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Club owners take case to appeals court

A State Supreme Court justice has upheld the

A State Supreme Court justice has upheld the decision by the Hempstead Town Board of Appeals to deny strip-club owner Billy Dean's application for a cabaret permit at his proposed Wantagh nightclub and restaurant. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa, 2011

Cabaret club owners Billy Dean and Rori Gordon have withdrawn a motion in Nassau County Supreme Court asking the court to repeal its decision upholding Hempstead Town's denial of a cabaret permit for a new establishment in Wantagh.

The owners and their company, Green 2009 Inc., will continue the legal fight in the New York State Appellate Division in Brooklyn, where they filed a notice of appeal on June 7.

In May, a Supreme Court judge upheld the Hempstead Town Board of Appeals' denial of the club owners' application for a cabaret permit at their proposed Wantagh nightclub and restaurant.

In response, the owners filed a motion June 18 with the Supreme Court to vacate the order. They asked the judge to reverse his decision and grant them their license in Wantagh.

The owners unsuccessfully sued the appeals board and its seven members in October for denying the cabaret license for their property at 3500 Sunrise Hwy. in Wantagh. Their attorney cited the board's initial approval of the cabaret application in June 2010, and subsequent construction Dean began on the lot he bought for $950,000.

The board denied the application in August after residents said a club would damage the area's character, increase traffic and create parking problems. The license would have allowed Dean to have live music, dancing and entertainment at his planned Mile High Club with a "Las Vegas Style" feel, but not topless or nude entertainment.

Dean and Gordon are still awaiting the appeals board decision on their petition for a five-year renewal of the cabaret permit and off-street parking variance for Billy Dean's Showtime Cafe in North Bellmore, which bills itself as "Long Island's Number 1 Strip Club."The renewal hearing for the North Bellmore location was on May 23. The statute says the appeals board has 62 days from the close of the public hearing to make a decision. But "there is no penalty" for exceeding 62 days, appeals board secretary Richard Regina said.

"The board will continue discussing and deliberating the case until they reach a just decision," Regina said.

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