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The XBIZ Weekly Retail Round-Up

Retail News for the Week of Jan. 19-23
The XBIZ Weekly Retail Round-Up
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Jan 23, 2009 5:00 PM PST    Text size: 

Selma Council Fights Adult Entertainment Business

SELMA, Calif. — Downtown Selma's proposed exotic dancer agency, "When the Sun Goes Down Entertainment," is facing opposition from its neighbors.

"I just think it's gonna bring the wrong element to the heart of our city," said Marianne Rodriguez, who owns a music store right next door where children come for music lessons.

Marie Tygart has a custom sewing shop nearby. "I know he says he's a legitimate business owner, and that's fine with me, but I just don't believe this kind of business belongs downtown," Tygart said.

Parents and business owners took a petition with more than 500 signatures to the Selma City Council Tuesday night, after which the council unanimously passed an emergency ordinance that would prohibit owner William Hill from operating his business downtown.

After the vote, Selma Mayor Dennis Lujan said, "We feel really confident we this is going to take care of the situation. The crowd that was here tonight shows that Selma is a very, very moral type of community."

Under the ordinance, Hill's business would be restricted to industrial areas, like topless bars or strip clubs. Hill was not happy with the vote.

"You can get more money downtown. That's the whole point. Come downtown, get more money," Hill said.

Hill also said there would be no dancing at the business, and the office would be just a place to answer the phone.

City Council took the fast action after learning Hill did not yet have a city business license. The city attorney advised the council that if he had obtained a license, the city would probably be unable to force him to move. The city has 45 days to hold a public hearing and vote on a permanent ordinance.

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'Sexually Oriented' Ordinance Passes Destin City Council

DESTIN, Fla. — An ordinance setting restrictions on strip clubs and other sexually oriented businesses passed Destin City Council unanimously Monday night.

Last November, Georgia nightclub owner Terry Stephenson applied for a business license to turn a local business into a strip club. After the city rejected the application, Stephenson filed a lawsuit arguing the refusal violated his Constitutional rights.

City Councilor Dewey Destin asked staff to review the city's 1986 ordinance on adult entertainment and make sure it held up after 20 years of legal decisions on the issue. The ordinance banned nude and topless dancing completely; the new ordinance, which regulates it, has a better chance of withstanding a court challenge.

The ordinance requires the owner and staff of sexually oriented businesses — including adult bookstores, video stores and "sexual device shops" — to take out city licenses; prohibits nudity; allows semi-nudity if performers are at least six feet from the customers; bans alcohol from the premises; and limits the hours to 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Council approved the ordinance at its Jan. 5 meeting, but ordinances require two rounds of voting to become law. Since the first vote, city attorneys have made changes in response to council questions and public comment: Defining adult video, book and device shops together as "adult stores,” basing the distinction between an "adult store" and a store with sexually oriented items for sale on the square footage devoted to the erotic items.

Councilor Dewey Destin asked if making so many changes would force them to start over and make Monday the "first reading" of the ordinance. City Attorney Jerry Miller said the Florida Supreme Court had recently overturned years of precedent by giving governments greater leeway to amend ordinances between first and second reading.

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City Sets Limits on Adult Businesses

CHANNAHON, Ill. — The village board this week set some definitions as to where sexually oriented, or adult-oriented, businesses can locate. Previously, village ordinances neither prohibited nor allowed pornography and other adult-oriented shops in any particular zoning district. Trustees Monday night unanimously approved allowing the businesses only in Industrial-2 zoned areas, which are intensive industrial districts currently located in Channahon's westernmost areas.

The board also banned adult businesses from locating within 1,000 feet of residential districts, public parks, religious institutions, schools, day cares, cemeteries, recreation areas, other sexually oriented businesses and any other areas defined as "sensitive use" in the ordinances.

The new rules would apply to adult arcades, bookstores, cabarets, novelty stores, theaters and video stores. Sexual encounter centers, underwear modeling businesses, adult massage centers and adult motels are banned.

Village administrator Jamie Bowden said after the meeting that the tightening of ordinances in regard to adult businesses was not done in response to such a business attempting to set up shop in Channahon, but was done "to be in conformance with zoning and constitutional case law."

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City Approves Stripping, Nude Dancing at Cocktail Bar to Stage Striptease

EPSOM, England — Stir, a cocktail bar, has been given permission to stage nude dancing and male and female striptease. The Epsom council's licensing sub-committee has granted the entertainment license to stage stripteases by men and women on a small stage and nude dancing at a small area at the rear of the premises.

The council delayed the decision to allow them to visit the site after residents living nearby complained about a public nuisance.

The bar's application to extend its Sunday to Thursday opening hours to 2 a.m. was turned down. The bar will be open until 11 p.m. every night except Friday and Saturday, when its license already allows it to stay open until the early hours.

"This has not been an easy decision," said council member Clive Smitherham. "The application to extend the hours of operation was not granted, in order to alleviate possible noise or anti-social behavior at night."

Surrey Police agreed to conditions including restrictions on exotic dancing that adult entertainment should not be visible to passers-by in the street, and requirements for CCTV and security.

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