Wisc. Town With No Adult Businesses Restricts Them

Tod Hunter
MENASHA, Wis. — The Menasha Town Board adopted a revised liquor license ordinance by a 5-0 vote, a license that provides restrictions to license holders who might want to offer adult entertainment or sexually oriented business.

Town officials may continue to look for additional restrictions as well. The town currently does not have any business offering adult entertainment.

"I think we all agree we don't want that type of business in our town," said Town Chairman Arden Tews, who recommended the city continue to look at requiring licenses for any such business seeking to locate in the town.

Fears that a nude "juice bar" that doesn't offer alcohol might still locate in the town worries former town supervisor Jay Schroeder, who has said that when the county reduced the legal setback distance from churches, schools and parks from 2,000 feet to 600 feet it went too far, opening up more areas in the town where an adult business can legally operate.

The county's adult entertainment zoning ordinance, passed earlier this year, restricted strip clubs to operating only in certain areas and prohibited the sale or consumption of alcohol at adult entertainment facilities, unless permitted by towns through issuance of a liquor license.

Town Attorney Chuck Koehler, consulting with Virginia attorney Pat Trueman, incorporated Trueman's advice into Menasha's new liquor license ordinance. Trueman offers free legal advice to nonprofit groups or communities seeking protection against sexually oriented businesses.

Koehler called the revised ordinance a "backstop" for whatever enforcement or legal deficiencies that might exist in the county's ordinance, suggesting that the town adopt the revised ordinance and then continue examining various issues before making amendments, if needed.

"It's a matter of time before one comes here," former supervisor Schroeder said. "I don't believe [the revised ordinance] is complete enough."