Terre Haute zoning board denies adult business permit


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – The property at 3295 North Fruitridge Avenue was formerly known as Pizza Inn. The now vacant building and property was purchased by Illinois resident Michael Bickers.

According to Phillip Smith, an attorney representing Bickers, there were plans to re-purpose the location for an adult oriented business.

“In vernacular, it would be a strip club,” Smith said.

Smith says a special use exception permit would potentially increase the property value for Bickers.

“He can then lease it or sell it with that permit to some other business entity,” Smith said.

Wednesday, approval for this permit was denied by the Terre Haute Board of Zoning Appeals.

According to the chairman of the board, the property did not violate the city ordinance which states an adult oriented business cannot be within 500 feet of a school, church, day care, or residential area.

It was the lack of specific details on the application which made it difficult to approve.

“The application was not specific as to the adult use that was intended. Each adult use has a different developmental standard, parking, lighting and other requirements. Without specificity there is no way we can grant a favorable review of this,” said William Treadway, chairman of Terre Haute Board of Zoning Appeals.

Residents of the North Fruitridge area who spoke out on Wednesday, say by denying the permit request it prevents the negative impact that they believe the business would’ve had.

“If we could eliminate even any exposure whatsoever. We can eliminate a lot of this promotion of addiction and promotion of other things that are detrimental to this community,” said Raymond Vanvuren, local resident.

Treadway says after a permit is denied, there is typically a twelve month waiting period until a new one can be filed.

Smith says Bickers plans to re-apply when he is able to.

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