Stilettos owner pays fine for opening club without permit
The Howland man who opened a swinger’s club called Stilettos on McMyler Street Northwest March 2 has pleaded no contest to opening the club without a permit, a misdemeanor offense, and paid a $1,000 fine.
Bruce Gaus and his attorney, Gil Blair, reached an agreement ahead of the hearing Tuesday morning in Warren Municipal Court that allowed Gaus to avoid arrest or any other hearings, said Greg Hicks, Warren law director.
The fine is the maximum possible for the offense, Hicks said.
When the hearing was over, Blair asked Hicks: “What do we have to do?”
Hicks said he explained that Gaus should visit the Warren Building Department to take out a packet explaining the necessary steps to open a new business.
The information provided will tell Gaus what to do to get an occupancy permit. It also will enable city officials to determine whether the business meets zoning regulations.
March 4, two days after city officials learned the club had opened without a permit, the building department issued a violation notice, ordering it to close until it obtains the required approvals.
Blair said later Tuesday he believes Gaus intends to follow the steps to apply for an occupancy permit. Beyond that, Blair said he wouldn’t discuss what Gaus’ plans are.
“He simply wants to move forward, clear this up and move toward the next phase,” Blair said. “He wanted to clear things up right away.”
Hicks said the first thing that will happen when Gaus submits documents to the building department will be for the zoning office to determine whether Stilettos can operate in that neighborhood.