The XBIZ Weekly Retail Round-Up

Tod Hunter

Antiporn Bill Passes Committee, Heads to State Senate

DENVER — The Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would make it a class 2 misdemeanor to sell or distribute pornographic material to a minor by a 4-2 vote Wednesday.

“Overwhelming research shows that the viewing of pornography as a minor has a very harmful affect on children,” the bill's sponsor said in a statement. “This often results in early sexual experimentation. The preponderance of evidence also shows that a large percentage of sexual offenders are addicted to porn.”

The bill now will be considered by the State Senate.

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Walton Approves Adult Zoning Regulations

WALTON, Ky. — The City Council passed the second reading of a text amendment ordinance on new countywide sexually oriented business zoning regulations at its monthly meeting Feb. 11. One council member said that strict zone regulations will help the city control adult businesses — if they decide to open in Walton.

The new zoning regulations, which were unanimously approved by the Boone County Planning Commission on Dec. 19, have to be individually passed by Florence, Walton, Union and the Boone County fiscal court.

Regulations set up by the commission define zones that adult businesses can locate in, and require that they be father than 1,000 feet from any parcel of land or building used or occupied as a residence, government building or community facility, child daycare, church or religious facility, hospital, library, business that serves alcoholic beverages and has a local/state liquor sales license, public and private parks, recreational facility, public or private school, senior center or other adult business.

In Walton, four areas of 3.43 acres or less are zoned for adult businesses.

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Three Topless Clubs Settle Lawsuit, Will Pay Annual License Fees

INKSTER, Mich. — Attorneys for three topless clubs in Inkster were successful when the city agreed to allow them to pay a $8,000-$9,000 license fee as opposed to forcing individual dancers to pay a $250 fee.

A revised city ordinance — which will be law once a second reading is conducted at the city council meeting Monday — will require the owners of the clubs to pay the fee yearly and to maintain set standards to be able to operate in the city.

The agreement effectively settles a federal lawsuit filed by the owners early last year to challenge the constitutionality of the fees that would have been charged to the dancers.

A judge ruled last year that the city should only charge around $82 for the licenses, and prohibited the city from enforcing the dance ordinance until either an agreement about the cost of the license is reached, or a trial commences.

The city council will set the exact licensing fee by a majority vote at an upcoming meeting.

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Zoning Board Rejects Strip Club Proposal

SOUTH CORNING, N.Y. — The Corning Town Zoning Board unanimously rejected the proposal by Wayne Swartz, who was seeking a use variance to open a strip club. The request was the latest attempt by Swartz to open a juice bar on the property that would feature all-nude dancers and would not sell alcohol.

“I knew [the town would] reject me,” Swartz said. “But eventually I’ll take it to court and then I’ll be able to open it.”

No one spoke in favor of the proposal during a 30-minute public comment period. The near 100 people who filled the Corning Town Hall applauded when the board rejected the proposal.

The use variance was needed because according to the town code, the land is located in a residential zone. Adult-use businesses are only permitted on industrial-zoned parcels.

Swartz said he will submit an application to the Corning Town Planning Board this spring seeking a zoning change for the parcel.

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City Council Reverses Previous Vote, Bans Strippers in Bars

GRAFTON, N.D. — A month after voting down an ordinance to ban strippers in bars 6-4, the City Council passed it on a second try by a 7-3 vote.

Three members changed their votes. One said his January vote was a mistake, and two said they were swayed by public opinion.

"I had 18 responses, with three saying they didn't care and the rest wanting to get rid of it," one council member said. "I felt I should do what my constituents wanted."

The other council member said he received 19 opinions, with 11 of them wanting it banned.

Paul Gudgel, owner of the Last Chance Saloon, hired two topless dancers Jan. 4. He said he planned to hold an event with topless dancers about once a month.

"This isn't over yet," Gudgel said. "We'll figure something out. This event makes the bar money."

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