Mass. Town Protests Adult Entertainment

MILFORD, Mass. - The Milford Daily News reports that residents will aggressively protest a local sports bar's plan to feature adult entertainment.

Cheryl Shea, a leader of the protest, said she expects to obtain 3,000 signatures petitioning the plans, and announced that it was decided amongst a group of concerned residents at a strategy meeting Wednesday night to picket the Doc's bar March 8.

Shea said over 300 copies of the petition are circulating around churches and schools, and she stressed that those opposed to adult entertainment should turn out in force to meetings scheduled this Tuesday and March 13 for the town Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals, respectively, to voice their concerns.

"We don't want to turn this into a circus," Shea said. "On the emotional side, yes, we're concerned about crime. We're concerned about the kind of people it's going to bring into our community. [But] we want to keep the emotions out of the room and focus on the facts. This is not an emotional issue."

What kind of issue it is, however, remains unclear, as Doc's owner Kevin Coady Sr. submitted a request to the city to add adult entertainment, but did not specify what type of adult entertainment he has in mind.

The Planning Board votes to give Coady's request a "favorable" or "unfavorable" recommendation, and then sends it along to the Zoning Board for actual ruling.

Even if it gets passed, though, regulations adopted Monday by town selectmen for strip clubs and other adult business are the toughest possible, according to chairman Bill Buckley.

"We probably made it as regulated a business that exists in the country," said Buckley. "This isn't by any way an effort to pave the way or make it easier."

The 28 pages of regulations prohibit lap dances, private rooms and any physical contact between anybody on an adult establishment's premises. They also restrict tipping to jars on the edge of a stage, and require strong security, sufficient lighting and annual license renewal via an inspection for both the business and its employees.

"I support what the selectmen did," said Shea. "I believe they did what they needed to do to protect our community if something like this ever does go in."