WESTBROOK, Maine — A month after a strip club was shut down in Westbrook, Maine, the city council has given preliminary approval to an ordinance that would allow strip clubs in the city’s industrial zones — provided the dancers are partially covered up.
Westbrook councilors unanimously approved the new ordinance Monday, but it still has to go through a public hearing and a second vote before it can be enacted.
Mayor Colleen Hilton said the ordinance would bar dancers from touching customers, including performing “lap dances.”
Dancers’ genitals could not be exposed, and their nipples would have to be covered with pasties, Hilton said. Dancers also would be prohibited from tossing their garments into the audience.
The strip club opened Sept. 17 with fully nude dancers and was closed the next day, after the city’s fire inspector cited code violations related to fire alarms, sprinkler coverage and state construction permits. City officials said the building’s septic system was not equipped to handle the 300 people it had the potential to serve.
Dreamers Cabaret remains closed. Last week, a federal judge denied a request from the club’s owner, Larry Ferrante, to temporarily reinstate the club’s occupancy permit.
The Portland Press Herald says there is disagreement between Dreamers Cabaret’s lawyer and city officials on whether the new ordinance would apply to the club.