Under the changes, strip clubs can no longer have private VIP rooms, dancers must perform on an 18 inch stage and entertainers must be licensed. The clubs can still server liquor.
The vote was 6-3 in favor of the new rules with Joann Watson, Kwame Kenyatta and Brenda Jones voting against them. All five new city council members and council member Ken Cockrel Jr. voted for the changes.
Some Detroit pastors had fought for tougher restrictions on strip clubs.
“The will of the people will exist and we will fight and this city council will hear from us,” said the Rev. Marvin Winans from Perfecting Church.
Both members of the clergy and employees of Detroit’s 33 strip clubs were in attendance for Tuesday’s vote.
“It could have been a lot worse but it’s still going to diminish our businesses, but we are going to do our best to live with it,” said Larry Kaplan who represents the adult clubs.
“What’s going on inside of there is not hurting anybody. It’s what’s going on in the streets. We need jobs,” said Tisha, an adult club waitress.
Tuesday’s decision comes after two years of debate on this issue including a public hearing Monday in which hundreds of people packed into Detroit City Hall to voice their concerns both for and against the new restrictions.
The new rules do not include earlier language that topless dancers must wear pasties.
“At the end of the day we’ve got a lot of issues that we’re dealing with in the city of Detroit and the stakes are much higher than whether someone can watch an exposed breast at a bar and have a shot of Jim Beam while they’re doing it,” said Detroit City Council member Ken Cockrel Jr.
City Council took a straw vote earlier this month to remove a ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol inside adult entertainment clubs, a requirement that dancers wear pasties and a requirement that dancers stay at least 6 feet from patrons.
Concerned council members said the ban would have a negative effect on jobs in the already financially strapped community.
“There are about 1,600 employees that currently work in the adult entertainment business in the city of Detroit. That’s not just dancers. … There are a lot of people employed there,” said councilwoman Saunteel Jenkins.
The new rules could take effect in two weeks.