The council voted 4-1, Councilman Bob Brockman dissenting, in favor of resident Jackie Waters’ appeal of a Planning Commission approval of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for Club O, which would have been located between Acorn Storage and WinCo and near the Red Rhino nightclub. It was the proposed proximity of the two clubs that was of particular interest to several of the speakers on hand to object to Club O.
“We are very concerned if another nightclub is approved located a stone’s throw from the Red Rhino,” said Officer Roger Wilson, president of the Brentwood Police Officers’ Association. Wilson spoke on behalf of the association and not the Brentwood Police Department. Red Rhino has logged more than 100 calls for service in the last 18 months, Wilson said. A second establishment meant one could expect more incidents, a point echoed by Police Chief Mark Evenson.
“What we can expect is what we’ve gotten from other places that sell liquor,” said Evenson. He estimated 100 to 125 more calls annually if Club O was approved, mostly on Friday or Saturday nights.
Applicant Tiffany Tran, however, said her establishment would be nothing like Red Rhino. “Yes, we will have some problems,” she acknowledged. “But I will work with you and we will deal with it. It’s not fair to not even give me a chance.
“I’m smart enough to know that the laws have been set for me,” she said. “If I’m not following the (law), then shut me down. Six months, that’s a fair chance.”
More than a dozen residents also made their way to the podium, where each logged their concerns, including drunk drivers on Lone Tree Way, more calls for an already-stretched police force, an increase in out-of-town “undesirables,” and the spillover of incidents into the surrounding area.
“These people (bar patrons) will go into WinCo, buy a $5 case of cheap beer and carry on the party in my front yard, in the storage facility and on the streets of Brentwood,” one man said.
Another man, who said he worked for a business near Red Rhino, said the walls of his establishment were being used as a toilet by departing Red Rhino patrons, and predicted another club would mean more problems. He ticked off a list of similar establishments that have failed in Brentwood, adding he was waiting for somebody to “prove to me that a nightclub can work in a community like this.”
Councilmembers were also concerned that the club would make a negative impact on the area, especially when it comes to policing, despite more than two dozen Conditions of Approval placed on the project by the Planning Commission in recommending the CUP. Councilman Chris Becnel said a key issue is that the city currently has no mechanism for following up on CUPs and making certain they are being followed years after their issue. He floated the idea of tabling the appeal until the CUP enforcement issue could be addressed, but found little support. Councilman Erick Stonebarger said he was concerned for the impact on officers, and agreed with residents that the club was not in keeping with the family-oriented community that many of the evening’s speakers cited as their reason for coming to Brentwood.
Councilman Brandon Richey said he had similar concerns, while Taylor flat-out rejected the plan, saying, “I don’t want something like this.”
Brockman, in voting to allow the club, said he understood the concerns, but thought Tran ought to be given a chance.
Saying that the conditions alleged by speakers at the Red Rhino also need to be addressed, and that establishing a CUP enforcement program would do that. He requested a future agenda item so the council can discuss it.