10.Defendant Hudson, the owner of Darkside, was cited by DPD for illegallyoperating a dance hall at the Property.
Hudson responded in writing to the City that he was anordained minister of the Universal Life Church
, and that Darkside was a youth outreachministry, therefore exempt under the City Code’s “church exception” from the zoningrestrictions and license requirements for dance halls
.11.After receiving subsequent complaints in the spring of 2011, DPD conductedmultiple undercover operations at Darkside. During these operations detectives consistentlyobserved and documented numerous patrons openly ingesting and under the influence of illegalsubstances, dancing and engaging in various sex acts. During these operations DPD detectiveswere also continuously approached by Darkside patrons offering to, and who did sell todetectives, illegal substances including ketamine (“K”), LSD, MDMA, Ecstasy (“X”),hallucinogenic mushrooms (“Shrooms”), morphine, and marijuana. Each of these substances is acontrolled substance, the delivery, possession, or use of which is in violation of Chapter 481,Health and Safety Code.12.Detectives observed no religious services or activity during their four (4)undercover visits to the Property, but they were able to make fifteen (15) separate buys of theaforementioned drugs.13. Hudson’s manager of Darkside, Thomas Eppelsheimer, also known as “TommyGunn,” was arrested July 18, 2011 in relation to allegations that he supplied drugs to minor females at the Darkside and sexually assaulted one or more of them at the Property.
The citation for operating a dance hall without a license, citation number C18-313311, was subsequently dismissed by the City in preference of adjudicating the underlying factual issues in District Court in this cause.
Universal Life Church is an internet based organization that provides free and instant “ordination” for anyone whois inclined to fill in the name and address fields on its website.
Chapter 14 of the Dallas City Code requires a license to operate a dance hall unless, inter alia, the dance is hosted by a religious organization. If a license is not required under City Code, such dance hall may operate by right whereotherwise an SUP would be required. Hence a dance hall operated by a religious organization at this Property isexempt both from the license and SUP requirements.