No Odell's compromise in the offing, city says Solicitor debunks word of possible deal

August 28, 1992|By William F. Zorzi Jr. | William F. Zorzi Jr.,Staff Writer

City Solicitor Neal M. Janey said yesterday that Baltimore is not considering a compromise that would allow Odell's, the troubled North Avenue nightclub, to reopen.

Mr. Janey also took issue with a story that ran yesterday in The Sunthat said Odell's owner and the city might strike a compromise that would allow the club to operate.

"The suggestion was that yet another deal is in the offing, and that is just not the case," Mr. Janey said. "The city's position is that the zoning board has ruled and . . . in effect, they're closed down."

The Board of Municipal and Zoning Appeals voted 3-1 Tuesday to deny Odell's application to remain open as a dance hall, basically shutting down the nightspot, which has been blamed for a rash of shootings and violence in the neighborhood around the club, at 21 E. North Ave.

On Wednesday, Mr. Janey, and the club's lawyers met for about an hour with city Circuit Judge Ellen L. Hollander. After the hearing, one of the club's lawyers, state Del. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Baltimore, suggested that a compromise was possible.

Mr. Cummings said, "We met in chambers, and there are some issues we're trying to work out. But I don't want to go into details." He added: "Hopefully, the door is open for us to do something. What form that will take, I really have no idea."

When told of Mr. Janey's comments yesterday, Mr. Cummings said: "I can understand the city solicitor's position, but I'm hoping that perhaps during the appeal period that he will reconsider that position, with regard to keeping Odell's open during that time."

Odell's operated without a zoning permit but under court-approved agreements with city officials that imposed conditions on the club's operation, pending resolution of the zoning case.

Although the city revoked Odell's zoning permit to operate as a ** private club and twice has gone to court to close the establishment for non-compliance, the nightclub managed to stay open temporarily under the provisions of the court-approved agreements.

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