The XBIZ Weekly Retail Round-Up

Tod Hunter

City Wants to Define, Regulate Adult Businesses

MONROE, La. — The Monroe City Council introduced two ordinances at its meeting Tuesday night to define and regulate sexually oriented businesses.

Council members also voted 4-0, with Councilman Robert Johnson absent, to introduce another ordinance to set a 2 a.m. closing time for all liquor establishments. Currently, "bottle clubs" or "after-hours clubs" that have a cover charge and allow customers to bring their own bottles are allowed to stay open until 4 a.m.

"It's time they all close at the same time whether they're selling or allowing consumption on premises," Councilman Arthur Gilmore said.

The way the sexually oriented business ordinances are written, current businesses would be grandfathered in for two years, but then their license could be pulled if they are out of compliance with the regulations, which both would be because of their locations.

A sexually oriented business, which could be an adult retail store, theater, escort service, nude model studio, or a bar or restaurant involved in adult entertainment, would have to locate within a B-3 general business district..

They cannot be within 1,500 feet of schools, parks, day cares, churches, synagogues or a nonprofit educational museum.

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City Postpones Strip Club Rules

FALL RIVER, Mass. — Proposed strip club district ordinances were voted "leave to withdraw" at a City Council meeting Tuesday night.

The action continues the controversy over a city strip club that has roots to the mid-1990s, when Paul Viveros first attempted to open a club and the city started passing regulations to stop him.

At least five councilors said they had no interest in establishing zones to designate strip clubs.

One councilman who has been on the council for more than 10 years said the process for strip club developers wanting a license is in place — going to the Licensing Board then the Zoning Board of Appeals for a special permit.

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New Adult Bookstore Surprises Residents

BATH, N.Y. — When an adult bookstore opened here, people were surprised.

"We got complaints from people and the town board was concerned about it," Bath Town Supervisor Frederick Muller said. "So in the past two years we formed a committee to take care of the comprehensive plan"

This led to a law prohibiting any new adult shop from being within 1,200 feet of any home, school, church or park.

"To provide zones where the adult store can go and couldn't go, keep people safer and try to protect folks from the secondary effects of adult book stores," Muller said.

The owner of the adult store won't be affected, because he was here before town board members passed the law, which has some people concerned.

"The whole idea is we had a pirated business come in and this was an opportunity to cast them out, legally and openly and they've really missed this opportunity," resident Ed Spencer said.

However, the town supervisor defends the law, saying if the current store were to close and try to reopen, they wouldn't have the same luck.

"They would be subject to the regulations of the adult use law. I don't think they belong within the 1,200 foot buffer," said Muller.

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Brandon Drafting Law For Adult Businesses

BRANDON, S.D. — The City Councilors aren't expecting any adult businesses to come to town. But if one does, they want to make sure it is strictly regulated. City Attorney Lisa Marso is working on an ordinance that will restrict the location and activities of businesses such as an adult bookstore or adult massage parlor.

"We're trying to stay ahead of the curve," said Harry Buck, council president.

City administrator Dennis Olson said no such businesses have looked to locate in Brandon. "But I think it's just proper planning to plan something like that, rather than to deal with it later," he said.

The council had talked about such an ordinance briefly last spring in response to controversy over Olivia's Adult Super Center, which opened in nearby Tea in June 2007.

Brandon Councilor Blaine Jones said he had asked the council about it because the local ministerial association had asked him what was on Brandon's books.

"And we didn't have much," Jones said.

Since Olivia's opened, lawmakers at the city, county and state levels have introduced legislation to control the location and activities of such businesses, but it's not always easy to decide what regulations are appropriate, Buck said.

"Where do you draw the line," he asked, "on what's tasteful and what's not tasteful? We've got a pretty great community, and we're trying to head off issues."

Marso presented a first draft of an ordinance Dec. 1 to the council. Such a business would require a conditional-use permit and away from sites such as nursing homes, schools, and other adult business. A license would be required. A live dancer would have to be on a stage two feet above the floor level and at least six feet away from the nearest customer.

The ordinance is on the agenda for the council's Dec. 15 meeting.

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