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are cyber cafes arcades?


Hey fellow planenrs! It's been a long time since I posted. Anyway here's my question. I freqent a cyber cafe (my daughter loves Counter Strike). The particular city it is in (where Iive but would *never* work) is trying to shut them down because the councilman thinks arcades are sooo bad to our youth. Now mind you there is a liquor store in the same mini-mall as the this cyber cafe but that's ok. I mean heck, adults need to get liquor, right? Anyway, there havent been really any police complaints Essentially to me this is a modern-day form of cops and robbers when kids played with toy guns. The city I work wouldnt give these owners such a hardship. Where I work as well as this city considers cyber cafes arcades since there iare kids playing games.

Originallly the owners got a Cof O as a " computer rental service" and operated for two years without incident. They rent computers and internet access with a T1 connection or use of a LAN. Of coursse kids as we know use it to play against each other with internet games such as Counter Strik\e. However some of the users, myself included - use the LAN for web browsing.only I frankly don't see t where the city council gets off that such a use engenders some kind of harzard for the area. It is not near residences or sensitive uses. They have not established the nexus of crime and peple who play internet games.In this instance there has been no police reports of loitering or noise, etc steming from the internet cafe.

The CUP was approved by the Planning Commission when the internet cafe was told it was now considered an acrade. Then city council apealed the decision Board of Zoning appeals. The approval was sustained and now city counciole appealed to the city council. That is so wierd. The councilman for the district. wants this placed closed come hell or high water. The chief of police doesnt like it either. Yet there is no evidence and nothing in the code IMO supports the denial if challenged in court. I think the zone where this internet cafe is allows nightclubs with booze and probalby even a sex shot. This sort of arbitaryness of this city irriatates me. There has been no letters in oposition and only one old lady testified against it There has been incidents of loitering but it from the freakin liquor store and not the cafe'.

Has anyone confronted this situation?

mike gurnee

"Has anyone else confronted this situation"

Yes, throughout history. Any place where youth congregates is considered bad by someone. Doesn't make any difference if it was ice cream parlors and pool halls from decades past, drive-in restaurants more recently, or cyberspace arcades today.

Your town's code goes so far as to require a conditional use permit for arcades, we permit them as of right. I have considerable trouble with a city attorney who cannot talk a council out of appealing a city planning commission decision. But the fault lies with the council that did not vote the one fanatic down. The police chief is probably just sucking up to the council.

The newspaper should be making a laughing stock out of the councilman. The Planning Commission spoke by granting the permit; the Board of Appeals spoke by upholding the PC action. Let the city take it further up the court system and friviously spend a few more thousand tax dollars on legal fees. I do not believe any appeals court would revoke the permit.