O'Malley bill introduced that would rezone site for strip club

January 23, 2001|By Gady A. Epstein | Gady A. Epstein,SUN STAFF

In its return from winter recess, the City Council took up last night an O'Malley administration proposal to rezone a city-owned building near The Block so that it can become the new location of a strip club being displaced from the city's west side.

Council President Sheila Dixon also announced yesterday a list of legislative priorities, including tougher regulation of pit bulls and other vicious dogs, increased protections for residents against real estate fraud and improved city services for the blind and hearing-impaired.

One of several O'Malley administration bills introduced last night would allow the El Dorado strip club at 322 W. Baltimore St. to relocate to a vacant, four-story brick building at 19-21 S. Gay St. - around the corner from the city's adult entertainment district and a block south of police headquarters. The El Dorado's current home is being condemned by the city as part of a planned $350 million redevelopment of 18 downtown blocks on the west side.

The El Dorado bill was not discussed and must receive a public hearing before it can be voted on by the council.

Other bills introduced last night included one that would allow the city to hire nine food inspectors to speed the processing of restaurant licenses and another to name a city building near the State House in Annapolis after Janet Leland Hoffman, a lobbyist for the city who died last year.

The council also chose to shelve at least temporarily a bill that would set design guidelines for the renovation of the Belvedere Square shopping area in North Baltimore. Some residents have concerns about the bill, which was referred to a committee for further discussion.

Last night's council meeting, the first since early December, marks the beginning of the council's new year-round schedule.

Instead of meeting weekly in spring and fall sessions with long breaks in between, the council will meet every other Monday.

The agenda for council meetings is available online three business days before each meeting, at www.baltimorecitycouncil.com, under "Legislative Activity."

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