The Brookhaven City Council on Tuesday agreed to a settlement deal with the Pink Pony that will allow the strip club to stay open and operate with nude dancing and serving alcohol during a six-year “transition” period to come into compliance with city ordinances.
In exchange, the Pink Pony will pay the police department $225,000 a year for the six years to cover public safety costs, reimburse the city for its legal fees, donate land near the club along Peachtree Creek for a city park, and contribute up to $75,000 for the park.
On Nov. 3 the Georgia Supreme Court denied a request for reconsideration that representatives for the Pink Pony submitted following the court’s Oct. 6 ruling that the city of Brookhaven can regulate the strip club.
The Georgia Supreme Court on Oct. 6 had ruled that the city can regulate sexually oriented businesses. Then, on Oct. 8, the city filed a request for a court order that would require the Pink Pony to obey a city ordinance that says sexually-oriented businesses cannot serve alcohol. On Oct. 28, the council voted in favor of a non-disclosure agreement that would allow the city to negotiate a settlement deal with the club, despite the objections of Councilwoman Rebecca Chase Williams.
“I’m still opposed to it and consider it a bad and unethical deal for the city,” said Williams as she read from a statement during the meeting. “And yes, I still consider it a payoff for looking the other way.”
Councilman Bates Mattison, who made the motion to approve the deal, said that it worked in favor of the taxpayers since the city will recoup its legal fees.
Councilman Joe Gebbia, who voted in favor of the deal, said that respect must be paid to any business that existed in Brookhaven before the city incorporated.
Mayor J. Max Davis said the city’s ordinance will still be able to prevent more strip clubs from operating in the city and that is why it was adopted, “not to go after the Pink Pony.” This agreement lets the city keep the new ordinance while allowing the Pink Pony to continue to operate, he said.