PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — No decision was made at a zoning board hearing held Monday night to discuss a controversial gentlemen’s club in McKeesport.

All but one of those in attendance to speak at the meeting was against the club.

Saints and Sinners has been a subject of public protest and prayer meetings in the past. The owner had hoped to open Saints and Sinners in the former Chick’s Grill location in Christy Park earlier this year, but so far, the opening hasn’t happened.

The zoning board hearing took place Monday night at 6 p.m. at the former McKeesport Municipal Building on Lysle Boulevard. A decision is expected to be made in the next 45 days.

A lawyer for the club, Brad Sommer, told the McKeesport Zoning Hearing Board that “the city has to issue a permit.”

Responding to criticism that the club owner keeps changing his permit application, Sommer said “we’ve been evolving this to try go cooperate (with the city), we have been doing this for many months, and a lot of expense has gone into it.”

The controversy surrounding Saints and Sinners has been going on for the past few months. There have been prayer meetings, vigils and protests from people who are opposed to the club.

“Our biggest argument is that this is not the kind of business that we want in our city,” Reverend Kathy Barnhart of the Christy Park United Methodist Church said, “and [the owner] did not go about it the right way, or it never would have come to a zoning board. If the city had known that he was planning on opening a gentlemen’s club, a strip club, then it would have been squashed a long time ago, but he said it would be a restaurant.”

A McKeesport code enforcement officer originally denied an occupancy permit arguing that the owner failed to include the fact that it was going to be a strip club.

Earlier this month, a common pleas court judge rejected a lawsuit filed by the club’s owner which sought to invalidate McKeesport’s contention that the application for a permit was only for an eating-and-drinking establishment and it made no mention of a strip club.

Protesters Rally Against McKeesport Strip Club Plans (3/15/2014)
McKeesport Mayor Issues Warning To Gentlemen’s Club Owner (2/13/2014)
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