Commissioners Court douses topless bar plan

BROWNSVILLE — The Cameron County Commissioners Court yesterday blocked a local attorney’s plans to build a topless bar just north of Beach Access No. 6 on South Padre Island.

Commissioners voted during a regular meeting to deny Larry Mark Polsky’s sexually oriented business application.

Dylbia Vega, legal counsel to the commissioners court, said the court has 10 days to give its decision in writing. The deadline is Feb. 2. Polsky has the option of appealing the decision in district court.

Previously, his application was denied by the Sheriff’s Department because commissioners found that a public beach is also a public park. In Texas, sexually oriented businesses cannot be located within 1,500 feet of a public park.

Polsky also failed to notify all nearby property owners of his intentions, the rejection letter stated, which made his application incomplete.

One day before the vote, court records show Polsky filed a civil class action lawsuit in the 103rd state District Court against Cameron County.

The lawsuit argues that, by finding the beach to be a public park, the county took that land from all beachfront property owners without due process or compensation. It is seeking the market value of landowners’ “taken public beach” property, attorney’s fees and court costs.

The plaintiff is listed as South Padre Island landowner Doyle Wells and “all others similarly situated.”

Polsky said he plans to appeal county commissioners’ decision in district court when he receives a written notification of his application denial.

Polsky said he sent letters about his intent to build a sexually oriented business to about 100 property owners but missed three. However, he argues that because those three property owners were contacted by a sheriff’s department lieutenant and had the chance to appear at a public hearing on the matter, they still were given due process.