A special city council meeting was held in Chula Vista Thursday night and new ordinances were unanimously passed to regulate sexually-oriented businesses in the area.
The new ordinances could particularly affect the future of the controversial Eye Candy Showgirls strip club, which opened on Bay Boulevard in the Chula Vista Bayfront on Oct. 7.
The strip club has been heavily criticized by Chula Vista leaders and residents.
The new urgency ordinance passed at the city council meeting Thursday prevents things like touching between patrons and performers, tipping and certain lighting.
At the meeting, the city council insisted the ordinance isn’t meant to target one particular business like Eye Candy Showgirls, but rather any and all sexually-oriented businesses operating in Chula Vista.
The council said this is a matter of public safety.
“The potential for prostitution, additional calls for service, drug activity, disturbances at the business. I think this protects our community, having a comprehensive state of the art ordinance,” said Chula Vista Police Dept. Chief David Bejarano.
The ordinance takes effect immediately. It also requires sexually-oriented businesses and its performers to apply for a license with the city.
Eye Candy Showgirls received its license by filing as a “cabaret theater” and “comedy club,” not a strip club.
That has brought the club’s owner, Randall Welty, under serious fire with Chula Vista leaders who claim Welty’s license may have been fraudulently obtained and, therefore, his club may be operating illegally.
NBC 7 reached out to Welty Thursday night and he said he was not aware of the city council meeting. He had no further comment about the new urgency ordinance.
One Chula Vista resident told NBC 7 that although the city council passed the ordinance, leaders failed to address the real issue.
"I feel the city council is really dragging its feet on its primary responsibility, which was to never let this happen. The second responsibility is for [the city] to come clean and be upfront about what happened,” said local Larry Breitfelder Navas.
The city can’t ban adult businesses because they are protected under the First Amendment -- it can only regulate them.
However, Chula Vista's city attorney said the city is continuing to analyze how Eye Candy Showgirls complies with city zoning and operational requirements.