Weekly Retail Round-Up

Tod Hunter

Florence, Boone County Consider Adult Zoning Changes

FLORENCE, Ky.— Proposed zoning changes in zoning for Florence and Boone County will make room for adult entertainment, but control where such businesses can be located.

"Under the law, you can't prohibit them entirely," Boone County Judge-Executive Gary Moore said. "We've taken a proactive step to create some zones where they could locate in that are not close to schools and churches and other areas where there would be secondary effects"

Earlier this year, the county and the cities passed ordinances that regulate and allow for licensing of sexually oriented businesses, but did not specify where those businesses could locate, as that is a function of county zoning regulations.

The Boone County Planning Commission plans to propose and discuss a draft of zoning changes at a public hearing. Existing zoning regulations had dealt with some adult entertainment venues, such as video and bookstores.

Florence City Coordinator Pat Wingo has worked with the zoning commission to determine acceptable locations for adult businesses, including a requirement that they be more than 1,000 feet from a public park, school or other sensitive area. New adult businesses will probably locate in mostly industrial locations.

The ordinance Boone County passed earlier this year set up a licensing system for those who want to work at adult businesses. It also required a 6-foot buffer zone between strippers and their customers.

Strip clubs in Covington, Ky., sued in Kenton Fiscal Court over that provision, saying it limits freedom of expression. The U.S. District Court in Covington upheld the measure, but the clubs have appealed to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

Florence's licensing ordinance, passed in February, said that sexually oriented businesses are associated with prostitution, lewdness, potential spread of disease, public indecency, obscenity, illicit drug use and sexual assault, and those secondary effects were the rationale for the city putting limits on such businesses.

Adult Store Welcomes Church Bus Tour

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Workers from Theatair-X in Clarksville, Ind., offered free hot dogs and soft drinks — and guest passes — to a bus full of Louisville-area antiporn protestors investigating adult stores in the area.

The leader of the bus tour politely declined the offer before telling the group that Theatair-X, which has been operating for 38 years, was an example of how an adult business can flourish if the community doesn't act to drive it out.

A similar bus tour through parts of Jefferson County, Ky., in 2003 counted 19 sexually oriented businesses. "Fifteen are now closed," the leader said, crediting passage and enforcement of a 2004 adult entertainment ordinance for the closings.

After challenges from adult businesses, the Kentucky Court of Appeals upheld the ordinance's constitutionality earlier this month.

Attorney Frank Mascagni, who represents the adult businesses, said that his clients are almost certain to appeal and ask the court to prohibit enforcement of the ordinance while an appeal is pending.

"We've been fussing over this for years and years," Mascagni said. "This is a big deal. You're at the apocalypse of government intrusion into what people can watch."


Adam & Eve Store: 'Welcome Protestors'

O'NEIL, Fla. — Protestors at the Adam & Eve Store in O'Neil were met with a sign reading "Welcome Protestors."

"The spirit of the sign was to welcome the protesters, and let's face it: Protesters are good press for us," storeowner George Cebeck said.

The protestors based their objections to the store on claims of secondary effects.

"Pornography and sex shops in general are bad for the community," demonstration leader Rick Young said. "Certainly we hope that this business will decide to move elsewhere, close its doors and move out. Move out of our county quite frankly."

The demonstrators did not keep all the customers away.

"People vote with their feet. If there was nobody coming into the store we wouldn't be here," Cebeck said.


Public Antinudity Ordinance Amended to Include Adult Businesses

BRATTLEBORO , Vt. — An ordinance that would prohibit nudity in Brattleboro's public areas has been amended to change a town zoning regulation that would have allowed some businesses to have nude employees.

The city selectboard passed an interim zoning amendment to close a loophole in a zoning regulation concerning adult-oriented businesses.

The loophole came to the board's attention after a rumor began to circulate about someone who wanted to open a juice bar on Main Street staffed with naked employees.

Town zoning already allows for adult-oriented businesses in Brattleboro in certain parts of town. An applicant wanting to open a business such as a strip club or adult cabaret in those areas must first receive both a site-plan and conditional use approval from the Development Review Board.

The current zoning regulation prohibits nudity in any establishment "which features dancing or other live entertainment," but if there is no dancing, the zoning regulation would not be enforceable.

The town's zoning administrator suggested the board approve the new language that would restrict any employees from taking their clothes off as part of their job.

The board voted to approve the amended language 5-0.


Staunton Adopts Adult Business Regulations

STAUNTON, Va. — The Staunton City Council unanimously approved two ordinances that will regulate adult businesses in the city on Nov. 8.

One ordinance established a permit application process for the operators of adult businesses, including a background check through the chief of police. This ordinance would apply to existing as well as future businesses.

The second ordinance outlined zoning regulations, allowing adult businesses in areas of the city that are zoned for light and heavy industrial use and are located 500 feet away from buildings like daycare centers, schools, churches and residences. Under the zoning regulations, existing businesses will be grandfathered in.

The ordinances were drafted by City Attorney Douglas Guynn,