Strip club suit dismissed

Staff reports

A judge recently dismissed a civil suit that claimed an Ascension Parish strip club should be subject to a 2003 ordinance.

Two parish residents, Louis and Kathryn Goppelt, sought an injunction to keep the parish government from issuing a permit to Silhouettes, formerly Escapades, which is located at 17378 Airline Highway, Prairieville.

Alvin Turner Jr., 23rd Judicial District Judge, denied the motion and dismissed the suit.

Silhouettes is not a new business and is not subject to the ordiance concerning sexually-oriented businesses, according to O’Neil Parenton, an attorney who represented the parish in the case.

The business was in existence before the 2003 amendment to the ordinance and is entitled to certain exceptions not available to businesses created after the amendment.

The ordinance was created to keep sexually-oriented businesses 3,000 feet away from churches, schools and day-care centers.

Escapades closed in either May or June. A new license was issued to Sandra Barton, who operates S. Barton Enterprises LLC.

The lawsuit claimed the parish ignored the ordinance when issuing the new permit.

The judge agreed with the parish’s argument that Escapades was closed for less than 180 days and was able to open again as a strip club, according to the parish zoning ordinance.