The XBIZ Weekly Retail Round-Up

The XBIZ Weekly Retail Round-Up
Tod Hunter
CONNECTICUT

City Revises Adult-Store Law Again

BERLIN, Conn. — With the court case of a proposed adult bookstore yet to be decided, officials voted Tuesday to rewrite parts of town law to ensure the store is kept out.

“The courts must be assured the council knows what it is voting on,” city attorney Robert Weber said.

The vote, which followed a public hearing, spelled out and tightened language in the town’s sexually oriented business statute on licensing and operating an adult-oriented business.

Under rules that were just adopted, no sexually oriented business shall be permitted less than 1,500 feet from another such business; on a site less than 1,000 feet from a church, public building, public park or recreation area; or less than 250 feet from any residentially zoned land. The law now spells out the definition of such terms as “specific sexual activities” in explicit detail.

Before the vote, town council members had been asked to read 15 studies, including police records from the Orange, Hartford and Berlin police departments, as well as one from Texas on “Secondary Effects of Sexually Oriented Businesses and Market Values.”

The cause of all this municipal activity is the Very Intimate Pleasures shop, which has been debated by the council and in court since 2006.

The state Supreme Court said in May that town law could keep VIP out, but the store's lawyer said he would challenge the ruling.

“A community needs to stay current with an ordinance. It’s a living document that will continue to expand and be revised as new information comes available. It’s going to evolve over time,” Mayor Adam Salina said. “Now that we have these new reports available, we’d like to incorporate them. If another report came out next year and we thought it was relevant, we’d revise the ordinance again to incorporate the new studies.”

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FLORIDA

Controversial Bar to Offer ‘Temporary’ Bikini Dancing

DESTIN, Fla. — The city may not permit nude dancing in the locale where the Oasis is located, but regulated “bikini dancing” is OK, City Manager Greg Kisela says.

“There are specific requirements on how much [the bikinis] expose, but as long as they meet that ... they can do that,” Kisela told reporters.

The Oasis, which has applied to be Destin’s first bar featuring nude dancing, placed a classified ad in the Northwest Florida Daily News this weekend announcing “bikini dancers needed” — “no nudity required.” The ad stated that anyone interested could apply at the Oasis.

Tracy Godwin, who has worked at the Oasis for the last three and a half years, said the bar currently features bikini dancing and that they are looking to hire more dancers.

“It’s probably a temporary thing until they get the OK [for nude dancing],” she said. “But everything is up in the air right now.”

Strip clubs are restricted to the city’s two industrial zoning areas, so the city rejected the application for nude dancing. The owner filed suit in federal court, charging the rejection violated his First Amendment rights to offer “erotic expression” in Destin.

Under the city’s new rules, if the bikinis don’t show too much of the dancers’ breasts or buttocks, the dancing wouldn’t be considered a sexually oriented business and wouldn’t be covered by the ordinance. The ordinance imposed new rules on adult entertainment in Destin: Licenses for all staffers, a buffer zone between dancers and patrons and no alcohol bought or consumed on the premises.

For more information, click here.

MISSISSIPPI

City Outlaws All Public Nudity

OXFORD, Miss. — The Board of Supervisors on Monday unanimously outlawed public nudity.

The ordinance defines nudity as the exposure of genitals and most of the female breast, the wearing of thongs or G-strings and even what is commonly called "plumber's crack." It forbids such presentation in any public place other than single-sex locker rooms and clinic procedure areas or "similar places in which nudity or exposure is necessarily and customarily expected."

The ordinance expressly forbids nudity where it is used "for the promotion of business or is otherwise commercially exploited."

According to board President Lloyd Oliphant, who first raised the issue, District Supervisor Ray Sockwell Jr. had criticized the original attempt to protect community standards from the possibility of "gentlemen's clubs" as giving "the appearance that we were promoting these activities as to where they can go."

Sockwell said of the effort, "I feel this ordinance, along with the state statutes and with the county being dry, will take care of this issue."

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AUSTRALIA

Adult Store Forced to Close, May Move to Nearby Town

LOGAN, Australia — A controversial adult shop which opened last August without permission in a suburban shopping centre in this city outside Brisbane may move to nearby Jimboomba.

Last year, the Little by Little Adult Concepts store gained national notoriety after it offered coloring books and pencils to young children waiting in its front foyer for their customer parents.

The store came to the attention of Logan City Council after it opened without development approval in the shopping center and remained open despite receiving a council "show cause" notice in September asking why it should continue to operate.

After a re-inspection in January, an enforcement notice ordered the business to cease trading Feb. 6 at 5 p.m.

A Logan city council member told reporters the shop’s owners were looking to relocate the business to an industrial area in Jimboomba.

The store's owners could not be contacted for a comment but have in the past declared the shop "discreet and tasteful."

For more information, click here.

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