LAKE JACKSON — Those involved seem to remain hopeful on social media, but city officials say at this point, there cannot be a certificate of occupancy issued for a business called Lake Studio at 3 Circle Way.
Lake Jackson Building Official David Walton revoked the building’s certificate of occupancy Sept. 3. Building owner Sammy Gashi and renter Jeffrey Tisdale, the recipients of the zoning violations and revocation notice, did not appeal the decision within 20 calendar days, meaning the revocation is permanent, City Manager Bill Yenne said.
Each man received two citations, one for violating the zoning ordinance and another for using the building for a purpose other than its approved classification, City Attorney Sherri Russell said.
After an arraignment Oct. 1 at Lake Jackson Municipal Court, both court dates were postponed and Tisdale now has an attorney, Russell said.
Tisdale declined to comment on the “ongoing situation” by phone Monday. He also declined to give his attorney’s information and the attorney has not yet filed a letter of representation with the court, Russell said.
Gashi said the situation is between Tisdale and the city and not up to him. He has shown the lease that states the contract was for a dance studio, Gashi said.
Tisdale and Karetta Lux, the studio’s promoter, verbally requested to have the building’s occupancy classification changed from Group B, business, to Group A, assembly, Walton said. Walton sent an official denial letter to Tisdale on Sept. 23, citing the fact the only assembly allowed in that section of the city is a restaurant. Lake Studio is not a restaurant and “lacks a commercial kitchen, menu and dining area,” meaning it cannot be an assembly occupancy classification, the letter states.
On Oct. 1, Lux posted to the “Karetta Lux ENT.” page on Facebook that Lake Studio’s grand opening is “coming soon.”
When reached by The Facts through Facebook messenger, Lux did not offer any specifics.
“Stay tuned!” she messaged.
Again in the Sept. 23 letter, Walton reiterated the operator of Lake Studio “indicated that the lease space was to be used for dance instruction” and qualified for a Group B classification.
When Walton visited the studio in the early morning hours of Sept. 1, during one of the two weekends the business operated, he said he did not observe any dance instruction happening.
Other dance studios in the city are consistent with the Group B classification, Walton said in the letter.
“Such businesses offer dance instruction classes for varying dance styles to participants of all skill levels, regardless of age or ability,” the letter states.
Lux’s posts restricted Lake Studio, which was open on Friday and Saturday nights, to ages 21 and older.
“An assembly occupancy is intended for social, religious, or entertainment activities … The only assembly use allowed in the subject zone is restaurant,” the letter states.
Walton’s decision can be appealed to the city’s Zoning Board of Adjustment, according to the letter.
Gashi and Tisdale face up to $500 fines if found guilty of the misuse of the building and $2,000 fines if found guilty of the zoning ordinance citation, Russell said.