Remember the Show N Tail club from Panama City Beach’s yesteryear? The club owner, Allen Johnson, appeared before the Bay County Commission yesterday to put forward a petition to re-open the well-known adult establishment on Holley Lane southwest of the Thomas Drive/98 interchange.
On the night of June 20th, 2006, a fire destroyed Show N Tail nightclub, previously located on Thomas Drive. Thankfully, no-one was injured in the blaze, and Mr Johnson had hoped to rebuild at the Thomas Drive location, but a 1996 county ordinance barred adult businesses from tourist corridors, including parts of State 79, Front Beach Road, Back Beach Road and Thomas Drive.
Show N Tail was actually built prior to the adoption of a 1996 county ordinance that imposed the restriction, however the new location is considered commercial/industrial and the club qualifies under current zoning regulations. Harry Harper, Johnson’s attorney, argued Tuesday that Johnson had a verbal agreement in place with the 1999 County Commission stating that he could relocate Show N Tail to an industrial park. Harper said that, despite the locale’s proximity to a neighborhood, its location in an industrial park should quell neighbor complaints. “If you go to the Golden Nugget or the Toy Box, you can throw a rock and hit houses,” Harper said in a phone interview with the New Herald on Tuesday. “This is not a situation where it’s going to be a nuisance. People are pretty much going to be unaware that it’s going to be there.”
The Bay County Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to allow Johnson to appeal the decision by county Planning and Zoning Manager Martin Jacobson, preventing Johnson from opening the new club in its proposed location. Jacobson said that the proposed spot violates county ordinances preventing adult clubs within 1,500 feet of residential areas.
The commissioners mostly agreed with Harper at Tuesday’s meeting, despite Jacobson’s objections. “It’s about as isolated a spot as you’re going to find anywhere in the beaches,” said Commissioner Jerry Girvin.