Nightclub Owner Takes City To Court

A Gulfport business owner says he's had enough with the city and now he's filing suit. George Bush is the owner of Club Illusions. Hurricane Katrina destroyed the nightclub and now Bush says the city won't let him rebuild.

Business owner George Bush says his constitutional rights have been violated by the city of Gulfport that's why he's taking the city to court.

"I have the right to be here. I have done nothing wrong to anybody. I lost just like every other soul on this beach and I have the right to put this facility here," Bush says.

Bush wants to rebuild in the same location, but that's proved to be a problem.

"The city allowed me to think that I was okay. So we spent hundreds and thousands of dollars, architectural plans and all of a sudden they denied my plans," says Bush.

"Like several other business owners, Bush didn't meet the city's one year non conforming deadline, so he is not being singled out. If he wants to rebuild he will have to follow flood elevation levels, parking and everything else that comes along with it," says councilman Brian Carriere.

However under a new Gulfport ordinance liquor stores and or free standing lounges cannot be closer than 1000 feet of a museum, learning center or educational facility. Lynn Meadows is a short distance away which stops Bush from rebuilding. Something councilwoman Barbara Nalley does not like.

"I believe several changes in the amendment were made especially for Mr Bush. It's not fair and it's not right," Nalley said.

"A higher power of people chose to do what they want in this area and just squish the small guy and I refuse to take that," says Bush.

Jeff Bruni with the city attorney's office says it's the city's policy not to comment on pending litigation. However he did tell us that after preliminary reviews, city attorneys believe the suit has no merit.

As for George Bush, he'll continue his fight but he's already sealing the deal on another nightclub in Gulfport.