Business claims zoning laws are illegal

A pair of business owners on Long Island are accusing the Town of Hempstead of using zoning laws to crush their entrepreneurial dreams.

Two business owners on Long Island are accusing the Town of Hempstead of using zoning laws to crush their entrepreneurial dreams.

Strip club owners Rori Gordon and Billy Dean bought a building in 2009 in Wantagh, hoping to open an upscale "Las Vegas" style cabaret restaurant. Five years later, the restaurant continues to sit empty.

They've been denied a certificate of occupancy because Hempstead passed a zoning law requiring new restaurants to have windows on all sides the building. Gordon and Dean believe the town is holding their current jobs as strip club owners against them, and passed this law to keep them from opening their restaurant.

A representative for the town responded to Diana Blass's request for comment with the following statement:

"The town ordinance concerning window area coverage and restaurants applies equally to all prospective restaurants and does not target any individual properties. The ordinance is currently being amended. Beyond this, the town does not comment on any ongoing or pending litigation."

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