NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – An attorney for The Social Club, a Nashville swinger’s club, said he will file a lawsuit if Metro council members pass an ordinance that would effectively block the club from opening at its new location.
Late last week, Metro Council members Karen Bennett, Larry Hagar, Bill Pridemore and Duane Dominy introduced Ordinance BL2015-1036. The ordinance would change zoning laws in parts of Nashville, including The Social Club’s new location on Lentz Drive in Madison.
The current zoning on Lentz Drive is considered “Office General,” also known as “OG.” Zoning laws permit private clubs to exist in OG-zoned areas.
The proposed ordinance would no longer permit clubs in those areas.
In an interview Monday, Bennett told News 2 the proposed ordinance was not written to target The Social Club specifically.
“We were looking at the club ordinance in itself and noticed that due to land use and planning issues, there were certain zoning districts where it really didn’t seem to fit to have clubs,” she explained.
Bennett’s District 8 encompasses Goodpasture Christian School, which is across the street from the club’s new location.
The school has been outspoken about wanting the club to move elsewhere.
Bennett said, “Generally, I think that’s a poor location for something of that nature next to a school, and I can say also that the community has been really outraged and upset about it.”
According to the club’s attorney, Larry Roberts, The Social Club paid $750,000 for their new building at 520 Lentz Drive.
Despite what Bennett said, Roberts contends the new ordinance is targeted at the club specifically.
He said changing the zoning after the club had purchased the property and filed for a permit is not allowed.
“What they’re trying to do is change the rules of the game after the game has started. We played by the rules, and they want to change the rules. That’s unfair,” he said.
On Monday, Roberts told News 2 he was sending a letter to Metro council members asking them to reject the proposed ordinance.
When asked if he was considering litigation if the ordinance passes, he said, “I think so. Without question.”
The proposed ordinance passed it’s first reading Tuesday night.
A public hearing regarding the ordinance is scheduled for March 3.