MAYES COUNTY, Okla. - Governor Fallin’s communications director told FOX23 over the phone the governor will not be holding a special session on this issue. It’s news that surprised Chouteau state representative Ben Sherrer.
Sherrer said he hadn’t heard the news Fallin planned to reject his request until FOX23 told him what we found out.
Sherrer said he’s waiting on a call from her office, but if it’s true he’s not happy.
“If that’s the case I think it’s disappointing that our family values governor refuses to address this now,” he said.
Sherrer is proposing regulations to prevent a rumored strip club from going up on a piece of land off highway 412 in Mayes County, right next to homes.
“It would create a buffer zone. I would propose 1,000 feet between the business and any property that was used for residential or church purposes,” Sherrer explained.
Governor Fallin’s office told FOX23 while she has sympathy for communities who have to deal with these types of businesses; she believes the situation can be handled at a local level.
Sherrer said he thinks it’s too late for the local government to do anything to stop the club from coming.
“I do intend to file legislation in February,” he said. “But by that time, February of 2015, I have reason to believe that this business will be up and running.”
FOX23 found out the owner of the property is Hai Ying, a man who owns three adult-oriented businesses in other states. Ying has never returned FOX23’s calls to confirm or deny that he is building a strip club there.
Because there are no zoning laws in this part of the county – it’s perfectly legal to build one.
“We respect private property rights. At the same time we also respect the notion of the community. The notion of religious values and tradition. This is an area that’s heavy, thick with Amish tradition,” Sherrer said.
The governor’s office said calling a special session costs 100’s of thousands of dollars a week.