The XBIZ Weekly Retail Round-Up

Tod Hunter

City Renews Adult Business Moratorium

HASTINGS, Minn. — The Hastings City Council approved a new one-year moratorium on adult use businesses — such as strip clubs and adult bookstores — at its meeting Monday. The council chambers were filled with residents who oppose allowing adult use businesses in Hastings.

The city maintains that it has to zone at least 6 percent of its overall commercial area to allow adult use businesses. One citizen, an outspoken critic of the city’s assertion that it has to zone land for adult use businesses, said a state statute says cities don’t need to zone for adult uses if there are already businesses of that type within 50 miles of the city. King of Diamonds Gentlemen’s Club in Inver Grove Heights is about 17 miles from Hastings.

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Lawrence County Voters Approve Cabaret Tax

MOUNT VERNON, Mo. — Voters in Lawrence County approved a special tax on adult cabarets by a 69 percent margin, 2,220 “yes” votes to 996 “no” votes, according to complete but unofficial results.

There are no adult cabarets in Lawrence County, although there is concern that a planned strip club being opposed in a nearby county may try to locate in Lawrence County instead.

The special tax will be 10 percent on a cabaret’s gross receipts, and the tax will continue for a period not to exceed four years. Revenues will be used to investigate the backgrounds of the employees of the businesses and for general law-enforcement use by the Sheriff’s Department.

Plans call for the measure to be presented on the ballot for renewal in three years.

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Township Plans Adult Business Regulations

WARRINGTON, Pa. — Warrington Township is considering researching an ordinance to regulate adult businesses. The move was partly inspired by months of headline-generating conflict between nearby Milford Township and Coyotes Show Club after the club opened in December without township permission.

Warrington supervisors are looking to regulate where such businesses can go and how they can operate, using a 2001 ordinance from Bristol Township as a model for the new rules.

The model ordinance would make it illegal to conduct any sort of adult-oriented business without a permit issued by the code enforcement officer and also prohibits any sexually explicit views visible from the outside of the businesses, including risque signs and propped-open doors during business hours.

Plans to create an adult business ordinance have been discussed intermittently since 2004, the Warrington police chief said.

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Strip Club Races to Meet Grandfather-Clause Deadline

SPRINGFIELD, Va. — For three weeks, workers contracted by the Richmond-based strip club Paper Moon have been remodeling the inside of the former Dauphine Steakhouse. Closed since July 2006, the topless steakhouse operated for decades under a grandfather clause that allowed it to remain a strip club, despite state laws against such establishments.

Paper Moon bought the property in March. The club will open just in time to meet the two-year window that will allow it to operate under the same clause.

Although Paper Moon could not be denied a permit to run its business, a local official said, “You can be assured that our building code inspectors, police, and ABC Board will closely monitor them. This is not the type of business we want to see in our revitalization area, or anywhere for that matter. Springfield deserves better.”

Springfield Civic Association president Tawny Hammond said that regardless of people's moral standards, from a business standpoint a strip club in the area is degrading to the community and hinders growth.

“Over the past five years, people have been talking about creating a walkable community that included a community theater, a renovated library, a coffeehouse and a specialty grocer. Walking to a strip club on a Friday night is not what was envisioned and does not add to the value of homes,” Hammond said.

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Planning Commission Approves Adult Zoning Ordinance

VERONA, Va. — The Augusta County Planning Commission unanimously recommended that the Board of Supervisors approve a zoning ordinance that would regulate where adult businesses could be located in the county.

Adult businesses would be required to be located at least 500 feet away from residentially zoned districts, and at least 500 feet from residences, schools, religious institutions, hotels, motels, boarding houses, bed and breakfasts, day care centers, residential care facilities, libraries, community centers, public parks, museums, cultural centers and other adult businesses.

The zoning ordinance would allow the businesses in areas that are zoned as general business districts.

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Sex Shop Owners Welcome Regulation Review

BRISBANE, Australia — Adult-shop owners in Brisbane have supported a Queensland state government plan to review regulations that could restrict where future stores may be located.

"I might be the owner of one [adult shop], but there's still a place for them ... and there are places that are not for them," a shop owner said. "I am a father of three and I certainly wouldn't want my kids going to school and continually seeing an adult shop across the road."

The review may take up to six months, which would be too late to stop an adult store opening opposite St Catherine's School in Proserpine.

The executive officer of Australia's adult trade group, the Eros Foundation, said not only were adult stores unregulated in the state, but the sale of X-rated videos and DVDs was technically illegal.

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