LDS church might press strip club battle

The LDS Church has dropped its claims that the downtown strip club Crazy Goat Saloon poses a nuisance to its plans to redevelop the neighboring Crossroads Plaza and ZCMI Center malls. But that doesn’t mean the battle over the sexually oriented business is over.

Church attorney Alan Sullivan said the church may appeal a year-old 3rd District court ruling that said the saloon has a right to operate downtown.

On Tuesday, Judge Denise Lindberg agreed to dismiss a variety of claims among the church, the saloon and Salt Lake City that were up in the air, including the church’s nuisance claims.

Saloon owner Daniel Darger said the nuisance claims were “crap.” He said the church, through its real estate affiliate, Property Reserve Inc., was unable to show the strip club devalued the mall properties or increased crime. “It was just thrown in, in an attempt to intimate us,” Darger said after the hearing.

The strip club, 165 S. West Temple, is not open now because of a water leak. Darger said he is waiting for insurance adjusters before he reopens.

There is a chance the saloon will move or close if Arrow Press Square is sold. Ballet West, which is searching for downtown space for a new rehearsal studio, had made an offer on the building. But Darger — a part owner in the building — said the offer is not on the table now. Darger said he would be willing to be bought out of his saloon lease by a new building owner.

The LDS Church sued the city in 2003 for granting the license for semi-nude strip shows. Lindberg ruled against the church last year, saying the city appropriately granted the license.

“I thank you all, gentlemen, for a most interesting case,” Lindberg told the attorneys Tuesday.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
The Salt Lake Tribune, USA
Jan. 18, 2006
Heather May
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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday January 20, 2006.
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