The Weekly Retail Report

The Weekly Retail Report
Tod Hunter
INDIANA

Theatair X Cited

CLARKSVILLE, Ind. — Adult store Theatair X was issued four citations for violating a Clarksville town ordinance.

The ordinance limiting sexually oriented businesses was passed in 2005, but Theatair X had only been cited for one offense — staying open past 1 a.m.

Clarksville Building Commissioner Bob Polston said he cited Theatair X for holes between peep show booths, inadequate lighting, doors on the booths and not having a straight vision from the desk to the booths.

The holes between the booths are a violation of the Clarksville ordinance but are not a violation of Indiana criminal law as long as both parties who use them are consenting. Each booth has a door with a lock; once a person is inside that locked booth, any consensual sexual activity is legal under Indiana law.

Sgt. Jerry Goodin, of the Indiana State Police at Sellersburg, said his agency would investigate any claims of criminal activity, but he said they also cannot enforce local ordinances.

Only one citation has been issued since the 2005 ordinance was passed because Clarksville officials did not know who was supposed to be enforcing the rules.

Hearings on the new citations will be held in the Clarksville Town Court, with a possible fine for each citation between $1-$2,500. There also will be a pretrial conference Wednesday to discuss the citation for staying open too late.

Clarksville Town Court Judge Sam Gwin — who was the town council’s attorney at the time the ordinance was passed — has recused himself from the case.

“I was substantially involved in the drafting of that ordinance, and [the town council] was my client at the time,” Gwin said. “Any judge in that position would need to recuse himself.”

MAINE

City Commissions Adult Entertainment Ordinance

PALERMO, Maine — Responding to the topless coffee shop in nearby Vassalboro, selectmen have asked the Planning Board to draft an adult entertainment ordinance.

At the selectmen's meeting, there was consensus that Board Chairwoman Sophia Glidden should send Planning Board Chairman Peter Nerber a written request to draft an ordinance for submission to voters. One resident had requested such an ordinance, Glidden said.

Resident Millard Saban, an alternate member of the Planning Board, suggested the Planning Board should "Go see Vassalboro."

Vassalboro selectmen have assigned their town manager to draft an ordinance to be reviewed at a May 12 public hearing and presented to voters at the June 8 annual town meeting.

Palermo's Planning Board has no meeting scheduled and does not hold regular meetings because of a lack of business for a meeting to address.

MASSACHUSETTS

Town Meeting Votes Down Adult Business Restrictions

MIDDLETON, Mass. — Voters narrowly defeated an article last week that would have designated an area in town as an adult zoning district.

Requiring a two-thirds vote, the body of 152 voters Town Meeting voted 93-59 on the article, which was intended to keep adult entertainment businesses from being able to move into Middleton. Fewer than 10 votes would have changed the result.

If Middleton does not designate a specific area for an adult entertainment district, adult businesses can be opened nearly anywhere in town. Town officials chose a plot of land as an adult entertainment district because of the land’s undesirable characteristics for development.

Currently, the entire strip of Route 114 through Middleton, which is filled with vacant shops, is open for the development of a strip club or adult bookstore.

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