The XBIZ Weekly Retail Round-Up

Tod Hunter

City Council Amends Code to Address Adult Businesses

STERLING, Colo. — While residents of a nearby town are waiting for the fallout on a proposed strip and nude club, the Sterling City Council is trying to get ahead of the game by amending zoning laws before a request is made.

The Sterling City Council reviewed the first reading of three ordinances that addressed adult or sexually-oriented businesses. Councilman Jerry Haynes, formerly owner of the Silver Dollar bar and restaurant in Sterling, objected to the effort, saying that people who own these types of businesses are aware of the laws and follow them closely.

“This is a joke,” Haynes said of the proposal that would restrict sexually oriented businesses to conditional use. He said the businesses are already licensed because of the liquor licensing.

The measure passed by a 5-2 vote with Haynes and Mayor Dan Jones voting against the proposal. The proposal eliminates the opportunity for a person to open an adult business without review.

This ordinance will restrict sexually oriented businesses to heavy industrial zones. It will also define the distance from schools and public parks a business can operate. Haynes and Jones were again the dissenting votes with the council approving first reading with a 5-2 vote.

The third issue regarding adult sexually oriented businesses defined “sexually oriented.” This ordinance passed by a 6-1 vote with Haynes voting against.

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County Outlaws BYOB at Adult Businesses

WHEATON, Ill. — Responding to a fatal car wreck involving a driver who drank too much while visiting a strip club near DuPage Airport, the DuPage County Board has strengthened restrictions on adult businesses. Under an ordinance passed this week, anyone with an open alcoholic beverage in an adult business or any employee who lets someone drink at an adult business would be subject to a fine of $1,000 or more.

The ordinance takes effect in 30 days.

"It's not about the 1st Amendment right to be a strip club. It's that they are bringing liquor in there and they don't have a liquor license," said board member James Zay, who spearheaded the push for the new ordinance.

Zay proposed the law after a drunken patron left a local strip club on Jan. 4, 2006, and crashed head-on into another car, killing his passenger and the driver of the other car, April Simmons, who was pregnant with her first child. John Homatas, 27, of Wayne was sentenced to 12 years in prison for aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol

Zay said when Simmons' husband sued Diamonds over the crash, the attorney for the strip club argued the club was not liable because it had not served alcohol to Homatas. A Kane County judge rejected the argument, and Zay said he wanted to make sure it was not raised in another case.

"We are going to make sure we protect people who are out there, not only people who are going there but people who might be driving by," Zay said.

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Judge Dismisses Suit to Shut Down Strip Club

PRAIRIEVILLE, La. — A state judge has dismissed a civil suit that could have closed down Silhouettes Adult Cabaret, a strip club in Ascension Parish.

The Ascension Parish Council passed an ordinance in 2003 to stop any more strip clubs from popping up near churches, schools, or daycares. Escapades, the predecessor of Silhouettes, had been around for a while, so it was grandfathered in and allowed to stay put.

Many residents believed once Escapades shut down, the agreement that let it remain in business there ended, and any new club would have to follow the new rules.

A suit was filed against Ascension Parish, citing the ordinance that was passed in 2003 that states sexually oriented businesses must be at least 3,000 feet away from libraries, homes, schools, and daycares. The club is only about 800 feet away from a nearby daycare.

Even though Escapades is close to the daycare and residences, the Ascension Parish Council gave the new owners a new permit. The attorney for the parish said it appeared the parish used a zoning ordinance to issue the permit and not the sexually-oriented business ordinance. Since the club itself was in existence prior to the 2003 amendment, the judge is allowing it to stay open.

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Suit to Decide: Novelty Store or Adult Store?

HOUSTON — The city has filed a lawsuit to close Tryst, a North Houston adult bookstore.

In a civil hearing Friday, city lawyers said the store should be shut down because it does not have a sexually oriented business permit, but lawyers for Tryst said the majority of the store’s merchandise is not adult products, but novelties.

A judge on Friday ordered that movie booths in the store be closed until the full case can be heard in June.

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