POSTED: Friday, October 14, 2011 - 5:51pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 10:37am
EAST EL PASO- A business owner is claiming the Cielo Vista Neighborhood Association is unfairly threatening to protest a new nightclub he is trying to open.
David Cooper says he has operated several bars in the El Paso area with a clean track record, so he doesn't see what all the fuss is about.
30 members of the Cielo Vista Neighborhood Association voted unanimously to protest the opening of a new nightclub in Hawkins Plaza. Cooper says that is a small group to speak for the entire community.
Cooper has already leased a property located in the Hawkins Plaza in east El Paso, however he is still waiting for his liquor permit. He says even though he hasn't served a single drink, he's are already feeling some heat.
"The issue you know of course has been long standing historical problem with this location, but it's not something I'm unfamiliar with. I've done research over the last three and a half years on it. I can tell you is they are basically trying to treat me like the new Three Legged Monkey," said Cooper.
The owner of the Three Legged Monkey, a nearby bar, has previously told Newschannel 9 he felt the city and neighborhood association were unfairly targeting his business.
With concern over parking, noise, and violence, the Cielo Vista Neighborhood Association says the last thing this area needs is another bar or nightclub.
"We have many elderly people living in the area and have for a long time. We have some residents that have lived there for over 60 years," said Mark Benitez, President of the Cielo Vista Neighborhood Association.
Benitez says protesting Cooper's new nightclub is an obligation they owe the public.
"It's been a great and peaceful neighborhood and Cielo Vista Neighborhood Association is involved and dedicate to keep it that way," said Cooper.
Cooper claims he has already addressed neighbors' concerns, reassuring them he would install a high tech surveillance system and employ multiple bouncers to secure the property, yet he still feels he is being treated unfairly.
"You have all kinds of night clubs in the Cielo Vista Neighborhood Association stretching from McCrea to Airway and Montana to I-10. A lots of them. They all exists near neighborhoods, and they are not these kinds of problems in the same organization does not complain about them," said Cooper.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission still has the final say in issuing a liquor license, and Cooper says if the city attempts to fight his permit, he will file a federal lawsuit.