Some Baymeadows residents are concerned about an adult establishment setting up shop in their nearby
Businessman Ticco Zhaoo wants to turn an old Burger King on Baymeadows Road into a Paradise bikini bar by early next year. He's filed papers with the city in an effort to alter the zoning code.
"Paradise will be a place that will provide food, entertainment and alcoholic beverage," Zhaoo said. "There's word on the street that this will be a bikini bar. Yes, in a sense it will be like a bikini bar. I don't think it will be anything different from a Hooters."
There will be women in bikinis serving food, drinks and dancing, Zhaoo says, in an area surrounded by family-oriented restaurants and businesses.
Zhaoo said that in September, his attorney applied for an exception to the property's current zoning code, a change that would allow him to include dancing at Paradise.
But there's an effort in the Baymeadows community led by resident Danny Becton to keep Paradise out.
"They bring adult bookstores. They bring a community down," Becton said. "We are in a revitalization mode here at Baymeadows."
Becton said it makes more sense for Paradise to set up shop on Emerson Street, where adult establishments currently reside. He's afraid Zhaoo's business will hurt current efforts to uplift Baymeadows with new condos and townhomes.
"With all this positive going on in the community, as we all know, when we see these adult establishments, whether it's a bikini bar or strip club, nothing good comes from them as far a property values, crime," Becton said. "These are not positive things to a community."
"I can understand where they are coming from, but the problem with that is that I don't see that happening," Zhaoo said.
The planning commission will review Zhaoo's request next month. City Council member Stephen Joost said the council has the option to accept or deny its recommendation.
"I'll consider all the facts, but on my six years on council, I don't see where one of these types of bills have improved the overall health of our community," Joost said.
Zhaoo said the business will not look like a bikini bar on the outside and security will be tight and checking IDs thoroughly.
The planning commission will review this application at 1 p.m. Nov. 14 at City Hall. It could also go through the city's land use and zoning committee for more discussion.