Strip club rezoning meeting draws large crowd

LADYSMITH, Wis. (WEAU) - Monday night people showed up to defend and object to rezoning a piece of land so a strip club can open.

The owner is nearly finished with the building on a piece of land four miles north of Ladysmith but dozens of people came out tonight to keep it from opening.

Dana Franson, the property owner, says he hopes to get his club opened before deer season next month. But the land where the building sits needs to be rezoned from agricultural to industrial before the dancing could start.

“I built this originally to be a pheasant hunting club. It’s a place for people to do what they like to do here which is hunt, fish, and snowmobile,” Franson explained. “But I’d also like to allow them to kick back have a beer afterwards and provide entertainment. I’d have girls come here and dance on the weekend probably.”

Franson says he started building The Safari Club on the land he owns near his house in May, but over the past few months, the building has drawn a lot of attention.

“This is a constitutionally protected form of expression its one of our freedoms same as freedom of religion,” he said. “That touches a nerve with some people for some reason whether it is legal or not some peoples moral values it goes completely against.”

Franson says what he is building will be completely legal but people who showed up to Monday night’s meeting still had their reservations.

“We are concerned about the message that this sends to our youth particularly to our young girls,” Rusk County Youth Council member Caroline Loyas said. “We hope that dancing for money is a choice that our daughters never have to make and we don't want an establishment like this to be in rusk county to give our daughters that choice.”

The meeting Monday night was just a public hearing, the board says it will make its recommendations to the county on November sixth and the county will vote on November 12th.


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