The XBIZ Weekly Retail Round-Up

Tod Hunter

Prescott Valley Town Council Updates Adult Businesses Rules

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. — The town government is considering restricting operations of adult businesses through zoning and other regulations, although the Town Attorney and a member of his staff are not aware of any sexually-oriented businesses operating in the town.

The town's legal staff proposed revising a 2003 ordinance after surveying a number of other communities in Arizona. The current ordinance defines a "sexually-oriented business" and restricts physical contact and the activity of people "who appear in a state of nudity or seminude or live performances."

A town councilman acknowledged the town has to be "very careful" with the language in the proposed ordinance to protect the town from potential lawsuits. The council may decide on a revised ordinance at its next meeting.

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Oakley Sets Moratorium on Adult Businesses

OAKLEY, Calif. — The Oakley City Council voted to temporarily ban adult businesses, including bookstores, cabarets or night clubs and arcades in the Northern California city.

The ban will be in effect for at least 45 days so that the council and staff can look at the potential impacts of an adult business.

"We cannot ban them. They do have some First Amendment protections, but we can impose reasonable time, place and manner regulations on these businesses," City Attorney Alison Barratt-Green said.

The temporary ordinance defines various types of adult businesses — including adult arcades, bookstores, cabarets, nightclubs, hotels and theaters — and their specific uses. The city has not received any inquiries from merchants attempting to open an adult business in Oakley.


Bourbonnais Modifies Zoning to Restrict Adult Businesses

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — Village trustees have changed Bourbonnais' zoning rules to try to stop the establishment of adult-oriented businesses.

"I know of a lot of family members that don't want this kind of [adult businesses] with children in the area," one trustee said.

By unanimous vote, the trustees scrapped the village's old laws regarding adult businesses and adopted a new and more severe ordinance that, among other things, limits how close such a business can be to a school and only allows adult businesses in the M2 zoning district.

Village officials said they wanted to carefully craft the new ordinance to avoid the kind of prolonged legal battle that has been engaged between the city of Kankakee and an adult club for the last three years.

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Crestwood Sued Over Adult Store Business License Denial

ST. LOUIS — The city of Crestwood has been sued in federal court over its refusal to grant a business license to the operator of adult merchandise stores. The company, Johnny Vegas Inc., filed the suit in U.S. District Court in St. Louis Jan. 14 claiming its civil rights have been violated.

Mayor Roy Robinson said the company's request was turned down because it could not meet several zoning requirements. Robinson said city ordinances require that the number of sexually oriented products at an adult shop cannot exceed 25 percent of the total products, and that the store would exceed that limit. Another zoning requirement is that the stores not be located within 500 feet of a regional shopping mall.

"They told us they would sue us if we denied them, and I said they could do what they had to do," Robinson said. "We're sticking by our ordinances."

John Haltom, president of JVI, said the city was committing civil rights violations by denying him a permit.

"They are trying to say that we might be a sexually oriented business, but as you can see by the way we do our other stores, we don't have any sexually oriented products, and as long as we maintain that we're not over 25 percent on our materials, basically they have to leave us alone," Haltom said. "The city of Crestwood said 'We don't think that's going to happen in this case,' so they denied us.

"They said they wanted me to submit a list of everything that I was going to carry," Haltom said. "I said "well, do you ask Macy's or any of the other businesses to do that?' And they said 'No.'

"So how can they ask me to do that?"

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Adult Store Owners File Suit, Claiming Harassment

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Owners of an adult bookstore that has been cited more than once for having holes in the walls of its video viewing booths is suing the township, mayor and construction official, claiming the township officials are harassing the business.

Laser Data Multi Media Inc., which owns the store, was cited for municipal code violations in October for having holes between the private booths. The business license was revoked, and they were given until Nov. 4 to repair the holes, according to the lawsuit.

The police department also filed criminal charges in October against the owner for "maintaining a sexually oriented business where persons gather for engaging in illegal conduct."

The lawsuit filed in Superior Court claims the township wrongfully took away the business license without a proper hearing and without a criminal conviction.

The city's mayor and construction official, who are named as defendants in the lawsuit, are accused of having the police department harass the business and its patrons by having the police make motor vehicle stops at the store without probable cause.

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