A strip club on Sesame Street?

WPBT fights proposed strip club

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NORTH MIAMI, Fla. - Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Ernie and Bert could have to coexist next to a strip club.

A proposed strip club is planned next to WPBT Channel 2, and the public television station is leading the fight to stop it.   

The station is on Sesame Street in North Miami. 

"We have security concerns. We have employees who work at night. We are concerned about what's going to happen next door," said Rick Schneider, president and CEO of WPBT. 

WBPT, South Florida's public television station, has called North Miami home for some 40 years. 

"We think it's not a good place because of WPBT Channel 2, who we are and what we represent," Schneider said. 

The site is in a warehouse district, east of West Dixie Highway and west of Biscayne Boulevard. 

"We have important national, state and local people in and out of this building all the time. We have a major national newscast that comes out of here.  We have school groups and kids that come here. In that sense, we are concerned about the asthetics of the neighborhood. We don't think it's appropriate," Schneider said. 

The ity of North Miami currently prohibits full nudity and alcohol in the same establishment. The owners of the proposed club have asked the city council to change that and lift the ban to allow both. 

The council will take up the issue next week. The club could open now if there was just partial nudity. 

"If this were in our main downtown, I might see it differently, but this is an industrial area and it's zoned for it," said North Miami Councilman Scott Galvin. 

Galvin has no problem lifting the ban and no problem with a strip club adjacent to Sesame Street. 

"It's the industrial district. Let's stop fooling ourselves. Let's go ahead and let a business go, and if people come, it will thrive. If people don't, it will close," Galvin said. 

Channel 2 has sent out fliers against the proposed club, asking people to show up to a meeting at North Miami City Hall on Tuesday. 

Local 10 asked if the station spending viewer donations on this fight.

"We have spent a little of the money on a brochure and a little bit of money on an attorney-lobbyist. It's not a lot, and whether or not it's viewer money, I can argue that it comes from corporate support or other donations," Schneider said. 

The meeting is this Tuesday at 7 p.m. at 776 NE 125th St. in North Miami.

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