Recent addendum to application clarifies intended property use
Shelton’s Planning and Zoning Commission will discuss the application for a “neo-speakeasy” at its special meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 19, at 7 p.m.
P&Z Administrator Rick Schultz issued the following statement prior to the commission’s scheduled meeting for Tuesday, Dec. 12, where the Hush It Up LLC application was initially supposed to be discussed.
“Commissioners Harger and Pogoda are not feeling well and have decided to take up this matter and other unfinished items at the Dec. 19 meeting,” Schultz wrote in an email to The Herald on Monday.
After receiving a whirlwind of attention via social media prior to even filing an application back in October for the business, which would be located on the first floor of 303 Old Bridgeport Avenue below Hunan Pan, the owner of Hush It Up LLC and applicant Randi England filed an addendum to the property’s stated use to help clear up some apparent misconceptions.
Before England filed the addendum, residents took to Facebook to express their opposition to having a business that featured adult entertainment. Schultz ultimately denied the application because its initial statement of use “indicates that a Speakeasy activity is proposed at this location which is a prohibited use.”
The latest version of the applicant’s stated intended use of the property says the business will not feature adult entertainment at all.
The addendum to the property’s statement of use reads as follows:
“A ‘speakeasy’-themed establishment in 2017 is not the same thing as a ‘speakeasy’ 97 years ago. By a ‘speakeasy’ theme, the applicant does not intend to operate the kind of establishment which existed during Prohibition. … A more accurate term might be ‘neo-speakeasy.’ It describes a bar whose entrance typically is inconspicuous, known by word of mouth, that requires some effort or knowledge to find. … The Premises will not in any manner, kind or form be an ‘adult oriented business,’ including but not limited to, an ‘adult business’, an ‘accessory adult use’, an ‘adult cabaret’, or an ‘adult personal service establishment’, as those terms are defined in the Shelton Planning and Zoning Regulations.”
England said she is aware that an adult-oriented business is prohibited in the property’s current zoning of light industrial and she attributes the misinformation to rumors spread via social media.
The owner of Hush It Up added that the rumors that were spread on Facebook about the business featuring topless dancers or “burlesque shows” were completely false.
“The only ‘burlesque’ aspect offered at the Premises is music and comedy in the style of a 1920’s variety show, which may include, for example, instrumental and vocal musical performers, comedians, comedic sketches, magicians, jugglers and ventriloquists,” reads the addendum to the property’s statement of use.