developments of the County and this business, along with the effects of an adult entertainment business in the Charles County Community.