SAN JOSE (KCBS) – San Jose is looking at possibly implementing new rules to regulate a controversial establishment set to open next week in the downtown area.

The Gold Club, dubbed the “Premiere Gentlemen’s Club in San Jose,” is set to open on August 8 in the heart of downtown on Santa Clara Street. The club will feature bikini-clad performers and its prominent location has some up in arms.

That includes San Jose City Councilman Sam Liccardo, who represents the downtown area. He said he is crafting new rules that could reduce the club’s impact on crime and the risk to female performers.

“Regulations like requiring background checks to ensure that the women are of age, no touching rules, restricting the way tipping can happen,” he said.

Liccardo said this is not a moral crusade on his part. “It’s simply about limiting the negative impacts that we know these kinds of clubs have in many communities.”

But the Gold Club’s attorney, George Mull, said any new regulations could violate the First Amendment, which protects dancing as free speech. And he said concerns about a negative impact on the downtown are baseless.

“There’s no foundation to a fear that this will attract crime or cause any kind of blight,” Mull said. “In fact, it will be nothing but a positive.”

Strip clubs are illegal in San Jose and Liccardo said the rules could be added to the Gold Club’s alcohol permit when it comes up for review in a few months.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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