The Hempstead Town Board of Appeals will “aggressively” defend its decision to rescind an earlier zoning approval for a cabaret license for strip club owner Billy Dean, officials said.
Dean, who wants to open a cabaret at 3500 Sunrise Hwy. in Wantagh, sued the board over its decision to overturn its earlier ruling granting a Dean a cabaret license.
“This site, surrounded by family homes, is the wrong place for a cabaret,” Town Supervisor Kate Murray, who doesn’t serve on the appeals board, said in a statement. “The Board of Appeals did the right thing for the communities of Wantagh and Seaford when it denied a cabaret license.”
The license would allow Dean to have live music, dancing and entertainment at his planned Mile High Club, but not topless or nude entertainment.
Dean, and his company Green 2009 Inc., sued the appeals board and its seven members in Nassau County Supreme Court in October seeking to overturn the board’s action.
In June 2010 the board approved Dean’s application for the cabaret and construction began on the lot that Dean bought for $950,000. After public opposition, the board denied the application in August.
“They should give him a chance to open and if he does something wrong, they can close him down,” said William Cohn, an attorney for Dean, who also owns the strip club Billy Dean’s Showtime Cafe in Bellmore. “Until he does something wrong, he is entitled to open.”
The appeals board argued that the type of business, the owner’s reputation for providing adult entertainment, and the need to protect the area’s character and quality of life led to the board’s decision to override its earlier approval, documents show.
“They [the appeals board] have an obligation to protect our children, home values and the character of our community,” said Kevin Milano of Wantagh, who had organized protests outside the proposed cabaret. “We wish it never got this far.”
Christy Aceto of Wantagh protests outside the site of the proposed "Billy Dean's Cabaret." (March 27, 2011) Photo credit: Kevin P Coughlin