The XBIZ Weekly Retail Round-Up

Tod Hunter
GEORGIA

Legislator to Propose Fee for Strip Club patrons

ATLANTA — Republican state Sen. Jack Murphy from Cumming, Ga., plans to introduce a billthat will add a fee of up to five dollars to patrons of strip clubs. The money, he announced at a press conference with state Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford), would be used to offset the costs of state services that help exploited children.

Unterman, who is chair of the Senate Ethics Committee, reportedly told local press that she is concerned because "young girls are prostituted on Georgia’s streets, on Craigslist, through escort services and in major hotels."

Unterman said the money "will specifically go into DHR (Department of Human Resources) to be used for these girls."

Along the same lines of regulating the adult entertainment industry, Sen. Unterman also announced that she is introducing legislation to raise the age of those who work in exotic dance venues, including dancers and bartenders, from 18 to 21.

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County Exempts Condoms From New Obscenity Law

NEWNAN, Ga. — Coweta County officials have released a statement regarding new ordinances on sexually-oriented businesses and the new obscenity ordinance approved by the Coweta County Board of Commissioners Monday.

The statement, prepared by Patricia Palmer, Coweta's public information officer, clarifies that the new obscenity law will not apply to condoms or lubricants.

"Unlike sex toys, condoms are primarily used for contraception" and disease prevention, Palmer said in the statement. "They are not, and cannot under governing law, be subject to the obscenity ordinance."

The county's previous ordinance on sexually oriented businesses specifically exempted condoms from being considered as sexually oriented material. The new business ordinance only refers to pornography.

When asked about the county's actions, Coweta County Administrator Theron Gay said he had been advised by the county's legal counsel not to comment. Gay said that as soon as "they feel like we can talk," he would be happy to discuss the county's actions.

The new ordinance on sexually-oriented businesses still uses a 25 percent threshold to determine if a business is a sexually-oriented business and triggers zoning rules. The new ordinance expands that 25 percent to include wholesale and retail value. The new ordinance also limits the adult material to occupying 500 square feet within a building, and limits the pornography to less than 2,000 items.

The new ordinance also contains a clause that bases whether or not a business is sexually oriented on what the business says about itself.

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MARYLAND

City Council Moves to Regulate Sex Shops

BERLIN, Md. — The town took its first step toward restricting adult entertainment businesses at Monday's meeting of the mayor and council.

The council introduced Ordinance 2009-01, which has been in the works since last year, for its first reading. The detailed ordinance outlines regulations and standards for adult-oriented businesses within the town of Berlin.

Under the proposed law, which can be commented on during a public hearing Feb. 23, a business selling sexually suggestive material would not be allowed within 500 feet of a church, school, park, day care center, hospital or residential zoning district. An adult entertainment business would also not be permitted within 1,000 feet of another adult entertainment business.

There will also be a $325 permit fee for adult entertainment businesses in the town. Permits will be reviewed annually to ensure that the business is in compliance with all parts of the ordinance, which in addition to location dictates the outer appearance of the establishment.

Berlin is the latest of several local towns to develop zoning laws regarding adult businesses. Pocomoke City has had laws in place since 1996, and Ocean City officials started the recent trend in 2007 after an adult novelty store opened in the resort.

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NORTH DAKOTA

State Senate Says Strip Clubs a Local Matter

BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota state senators voted 45-1 on Wednesday to defeat a bill that sought to require sex businesses and nude dancers to register their real names with North Dakota's Tax Department. The bill also would have required sex workers to keep detailed records of their income.

Fargo police had supported the bill as a way to keep track of the city`s adult entertainment industry.

Sen. Stan Lyson said if cities and counties want to require sex shops, strip joints and nude dancers to register, they're welcome to do it. But, Lyson said, it shouldn't be a job for state government.

The bill is SB2170.

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VIRGINIA

Local Residents Upset About Sex Shop

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Some Alexandria residents are upset about a new store in Old Town specializing in adult entertainment, James Cullum reported for AlexandriaNews.org.

The store is Le Tache, opened by Bo Kenney, who owns nine MVC Late Night Video stores in the region and adult production company Sex Z Pictures. The store sells adult DVDs, blow-up dolls, oils, creams, condoms, lingerie and costumesl.

City leaders have met with the shop's owners, urging them to tone it down and fit in better with the historic neighborhood, but the store is perfectly legal — to the dismay of nearby building owners.

Kenney told AlexandriaNews.org that he and his wife wanted to open a store that catered to women and couples — unlike his other stores — after seeing couples walk through Old Town holding hands and kissing.

The store opened in early January and soon, closing had been unofficially extended two hours to 11 p.m., the general manager told AlexandriaNews.org.

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WISCONSIN

Plan May Increase Adult Entertainment License Fees

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Strip joints, exotic dancers and even dishwashers at strip joints may see a hefty increase in the cost of getting licensed through the city of Green Bay as the Protection and Welfare Committee on Tuesday voted unanimously in favor of a plan to raise those fees.

The plan still must be approved by the City Council, which meets Tuesday.

Under the current fee schedule, adult entertainment licenses cost businesses $750 for an initial application and $250 for renewal. Their $500 liquor license fees are waived. Under the new plan, which would go into effect Jan. 1, initial application would cost $1,000, renewal would cost $500 a year, and they would pay $100 of their annual liquor license fees.

Currently, all employees of those establishments pay a one-time fee of $10 to register with the city. Under the new plan, dancers and managers would pay $100 a year, and all other employees would pay $50 a year. The license cycle would run from July 1 to June 30.

Committee chairman Andy Nicholson first suggested fee increases last summer to generate revenue and cover the cost of police background checks.

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