Milwaukee Alderman Tony Zielinski plans to introduce strip club legislation

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Tony Zielinski Silk Strip Clubs Milwaukee
Tony Zielinski

Milwaukee Alderman Tony Zielinski is working on legislation that would create designated neighborhoods for adult entertainment in the city.

The move comes after another go around this month with Silk Exotic, which has tried for years to open a strip club downtown. Its latest proposal, to open a club on the fourth floor of an office building at 804 N. Milwaukee St., was unanimously denied Tuesday by the Common Council.

Silk is currently involved in two lawsuits against the city and will likely file a third after this latest denial.

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“It’s clear these people haven’t been able to find a place for their establishment,” said Zielinski, who chairs the city’s Licenses Committee. “Now the city is going to take proactive steps to identify certain areas where this type of entertainment would be allowed and create the zoning for it.”

In 2010, the Common Council rejected Silk Exotic strip club proposals at 730 N. Old World Third St. and at 117 W. Pittsburg Ave. in Walker’s Point. In 2013, Silk Exotic tried unsuccessfully to open approval for plans for a strip club in a city-owned parking structure at 4th Street and Highland Avenue, across the street from the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Last year, the Common Council rejected two more Silk Exotic proposals in Walker’s Point at 505 S. 5th St. and 906 S. Barclay St.

Zielinski would not say where he believes is the best place for strip clubs, but said he believes there are areas of the city where strip clubs would be appropriate, including some industrial sites.

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He acknowledged this could turn into a contentious discussion among aldermen, who will likely approach the subject with a not in my backyard attitude.

“It’s not going to be an easy process and we’ll have to exercise due diligence where the details are concerned,” Zielinski said.


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