Nuns Protest Gentlemen's Club Under Construction Next Door

PHOTO: Illinois convent next to strip club
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A group of nuns in a suburb of Chicago are protesting the development of a strip club that they say will negatively influence the neighborhood.

The Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo in Melrose Park, Ill., about 13 miles west of Chicago, say the forthcoming "Get It" gentlemen's club that the town approved last year will be bad for the community, especially children.

"We are concerned about morals," said Sister Marciana Zambiasi. "It's not much for the sisters but for the neighborhood and children. It's very close to houses."

The sisters hosted an indoor vigil with about 100 people on Monday about the contentious property, as reported by the local CBS affiliate.

The nunnery has about 24 sisters with three houses on the property: one with retired nuns, one with active nuns and a novitiate with young trainees. Zambiasi, who declined to provide her age, is one of the retired sisters.

Though the development in the neighboring village of Stone Park was approved in August 2010, the sisters said they were upset because they were not notified the property was going to be a strip club.

When an adult entertainment business is established, the village must notify all property owners within 250 yards of the site, according to ABC affiliate WLS. But the notice that was meant for the nuns ended up at the wrong address, WLS reported.

On March 22, more than 200 people marched in the neighborhood in a prayer vigil to stop the planned opening which was initially expected for April.

Bob Itzgow, the club developer, denies that "Get It," which will feature alcohol and partially nude dancers, is a strip club. Itzgow did not immediately return a request for comment.

Itzgow told WLS he has met with the nuns and has tried to calm their fears.

"From the back of the building where the sisters are, you can't even see a glow, and that took an extreme amount of money to change the lighting," he said.

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