New Adult-Oriented Businesses Targeted in L.A.

Rhett Pardon

VAN NUYS, Calif. — A Los Angeles city councilwoman has introduced a new proposal that would prevent future "adult entertainment or adult-oriented uses" in three corridors of the San Fernando Valley.

Councilwoman Nury Martinez's motion for an interim ordinance would affect future businesses looking to locate on stretches of Lankershim Boulevard, Sepulveda Boulevard and San Fernando Road.

The proposed ordinance, primarily targeting future nude and topless gentlemens clubs, also focuses on massage parlors, dance clubs, liquor stores, and perhaps other adult-oriented businesses.

Existing businesses would be allowed to stay open, but the restrictions wouldn't allow planning department permits for new such businesses there. There are 10 adult entertainment venues located in the three corridors, a report said.

Martinez's motion includes an "urgency clause," making it effective upon publication. The interim motion would extend 45 days with a 10-month extension that can be extended another year, or until adoption of new land-use rules.

City Council in the past has used the same process to put a hold new projects while considering permanent regulations.

The councilwoman's proposal stems from her quest to reduce the sex trade in the area, which, she said, has flourished over the years.

Martinez's 6th District is primarily in Sun Valley and Van Nuys, which along with Chatsworth and Canoga Park, are considered stomping grounds for Los Angeles' so-called Porn Valley.

Adult industry attorney Allan Gelbard of nearby Encino, Calif., told XBIZ that there are several misguided issues with Martinez's proposal.

"Probably most important, this is a rather ignorant attempt to conflate  prostitution, pimping and other trafficking related criminal activity with otherwise lawful and constitutionally protected adult oriented entertainment businesses. It's also interesting that she includes liquor stores)," Gelbard said. "More importantly, there is no allegation, let alone the requisite showing, that the businesses in question have created any undesirable secondary effects that could support these types of content based regulations. 

"In my experience, the mainstream adult entertainment industry applauds laws that narrowly target illegal sex trafficking because the mainstream adult entertainment industry does not violate any of those laws.

"But lumping the production and distribution of lawful adult-oriented entertainment, created by and for consenting adults, with forced pimping, pandering and prostitution, and then using that illogical conflation to support regulation (or flat out bans) of totally unrelated, lawful and constitutionally protected entertainment is neither wise nor evidences an actual understanding of trafficking or adult entertainment. 

"Perhaps we, as an intelligent society, should leave these types of decisions to those who actually understand the issues."

View proposed Los Angeles adult entertainment ordinance