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TKO on BYOB Nude Dance Club

PITTSTON TOWNSHIP, PA – Residents and township officials don’t want a strip club here.

Judge Mark Ciavarella has denied Ingot Real Estate Co.’s appeal of the township supervisors’ rejection of the proposed bring-your-own-bottle, nude dance club in the O’Hara Industrial Park.

The judge’s brief order did not include an opinion or explanation for the denial.

“I’m really thrilled on behalf of the residents,” township Supervisor Anthony Attardo said.

He said the club would have decreased property values and increased problems for police.

“The clientele that brings in, it’s not good for the community,” Mr. Attardo said.

The supervisors denied the proposed club’s application by a 3-0 vote March 1. They said the township had ordinances against such clubs. The attorney representing Ingot at the hearing, Paul A. Pugliese, of Kingston, said the township zoning law allows adult entertainment as conditional use in an industrial zone, which is what the owners sought.

Before the supervisors’ March vote, about 50 residents and representatives of Mericle Commercial Real Estate crowded into the small meeting room opposed the request.

Ingot, formed in August 2005 by Anthony Ryba and Joseph Marino, of Hazleton, wanted to build a 15,000-square-foot club on four acres in the industrial zone along Armstrong Road, just off Route 315.

Residents expressed concern about heavy truck traffic from the nearby Pilot Travel Center and the Petro truck stop in Dupont going to the club. Mr. Marino said the owners were considering a shuttle service from the truck stops.

Mericle President Rob Mericle and CEO Lewis Sebia said the strip club would have a detrimental effect on the more than 1,300 acres the company is developing as a business park, which could include a day-care center near the club site.

Ingot appealed on April 28. Ingot attorney Charles A. Shaffer, of Kingston, said at the time if the county court denied the appeal, the developers would appeal to a higher court because, “we think we’re right.” Efforts to reach Mr. Shaffer on Thursday were unsuccessful.

In July, a county judge agreed to allow three township residents, Tammy Urbanski, Nancy Fox and Donna Granteed, to intervene in the appeal on the township’s behalf. Their attorney, Randall L. Wenger of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, Harrisburg, said his clients were concerned about property values and quality-of-life issues.

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