Permit sought for sexually-oriented business ‘as nice as anything Las Vegas has to offer’

Epsilon Services Group has applied for a sexually-oriented business permit just across LBJ from Highland Oaks Church of Christ

Depending on how you define the boundaries of Lake Highlands, the sexually-oriented business (SOB) proposed for the industrial area just across LBJ Freeway from Highland Oaks Church of Christ isn’t really even in our neighborhood.  The vacant land at 10995 Petal Lane sits between Royal/Miller and Walnut Hill/Kingsley on the boundary of Dallas and Garland. (The road names change at the Garland City Limits.)

But that doesn’t mean LH residents and business owners aren’t worried.

“We are extremely concerned about an increase in crime and a decrease in property values if such a business is allowed to build on this property,” says Charles Belcher, who moved his business, Onstage Systems, to Petal Lane 15 years ago. He saw a spike in crime and mischief at his previous location, near Northwest Highway and Shiloh, when the New Fine Arts adult video store went in.

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Belcher, who now runs his business with the help of his grown children, is concerned about his employees and their families. Belcher’s home schooled granddaughter and other children home sick or out for holidays or appointments routinely spend time in the office’s break area.

Lake Highlands resident Alkos Giagtzis, owner of Epsilon Services Group, Inc., signed a contract to purchase the 3-acre Petal Lane tract contingent upon being granted an adult cabaret license. He’ll apply to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) for a license to sell liquor when his SOB is approved. His application says the dance hall will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. 7 nights a week, and he told me he’ll operate “a fine, state-of-the-art gentleman’s club.”  He’s working with a group of investors who’ll spend $2 million to make it “as nice as anything Las Vegas has to offer” — topless, not all-nude — and says it’s unfortunate Dallas has a tendency to be offended by SOBs.

The site of the proposed sexually-oriented business on Petal Lane. Image courtesy Google Maps

His other next door neighbor, Joel Burch, CFO of Interstate Wire, shares Belcher’s concerns.

“A sexually oriented business on this site in the middle of an industrial street is the last thing in the world I expected to face. There’s no other retail on the block. This is strictly a warehouse district.”

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Interstate Wire built their building in 1994 and expanded in 2001.

“We built an additional building at Plano and Markison in 2012, so we have quite a presence, a big investment here. I don’t understand the logic of putting that business in here. It’s confounding us all. We’re worried about property values. We think an SOB will bring more problems. We’ve already had burning cars, cars crashing into buildings, stolen cars – we’ve had to install 35 cameras trying to keep the misfits at bay. We have to have a big gate and fence, and this is only going to hurt matters.”

“Ours is a family business,” continues Burch. “We’re in our 40th year and we’re owned by the Fleming family. We have employee family members in here all the time. We have customers, vendors and bankers here. This is a very nice building we have built, and we are proud of it. This is just a shock.”

Though he’s not wild about PT’s Men’s Club nearby, Burch says their location at Plano and Miller makes more sense, and he’s worried about the high-visibility advertising Giagtzis will be required to use to bring in patrons.

“PT’s, with its gold and palm trees, sticks out like a sore thumb, but I can understand it. That’s on a main thoroughfare, at least. I can only guess what they will do to the buildings and on billboards to pull in traffic off the highway.”

Come-hither billboards on LBJ would likely be visible from Highland Oaks Church of Christ (HOCC), host to several community events, including the Lake Highlands Women’s League home tour luncheon and bazaar each December, and Hoops in the Highlands, which brings hundreds of basketball-playing youngsters and their families to the HOCC parking lot each April.

There is no formal protest process, says Maureen Milligan, Dallas City Attorney and Chief of Community Prosecution, because Giagtzis isn’t required to go before the City Plan Commission or City Council. The process involves applying to the Dallas Police Department for a specific use permit, which will likely to be approved since the property is 1000 feet from the nearest school, park, hospital, child care facility or church (it’s 1300 feet from HOCC) and meets other requirements. Residents opposed to DPD’s granting of the license may send emails to David Pughes, acting police chief, at or mail letters to 1400 S. Lamar, 75215.

Update: Chief Pughes contacted Advocate by email Monday to say he received “tons of emails” on the proposed SOB after our story. He added, “I have spoken to the City Attorneys and I do not have the authority to deny the license based on community opposition.” Pughes did not say if or when Giagtzis and his investors would be approved.

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  • Gary Prudhomme

    I believe most people in our society have the right to move about as they please, without fear of ‘big brother’ or disapprovers following them around.

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  • Corinne Colter

    Shame Elrod. Does Mike Love know you indulge in strippers?

  • bigdumbaggie

    A serious question for Clayton and Adam ( although this is a wonderful opportunity for a joke) .

    Not that much ever good crawled out of oklahoma, but what they do is control signage. Seems to me if that’s legal, that’s the right approach. I know at the um establishment in garland that was a requirement.

    That way the Methodists can do what they want and not offend the baptists. 🙂

  • LHHomeowner

    I bet you clutch your little Johnson harder to little girls dancing on a pole! I hope you are throwing more than nickels and dimes! A girls gotta eat. I’m just a capitalist that gets her rocks off at home.

  • Lake

    JW likes to fart and smell his own hole. 😉

  • Thank you.

  • khoerner360

    Obviously my post was submitted before your original reply. And the only thing I did was tell the person he was acting like an “…” for threatening to surreptitiously and illegally harass people didn’t have his same beliefs. You are operating from a subjective and frankly dictatorial position, and I believe your own predilections are showing. Good day, I will move on.

  • khoerner360

    So I guess the threatening behavior advocating stalking and harassment at the beginning of this thread is ok then? All because it threatens your own worldview? Examine your own actions and biases sir.

  • As I told you on one of your earlier comments on this post, khoerner360, you were verbally abusive to another commenter here, so I deleted your comment. Verbal abuse and obvious distortion of facts are the only times we censor anything here. We do our best to adhere to ethics, but we also believe in keeping things clean and positive. And honestly, if you can’t make a point without being abusive, you probably don’t have much of a point worth sharing.

  • JW

    The Advocate is pretty open to discussion and differing viewpoints. What they will delete you for is personal attacks and getting off topic.

  • As I recall, khoerner360, you were verbally abusive to another commenter, so I deleted your comment. Verbal abuse and obvious distortion of facts are the only times we censor anything here. We do our best to adhere to ethics, but we also believe in keeping things clean and positive.

  • khoerner360

    What happened to my comment? Wow, censorship… You must be so proud of your journalistic ethics and training Ms. Toler and or LH Advocate!

  • khoerner360

    haha, stop arguing with these sexual luddites… One, it’s too easy, they aren’t that bright, laboring under the weight of all those pre-1960s mores and religious indoctrinations. Two, they won’t stop being offended by anything not “their morals”. (Legal or not)

  • khoerner360

    LOL. What a complete a-hole. How is the view from you universal judgement seat? What a terrible person…

  • JW

    >I also went through WRE, LHJH and graduated from LHHS. Maybe I know your kids!

    I highly doubt it – my kids were in the pre-AP and AP course track. You probably never met them.

    >Do they know that you are so incredibly excited about the possibility for another strip club?

    Go back and read my words and tell me where I said I was incredibly excited about that possibility. Careful jumping to conclusions, it’s a long climb back up.

    And my kids know I always got a kick out of trolling my closed-minded neighbors when we lived there (and when they got older, they joined in). You’re probably the lady who kept tearing down my Obama sign, and I kept putting it right back up…

    Now go and clean your pearls, they’re kinda dirty from how hard you’ve been clutching them.

  • LHHomeowner

    Like I said before…are there not enough Strip Clubs for you now???? I also went through WRE, LHJH and graduated from LHHS. Maybe I know your kids! Ha! Do they know that you are so incredibly excited about the possibility for another strip club? You answered all of my questions with a question. I am so happy that PT’s shut down!!! I just don’t understand your reasoning behind arguing with everyone on here. Please do not bother replying…I will not waste another minute arguing with such an arrogant angry man.

  • JW

    Wow. You don’t know the difference between two K-6 vocabulary words, but you call me an idiot.

    I did live in LH, for almost 20 years. I had two kids go through WRE, LHJH, and graduate from LHHS. But I don’t remember my kids being taught in RISD schools that you should call someone names when you disagree with them. Is that one of the “morals” you learned living in LH your entire life? I wasn’t taught that but then I grew up in a rural small town, I guess we didn’t get the fancy curriculum they had in LH when you were growing up.

    It’s apparent that you and most of the other folks here don’t really object to a strip club, as a concept. But you do object to this one, because it’s “too close.” Honestly, if this story weren’t here, you’d have no idea this place existed, would you? But you care so much about your neighborhood!

    It’s not about morals, it’s about the feared effect on your property values. I see no one in this thread talking about shutting down strip clubs as a rule, just the ones that might hurt your bottom line and your image of your “small town in the city.” Heaven forbid, “Lake Highlands Drive” show up in the Google maps direction to a titty bar.

    If you’re truly afraid having a strip club across the freeway in a warehouse district will corrupt the morals of LH, maybe you need to take a step back and look at those morals, because my kids’ generation grew up with PT’s much closer than this place. We rode our bikes right past it on many a Saturday, but somehow my daughter stayed off the pole and my son managed to stay away from prostitutes. If your culture is so easily corrupted, maybe you’re not doing such a great job instilling it.

  • LHHomeowner

    You are an idiot! Lol! This is an article in the lake highlands advocate. Since I’ve lived in Lake highlands my entire life I do consider this particular property in LH! Good luck in life you miserable man with no “morals”

  • JW

    I see you were unable to respond to my questions, while I was able to answer yours. I guess they were too tough?

    My morale is fine, but the word you’re looking for is “morals” – those are good too.

  • Lhhomeowner

    Wow! Struck a nerve? If you lived in LH you would realize that having a strip club business right outside the neighborhood your kids grew up you would understand. You obviously don’t so why would I expect for you to understand. After reading all of your replies to others against this you have a chip on your shoulder and have extremely low morales. Why are you so pro-stripclub? Are there not enough already for you to enjoy?

  • dormand

    We have existing camera technology developed to record drivers who run red lights.

    If such a camera were set up facing the entrance to said “gentleman’s club” and recorded each vehicle as it enters and leaves the premises, there would be an interesting pool of. information.

    If a letter were sent to the registered owner of the vehicle showing the entry and the exit photos of the vehicle as well as the time and date stamps, a nice note could be included relating something to the effect of

    “It was noted that your vehicle entered the XYZ Gentleman’s Club at 11:13 PM on Thursday, August 10, 2017 and left there at 2:13 AM on Friday, August 11, 2017.”

    A photo record of your visit can be viewed online at 24 hours per day 7 days per week into perpetuity.

    I suspect that there might be a diminished level of interest in most in having their visit to this establishment recorded for posterity and readily available for all to review.

  • JW

    A capital idea. I’m sure you wouldn’t mind the same occurring in front of your own house, (“Clayton Henry is anti-Business!”) good ol’ free speech and whatnot.

  • JW

    What interesting questions…

    Do I live in LH? Well, that’s interesting, because the property being discussed isn’t in Lake Highlands proper. Maybe you can answer this one: Why does it matter where one lives? Also, where is “LH” to you? Do you think someone who lives on, oh, let’s say Coolair Dr. (“in LH”, go ahead, check a map) has a particular vested interest in this?

    Do I have a family? This one is really interesting. Either you are expressing curiosity/concern that I am an orphan, or it could betray a general ignorance of human reproduction. As far as I know, aside from orphans, we all have families. But let me ask you a question: what does whether one has a family or not matter to this discussion?

    I hope I have answered your questions in a satisfactory manner.


    What are you talking about? Your post makes no sense.

  • Clayton P. Henry

    Owner lives in LH. Demonstrate in front of his home, and the alley access to his garage. He won’t want the attention and his wife certainly won’t. This can be stopped, not in P&Z, but by good ‘ol folks standing up and expressing their right of free speech. Start an on-line petition. Ask him to come to a LH meeting of concerned citizens. Exploitation of women, drugs and crime follow strip clubs. Take a stand.

  • LHHomeowner

    JW do you live in LH? Do you have a family? Just curious?

  • Thomas Barnhart

    You need to drive by The Mens Club on NW Highway. When that club opened, there were nothing but warehouses in the area. Look at everything there now. How much as crime increased in that half-mile radius? You do not know what you are talking about.

  • bigdumbaggie

    JW, you have obviously never owned a small business. I have one. 15 employees. with customers coming from time to time. and of course vendors. When you decide to jump in the water and create a business, talk to me. I’ve been down this road before. They are trouble and costly to the community. They destroy jobs. I Ran an SOB off that moved in next door to my business. It’s a lot of work to do so, but worth it.

    You seem to have a disconnect between a home/apartment and an SOB. SOB’s have liquor licenses, prostitution, and drugs. What someone wants to do inside their own home, I could care less. I hope that helps.

  • LH_Tittay_Lover

    Bring on the LH tittays

  • Carol Toler

    If you’re having trouble understanding, you should probably speak to the business owners who have faced this problem (or read the story). When SOBs move in, crime comes along. (Perhaps that’s why the DPD vice squad handles applications.) The business owners’ past experience has been significant enough to cause them to sell their property and move, which is exactly what they are now contemplating. Sad.

  • JW

    So, let me understand. I own a small business selling fidget spinners. My suppliers and customers are going to stop coming to my warehouse because there’s naked people inside the place next door? That’s what we’re saying?

    How do these folks sleep at night, knowing someone could be naked in the next house or apartment?

  • Carol Toler

    It ain’t Bourbon Street, and it ain’t Vegas. It’s Dallas, full of Dallas businesses and Dallas tax-paying business owners who say they believe their business will be disrupted if a strip club moves in nearby. Vendors, bankers and customers won’t want to visit their site, and they won’t want their families visiting. Dallas Police and Dallas City Council may want to ask: will these business move elsewhere? Garland, perhaps? They’ve already been driven from one site. Is this strip club worth it?

  • JW

    >this is really bad. needs to be stopped.

    Not sure why it’s bad to put a strip club in an industrial area. This ain’t Bourbon Street, nobody is going to be holding the door open for passerby to get a peek inside.

  • Harrison McElrod

    Sounds good. Hope it opens and attracts similar businesses to the area. The Men’s Club on NW Hwy was built in an industrial district and look at all the businesses that came in afterwards. These clubs are an economic development tool.

  • bigdumbaggie

    this is really bad. needs to be stopped. How can we stop an elementary school from being built in White Rock Valley, but can’t stop this?

  • Ed Penton

    The more logical way in and out is through Jupiter. Taking Plano (hopefully future LHD) would send people right by their competition.

  • Ribit

    Maybe changing the name of Plano Road to Lake Highlands Drive is not such a good idea. Directions to this new strip joint would likely include some mention of Lake Highlands Drive.