An application filed by the owner of Ella Grasso Turnpike's Pool Table Magic to change the business from a billiards hall to gentlemen's club has some residents up in arms.
According to the application filed by Mark Kulungian, the business owners "desires to present a type of live entertainment at its business premises to include presentation of First Amendment-protected dance performances which contain... an emphasis on sexuality."
The application, now being considered by the Windsor Locks Planning and Zoning Commission, describes the proposed performances as "not obscene," and "sexually explicit dance routines" performed by topless dancers.
Modifications required to accommodate such entertainment are numerous, according to Kulungian's application including transforming the current business, which features into a floor plan of tables, chairs and a full bar situated around a stage-performance area.
Kulungian has applied for a liquor license to draw patrons to his proposed bar area, and has proposed his gentleman's club include more than 50 seats.
According to drafts of the new club, a billiards small room will be included.
While Kulungian's application makes the case for the proposal by describing it as a business protected by First Amendment rights provided by the U.S. Constitution and by a town ordinance pertaining to adult-entertainment businesses, some in the area have been outspoken about their opposition to the site plan change.
Not only was a letter to the editor recently submitted to Windsor Locks-East Windsor Patch, which read "I cannot believe that any reputable business owner on Route 75 welcomes this type of facility, but some residents have chosen to join forces against something they see as a threat to life in town.
A group of self-described local citizens and businesses, acting as a group under the name Windsor Locks Citizens for a Safe Community (WLCSC) recently announced plans to publicly oppose Kulungian's proposed gentlemen's club at a public hearing scheduled to be held at the planning and zoning commission's Feb. 11 meeting.
According to the group, its opposition to the proposed business is based on "various studies depicting the negative repercussions such sexually-oriented businesses have on communities — especially smaller ones like Windsor Locks."
Windsor Locks, WLCSC representatives said, citing an unidentified source of crime statistics, would be subjected to possibility of an increase of crime because "crime is greater in places with sexually-orientated businesses compared to areas without it."
WLCSC's concerns are echoed in numerous letters written to town officials and the state department of consumer protection from Hilton Hotel personnel.
Hilton's Homewood Suites is located next door to the current Pool Table Magic location on Route 75, and argued, in a letter to the department of consumer protection, the establishment of an adult-entertainment business to the Route 75 strip would bring "certain elements" to the neighborhood that will enghance crimes associated with drugs and other illegal activities.
Additionally, Homewood Suites associates argued the proposed gentlemen's would negatively affect area property values and would deter clientele from choosing the hotel due to an unwillingness to stay next to a business showcasing exotic dancers.
A public hearing on the proposed gentlemen's club has been scheduled for 7 p.m. on Feb. 11 at Windsor Locks town hall.