Striptease Christmas Show at Bel Rio
by: Kimber Hawkey, Charles Gendrot, Alison Ruffner, Janet Hatcher, Jennifer Braverman, Stan Braverman, Megan Vail, Jonathan Lawrence Braverman, Mrs. Jessie Hester Braverman, Eleanor Biasiolli, Alma Mills, Shirley Shotwell, Frances Racette, Joan Dragon, Hope and Brad Merricks.

The show started at 10pm Christmas night, Dec 2009…

In response to requests for pictures/videos of the new Belmont reality being thrust upon us, this attachment has been put together as proof of the types of disruptive activities going on in our “historic Belmont neighborhood”, perhaps to soon to become our red-light district?

This is the first in a series of pictures and videos that the Belmont residents will be making public via Internet postings and+ the print media.

The following evidence shows why we will not be able to sell our houses for the inflated prices that the new City assessments are putting forth, and why Belmont residents are protesting these raised rates.+ Why should we pay higher rates when, direclty next-door or in our backyards,+ we have these “neighborhood-unfriendly’ events (see photos) which draw in an element of Frat Partying lasting until all hours?

We are not the ‘few complainers’ as some are trying to paint us. Indeed, we are a group who, in the American tradition, are vocally and verbally opposing those seeking to impose their disruptive business practices on us and prevent us from enjoying our own homes. We are standing together with our fellow neighbors and standing up for our right to preserve both our property values and our quality of life.

Bel Rio —with their stiptease parties— is not the only business at fault.+ La “coffee shop” Taza,+ against neighborhood expectations and wishes,+ has amplified music on it’s terrace and runs an outside Tiki Bar.+ Issues have also occurred regarding The Local’s practices. All of this is in violation of the Neighborhood Commercial Corridor code which stipulates that businesses “respect” our neighborhood.

Due to these newly arrived businesses’ continued failure to respect our neighborhood, we are again asking that the City protect our investments and protect our right to enjoy our private property —free from the instrusion of noise and frat partying.+ The 55dB precedent has been set in other areas in Virginia where businesses abutt residential areas.

Our NEW Belmont Reality:+ It’s Christmas night.+ You are at home with your family.+ One of your “friendly neighborhood restaurants” starts their striptease burlesque show at 10pm.+ Your family is kept awake until after 1am on Christmas night..+++ So, as you scan down these photos, ask yourself :

  1. Is this a “restaurant” that respects the established residential, small-town nature of the Belmont Neighborhood as our City code stipulates?
  2. How many “restaurants” in Charlottesville do you know of where this happens?
  3. Could you enjoy your home or sleep with this type of revelry and music going on next door or in your back yard until 2am for 3-5 nights per week?
  4. Why, for the past 5 years,+ has the City Council failed to take a stand against this violation of the Neighborhood Commercial Corridor Code (see below)?
  5. How much of the square footage is being devoted to ‘diners’ seated at dinner tables in the last photo?
  6. Is this is a dance hall /night club,+ or a “restaurant”?
  7. Do you think that what you see in these pictures+ adheres to the nature of business stipulated by the code for the Neighborhood Business Corridor cited below?
  8. Are you willing to stand with us?+ If so, send an email to the City Council+ at council@charlottesville.org, to ask that they vote for a lower 55 decibel noise level (such as they already have in Williamstown, VA).

“The intent of the Neighborhood Commercial Corridor district is to establish a zoning classification for the Fontaine and Belmont commercial areas that recognize their compact nature, their pedestrian orientation, and the small neighborhood nature of the businesses. This zoning district recognizes the areas as small town center type commercial areas and provides for the ability to develop on small lots with minimal parking dependent upon pedestrian access. The regulations recognize the character of the existing area and respect that they are neighborhood commercial districts located within established residential neighborhoods.”

This editorial is the first in a series of pictures and videos that the Belmont residents will be making public+via Internet postings and+ the print media.

Click to view pictures of the December 25, 2009 event (WARNING: mild adult content):

Update: 2/11/10

The copyright holder of the photographs in question, “Lars Larsen,” has requested the removal of all “Striptease Christmas show” pictures from this site. In addition, he has expunged all of the semi-nude, burlesque event pictures from the linked flickr page.

5 COMMENTS

  1. I would like to modify something in this, because the way it is written it is a bit unfair to Adam and The Local. The Local has not hosted loud events, and Adam has come to all the neighborhood meetings. He does actually live in the neighborhood, and he is usually responsive and attentive to feedback. There are things he needs to work on, but I cannot in conscience place him or his establishment in the same category, as is implied in the way this was written.

    – Allison Ruffner

  2. This is a joke right?? It looked like a fun show! People really can’t be this miserable and opposed to people having fun and enjoying a nice venue…can they? Are people really that uptight and on edge these days? I started reading the post and thought, “FINALLY! Someone can poke fun at how miserable these people are being in Belmont! This is ridiculous!” Then…I read the two comments posted and I THINK it’s true! Charlottesville is such a joke. Do people really think Charlottesville wont grow? If you don’t want growth and total quiet, move to Afton or Batesville! Don’t live in the city! Heaven for bid you live in the CITY and hear some noise! We all want our cake and eat it too, but is it realistic? How spoiled are you being! I don’t get to hear the birds and babbling brook so I’m going to throw a tantrum, kick, scream and stomp my feet! Waaa……….. I’d rather have frat parties than crying babies any day!

  3. I’m more concerned with people letting their dogs crap on the sidewalks and leaving baggies full of dog feces on the sidewalk than any noise…or the vagrants and unstable people I see urinating on the sidewalk. Seriously!?

  4. ValorieLynn,

    As usual someone like you who doesn’t have th deal with the results of such fun ‘ venues’ find time to act like you are somehow cheated. This fun ‘ venue’ had people passed out in the streets – literally – and fights going on. Some of those passed out were scantily clad. WOuld you like your 6 year old child – yes, there is a 6 year old child in the house across the street – seeing that?

    The most glaring pictures were removed, as Rob Schilling indicated. What he saw and went on was far more promiscuous. Of course they puled the obvious fotos, they knew they would get a lot of censure.

    Of course, whether or not someone thinks such things are ‘ fun venues’ does not alter the fact that that sort of activity does not fit under the category of restaurant, it fits under the category of night club. Night clubs are not allowed in that part of town.

    This has nothing to do with growth either, and your use of that is just one more attempt to avoid accepting the reality. They wouldn’t allow this sort of activity in Arlington, or St Louis MO, in a residential district like that. Period.

    If Jim Baldi wants to have night club, then he should look at places like the IX space, where it is not residential, and there is tons of parking, and being a little noisier won’t really affect people. Of course, he might not get the same affluent clients he is hoping for in Belmont, because they are too afraid to go down to some place like IX at night.

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