• email
  • share

Meyers Nave Helps the City of Santa Fe Springs Keep Adult Businesses in Their Place

Los Angeles, CA – The Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles today ruled in favor of the City of Santa Fe Springs in a matter involving an adult live entertainment club operating in the wrong zone.

Santa Fe Springs was represented in this case, City of Santa Fe Springs vs. Foxz Corporation, Edwin Kwong, etc., et al, by Meyers Nave attorneys Deborah J. Fox and Gregory J. Newmark.

At issue was the club, owned by the Foxz Corporation, known as Spicy Gentleman’s Club’s (“Spicy”) challenge to the constitutionality of the City’s prior zoning code. Spicy applied for, and received, a permit to operate a Mediterranean restaurant in a part of the City zoned “M2.” M2 does not allow for the operation of any adult businesses. Spicy was not a simple restaurant, but rather was built and operated as an adult business complete with a brass pole and lap dancing booths conducive to such an enterprise.

Because Spicy was in clear violation of the City’s M2 zoning, the City ordered them to cease operations. When they failed to bring the club into compliance the City sued Spicy. The club’s owner, Edwin Kwong, then claimed the City’s zoning regulations were unconstitutional and did not realistically provide for businesses of a nature such as his. (It should be noted that Kwong never feigned ignorance of the zone in which Spicy was operating or of the regulations that went along with that designation. His sole admitted focus was testing the constitutionality of the City’s zoning regulations.)

In the end, Kwong’s and Spicy’s claims of unconstitutional zoning by the City were found by the court to lack merit. In his ruling, Judge Michael C. Solner, states that, “…it is not up to the court to appraise the wisdom of the City’s decisions (with respect to zoning.)” However, he does weigh in on the issue anyway by stating that the City had indeed zoned in an appropriate, constitutional manner.

Through the course of the proceedings the City’s defense team, spearheaded by Fox and Newmark, produced a series of maps detailing some 18 sites that were available in an acceptable zone at the time Spicy chose to build where it did. Additionally, they showed that when the City went about creating a “C4” zone allowing adult businesses, they wrote a staff report for the City Council laying out reasons for such a designation after taking into account public concerns and considerations.

The end result is that Spicy is now forced to cease operations as an adult business. Additionally, the City of Santa Fe Springs’ zoning regulations with respect to adult businesses are affirmed.


Deborah J. Fox
Meyers Nave
(213) 626-2906