Massachusetts City to Consider New Adult Zoning Law

Bob Preston
DEDHAM, Mass. — A small Massachusetts city will consider a measure that would greatly restrict where adult businesses could set up shop.

At a special town meeting for Dedham, Mass., citizens and representatives will look at legislation that would create a district specifically for adult bookstores, video stores, movie theaters, paraphernalia stores and clubs.

The measure would also prevent any adult business from being located within 150 feet of residences, schools, libraries, churches, playgrounds or parks.

Dedham's planning board will hold a public hearing about the proposed measure on Oct. 20.

City spokesman James MacDonald said that adult businesses can currently challenge local zoning laws to open stores anywhere in the city.

"The town has the ability to protect itself against such lawsuits by taking a proactive approach in amending its bylaw to meet the current state of law," MacDonald said.

MacDonald added that the proposed legislation is intended to prevent adult businesses from sullying the city's good name with the so-called "secondary effects" associated with adult stores, such as increased crime rate and an adverse affect on property values.