The XBIZ Weekly Retail Round-Up

Tod Hunter

County Prohibits Nudity at Strip Clubs

COLUMBUS, Kan. — The Cherokee County Commission has adopted a resolution that prohibits nudity at strip clubs and also requires sexually oriented businesses of all descriptions to have a business license, a license for each manager, a license for each performer and a license for each server.

Owners, managers, performers and servers at the businesses in county may start applying for licenses at the county clerk’s office within a week.

“I think this is a good plan,” said Commissioner Charlie Napier.

The fee for the business license is $1,000 annually. The fees for managers’ licenses and performers’ licenses are $250 annually, and the fee for a server’s license is $100 annually.

The new regulations apply to the three existing adult businesses in the county and to any future businesses that open, said county Counselor Kevin Cure.

The county may deny a license to any applicant who has been convicted of any sex crime, any of several crimes involving alcohol or drugs, or promoting obscenity.

The resolution restricts customers of the businesses to a six-foot marked boundary from the stage. A performer is not allowed to accept gratuities unless they are placed in the woman’s hand while she is offstage or they are placed in a container outside the six-foot boundary around the stage while the performer is on stage.

The regulations require that sexually oriented businesses be at least 1,200 feet from, incorporated towns or unincorporated communities, several roads and highways, or any church, school, child-care center, public park, residential property or any other sexually oriented business.

The county may suspend, revoke or choose not to renew licenses if officials determine that the regulations have been violated. The regulations give a county inspector the authority to inspect the businesses.

Businesses that do not conform to the regulations when they take effect next week will have six months to comply.

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City OKs 'Titty Bar'

MONROE, La. — After a city council meeting this week, Monroe will have its first officially sanctioned gentlemen's club with topless performers.

Officially, the new club is called the Safari Gentleman's Club, but it has become known as the "Titty Bar" since Councilman Arthur Gilmore announced his opposition to the club last month by referring to the club as a "titty bar."

The business meets all present regulations and there are no laws prohibiting its operation. Two city councilmen voted against the club: Gilmore and Councilman Ben Katz.

Addressing the council, Joe Reed told the city council that the club because it will cater to high end professionals such as doctors and lawyers.

"It'll be a place to smoke a fine cigar, have a drink and then go home," Reed said.

Reed said there will be only one stage in the club and one girl at a time would dance and would only remove her top during the last half of her second song.

Police have advised the council that state law won't allow certain body parts to be exposed, according to Chief Ron Schleuter, but breasts can be exposed. Gilmore said the club would be located in his district and that residents there have protested the establishment.

The council granted the club a Class A liquor license and approved its operation as a lounge.

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City Plans Adult Entertainment District

DEDHAM, Mass. — Next month's town meeting will consider a zoning change that would transform parts of two streets into an adult entertainment district, a move meant to insulate Dedham from lawsuits while limiting the unwanted side effects of such businesses, elected officials say.

A public hearing on the initiative is set for Oct. 20.

"Town counsel has advised the boards that if an adult use business were to successfully challenge Dedham's current zoning bylaw, that business would be allowed to locate anywhere in town," said a statement issued by the town. The town has "the ability to protect itself against such lawsuits by taking a proactive approach in amending its bylaw" to designate the areas where such businesses could operate.

"We believe it is a necessary change," said Selectmen Chairman Jim MacDonald, noting how discussions of adult uses almost always raise residents' concerns. The move is purely preventative, he said.

Massachusetts communities have formed similar districts since a string of court decisions in the 1990s said nude dancing and other forms of adult entertainment are protected free speech. While the rulings have said towns can't ban such businesses, they also said zoning can regulate them.

Part of Dedham's proposal requires adult bookstores, theaters, clubs, and the like to be located at least 150 feet from schools, churches, libraries, playgrounds, or parks.

A video and adult paraphernalia store called Amazing is Dedham's only adult business. It opened two decades ago, before the town had a zoning bylaw. A manager there Wednesday said it was the first he had heard of the town plan.

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City, Sex Store Settle Differences

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The zoning battle between the city and adult store Seductions has been settled, with the city dismissing charges alleging Seductions and its owner were violating the zoning code.

The problem involved interpretation of a city ordinance that defined the percentage of adult products a store could have before falling under tougher zoning restrictions. The store argued the percentage regarded shelf space; the city said it was square footage.

Under the compromise, Seductions and the city agreed the business would move the adult products to one corner of the store.

The city inspected the business months ago after complaints from neighbors that children going to the video store next door were seeing inappropriate ads. Seductions and owner Robert Costa were cited for violating zoning codes.

The city did give Seductions a list of other locations that would allow those types of displays.

The city will continue to monitor Seductions to make sure it stays in compliance.

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Sex Shop Gets Break on License Fee

CARLISLE, England — The Carlisle City Council has acceded to the request of the Private Shop that its sex establishment license fee be reduced.

In future, the Private Shop in London Road will have to pay $9765 for its license, reduced from the previous $22,921, which the store said would put it out of business.

City council members were told that they could not, by law, take moral considerations into account when setting the license fee.

The Private Shop argues that it has been hit by competition from websites selling sex toys and DVDs. It says revenue is down 15 per cent this year following a fall of 12-to-13 per cent the year before.

The Adult Industry Trade Association says the number of licensed sex establishments in the U.K. has fallen from 400 three years ago to between 340 and 350.

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