New Jersey City Shines Light on Adult Stores

Steve Javors
BURLINGTON, N.J. — A proposed ordinance that aims to restrict the way adult businesses operate is awaiting vote from the Burlington City Council. The projected regulations would affect interior store lighting, hours of operation and the licensing of sexually oriented businesses.

A vote from the Burlington Council could come as early as this month.

The planned legislation comes at the behest of Police Chief John Lazzarotti who said the measure was not reactionary but was proposed as a means to better regulate adult businesses, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

In regards to the regulation of adult stores, the measure would have them applying for a yearly business license. Previously, adult stores needed only to comply with zoning restrictions and were not specially licensed.

The proposed rules eliminate fully enclosed private booths or dimly lit sections of adult bookstores. Police are concerned about prostitution and unsanitary conditions taking place in the viewing booths and are seeking an open floor plan with unobstructed views and bright lighting.

“This would give us a clear view of everything that is happening,” Lazzarotti told the Inquirer. “The adult business establishment thinks we are out to get them, but we are just trying to make it more difficult for illegal activity to occur.”

Violation of the restrictions would carry fines of up to $1,000 and could bar the store from being granted a renewal of its license, or have it revoked entirely.