Potential squeeze for Saskatoon strip clubs

Saskatoon city council is asking administration for larger barriers between strip clubs and residential neighbourhoods.

Council recommends buffer zones around residential areas

Saskatoon city council dealt with the hot button issue of strip clubs last night.

Stripping will be legal in Saskatchewan bars next year due to changes in provincial legislation. That means cities are busy drafting zoning plans to tell the businesses where they can operate.

Originally, city administration came up with rules that would separate clubs from schools, parks and recreational facilities by 160 metres. The rules also stated no club could operate within 160 metres from another 'adult entertainment venue'.

However, last night council voted that administration look at toughening up those rules. They asked planners to look into adding buffer areas that would push clubs further away from residential neighbourhoods.

They also looked at excluding clubs from 'discretionary use' neighbourhoods. If that happens, clubs wouldn't be allowed in neighbourhoods like Broadway and Sutherland.

Manager of Planning and Development Alan Wallace says council received many calls from worried residents.
"That's exactly the democratic process at work, and you saw it tonight," he said. "They've heard from constituents and they're quite determined these things should have more restrictions, not less." 

Jennifer Simon is president of the Sutherland and Forest Grove Community Association. She says Sutherland already has a number of bars, and worries adding stripping to the mix would bring more crime.

"I think we could see some large issues with the crime rate going up, as well as the possibility of lewd behaviour in the area," she said. 

Council plans on holding public hearings on the topic, which will be held in the next few months. After that, it will hold a final vote on the issue.