OAK HILLS • An Oak Hills resident said he has no plan to operate a controversial swingers club on his rural property after he faced strong opposition from county officials and local homeowners earlier this year.
Roberto Clemente created a website stating he would open an exclusive invitation-only club called The Kinky Palace at his 5,000-square-foot home on a 2.5-acre property. But such advertising alerted local residents and spurred San Bernardino County to investigate possible zoning violations. Clemente took down the website in March.
County officials, who oversee unincorporated areas, including Oak Hills, said it's unlikely Clemente will be allowed to operate the club because the property is in a residential zone, where businesses cannot operate. Clemente told the Daily Press in March that he lives on the property and was going to host private parties, not run a business.
"Lately, we haven't been having parties," Clemente said Wednesday. "But if we do, it would be my own business. It's my home."
County spokesman David Wert said inspectors have driven past the property on many occasions and have observed no violations. The county hasn't received any complaints about the property, Wert said.
"The last time the county had contact with the owners of the property, they claimed they were no longer interested in operating in any unincorporated area and would instead look for property in Victorville or Hesperia," Wert said in an email. "This is just what they said. We have no idea if they were serious."
Clemente denied making such a claim. He said he'd rather buy property to build solar farms now.
But he left open the possibility of opening a club in the future.
"If there's an opportunity that I can buy a commercial property and open a nice social club, I will. But not right now," Clemente said.
He said there are more than a dozen swingers clubs operating in the High Desert. Clemente argued that protesters — whom he claimed weren't even living in his neighborhood — blew the story out of proportion.
"I have three neighbors, and they all love me. That's all I can say," Clemente said. "Has anybody had any complaints about me? No. Have police come to tell me I've been loud or obnoxious? No." "We live in a free country," he said. "Hopefully, everybody can get along with each other and don't judge anyone. I'm not here to step on anybody's right."
Tomoya Shimura may be reached at (760) 955-5368 or TShimura@VVDailyPress.com. Follow Tomoya on Facebook at facebook.com/ShimuraTomoya.