Augusta's adult night club regulations could get a revamp

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — What is going on inside Augusta’s adult night clubs is something Commissioner Ben Hasan says he gets asked about.

 “So, I’ve had men and women say that to me, and that’s all been in the last six weeks,” he said.  

At Hasan’s request, a commission committee voted to recommend having the Planning Department review the city’s adult dancing regulations to see how they stack up to other cities like Savannah and Atlanta.

“I want to hear the rhetoric on it, that’s the reason I said, ‘yeah, let’s go for it.’ It doesn’t do any harm in listening, but it’s going to be interesting on what they come up with,” said Commissioner John Clarke.  

Augusta has several pages of rules for exotic dancing, for example, Augusta dancers must remain on the stage and the city ordinance sets a limit on the number of dancers who can be in the spotlight at once.

“For example, it has just one dancer at a particular time, in many places you can have multiple dancers at a time, so those are the kind of roads you walk down,” said Commissioner Hasan.  

The idea is Augusta’s regulations are too restrictive compared to nearby cities making it harder for the clubs to attract customers.

“We want to make sure the facility is appealing to the customer, that’s basically all it is to make sure our ordinance is up to date,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.  

Commissioner Hasan says he’s not interested in changing the zoning, so clubs will be allowed to open downtown only to make sure they can be successful.  

“There’s an appetite for it across the nation, around the world, so if you’re going to do it, do it right or don’t do it at all, and I think Augusta wants to be in that position if you’re going to do it, do it right,” said Commissioner Hasan.

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