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Diamond Dolls Turned Down for Second Site

MALONE, N.Y. – A Plattsburgh man’s second effort to open a club with nude dancers has met strong opposition.

Glenn Gagnier, owner of Diamond Dolls Gentlemen’s Club on Route 9 in Plattsburgh, filed a certificate of occupancy with the Town of Malone for a second site for his alcohol-free club, which would feature naked female dancers and a private back room for individual entertainment.

Code Enforcement Office officials said the latest permit was denied because the building Gagnier hoped to occupy on Route 11 near Junction Road is not zoned for that use.

But Gagnier said the building – owned by Richard Honahan with a five-year guaranteed lease – is already zoned commercial-general.

“I’m just sitting back here waiting,” Gagnier said. “How can they deny me when they established adult-entertainment use on Route 11?

“They’re just trying to pull the same stuff. I’ve got to go through the Variance Board, but that is just a formality.”

Carol DuMont disagrees.

Twenty-five years ago, she and her husband, James, established DuMont Furniture and Gifts, which is next door to the vacant building Gagnier intends to rent.

And although she did not organize it, a prayer vigil involving local religious leaders and community members is being planned for 1:30 p.m. Sunday at DuMont’s business.

The store houses a section devoted to religious items, such as first Holy Communion gifts and Bibles. DuMont said that piece of the business would be ruined if a club with nude dancers were to open nearby.

“Can you imagine Grandma coming in with her little granddaughter to buy a rosary with that next door?” she said.

“It will definitely hurt our business. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to open a business (like that) just as you’re coming into town.”

She said many people have called to lend her family support as they prepare to fight Gagnier’s plan.

But Gagnier said the opposition won’t get its way this time.

“They’ve turned this down for religious reasons because the furniture store next door sells Bibles and stuff so that makes it a ‘religious place’,” he said.

“They zoned and established adult use, and now they say I can’t do it? They’re looking at a lawsuit.

“Do the taxpayers really want to pay for the Town of Malone, because that’s who ultimately pays.”

No date has been set for the next meeting of the Town of Malone Board of Variance and Appeals, which is expected to hear Gagnier’s case.

According to revised zoning laws adopted by the Town Council in early 2002, adult-book and -video stores, adult-entertainment cabarets, adult theaters and unlicensed massage establishments can be set up in areas zoned for general-commercial use.

Those businesses must be at least 1,000 feet from residential zones; schools; churches, temples, mosques and other places of worship; playgrounds; day-care centers; government buildings and post offices.

The local law also restricts dancers to a stage 18 inches off the floor and 6 feet from the nearest patron.

Also, the dancers cannot touch any guest or their clothing.

All windows, doors and entries must be covered, and the business can be open only between 10 a.m. and midnight weekdays and Saturdays.

Gagnier was first awarded a building permit for a nude club in January 2001, but it was rescinded by Town Supervisor Howard Maneely, who at the time said the application did not include the proper engineering plans.

Maneely later objected on moral grounds and got a moratorium passed two times to give Town Attorney Lillian Anderson-Duffy and the Planning Board time to revise the town’s outdated zoning laws.

 

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