Nuns fight Stone Park strip club

February 8, 2012 (STONE PARK, Ill.)

The village of Stone Park has approved a club that will be located near a Roman Catholic convent. The nuns say a new strip club would not be good for the community.

"We never were informed what it was going to be," said Sister Marciana Zambiasi.

It almost seems like a bad joke: a strip club opening in the shadow of a convent's garden. But it is no joke to the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo, whose order has been in Stone Park since the 1940s.

"Our concern is not so much for us, but for the neighbors, also for the young children," said Sister Marciana. "It is a moral issue. It's not good for the children to see this."

The sisters are upset because they say they were not told what kind of business was opening in their backyard until after construction began.

By law, when an adult entertainment business goes up, the village must notify all property owners within 250 yards of the site. In this case, it appears the notice that was meant for the nuns ended up at the wrong address.

An attorney for the village said Wednesday he regrets what happened, but it's too late. The village board, which initially rejected the business' application, approved it in August of 2010 after a lawsuit challenged an initial denial.

"We are the closest thing I think you would see to a strip club in Vegas," said Bob Itzgow, club developer.

Whether the business is technically a strip club or not, Itzgow goes on to say that he has met with the nuns and has tried to calm their fears. "From the back of the building where the sisters are, you can't even see a glow, and that took an extreme amount of money to change the lighting," he said.

But the nuns aren't the only ones whose property now faces the multi-million dollar facility. Those homeowners, who already have one strip club located a couple of blocks away, are also concerned about yet another adult-oriented night club opening in their neighborhood.

"I really think that we're going to have a lot of problems in the near future," said Raymond Lynch, concerned homeowner. "Noise disturbance, probably drunks walking back or probably trying to see if they can park over here."

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