Friday, April 24, 2015

Sex Club Evades Zoning Restrictions By Becoming A Church

The Washington Post yesterday published a lengthy and fascinating account of a Nashville, Tennessee swingers sex club that has apparently gotten around a number of zoning hurdles put in its way by turning itself into a church-- the United Fellowship Center.  The club sold its downtown building at a profit as its neighborhood gentrified, and it purchased a new building in the suburban community of Madison.  At the time, the building was properly zoned for the social club's activities.  However the building was located between two churches and an upscale Christian academy.  Local zoning laws were soon amended to bar private clubs of any kind in the area where the building was located.  And the state legislature passed a law prohibiting private clubs at which people can  view or engage in sex from operating within 1,000 feet of a school. So the club became a church at which swingers meet, mingle and engage in the regular practice of their faith. It revised its building plans to give areas of the church appropriate names. Actual sex will have to move off premises. The church's attorney says:
They can sue us and say they want an injunction to stop us from operating, and we can say we have some tenets of the church sort of like the Ten Commandments....