The XBIZ Weekly Retail Round-Up

Tod Hunter
COLORADO

City Planners Reject Strip Club

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — The city Planning Commission rejected a businessman’s plan to open a strip club in the city, arguing the business would be incompatible with the rest of the city.

By a 4-3 vote Tuesday night, the board rejected a conditional-use permit for a topless bar in an industrial neighborhood in the northwest part of the city.

A representative of Grand Junction firm that designed the nightclub said he will consider appealing the decision to the City Council.

A public hearing on the club lasted nearly an hour and a half, with the group of 15 people who offered testimony nearly evenly split between those in favor and those in opposition.

Supporters said there is a high demand in the community for a gentleman’s club, which they contended would appeal to an upscale clientele.

Western Slope Auto owner Mike Ferris, whose dealership is located immediately south of the strip club site, said he fears vehicles would be stolen and vandalized.

“This is a car dealer’s worst nightmare, to have a bar located next to its business,” he said.

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GEORGIA

County, Adult Store Settle Lawsuit

ROME, Ga. — Entice Adult Superstore will drop plans to appeal the ruling upholding Floyd County’s sexually oriented business ordinance under a settlement agreement accepted Tuesday by the Floyd County Commission.

Owner Charles Craton said he could not comment on the settlement but confirmed the store will be renamed Entice Couples Boutique. A news media release states the Shannon store will stop operating as an adult book or video store by Dec. 31, although it will remain open.

“Their ability to provide some of this material is constitutionally protected, but they’ve agreed to reduce their explicit media inventory to below the 35-percent threshold as defined by our ordinance,” Commission Chairman Jerry Jennings said.

The agreement calls for Entice to dismiss its pending appeal within five days and replace its sign by Oct. 15.

Other provisions include prohibitions against allowing minors on the premises; having viewing booths; expanding the store on New Calhoun Highway; and opening a sexually oriented business at any other location in the county.

The county has spent more than $177,000 on legal fees since Entice challenged its ordinance in federal court in August 2006.

The Commission adopted the ordinance in May 2006, less than a month after Charles and Susan Craton and Ken and Janet Gabler opened the first business in the county devoted to sexually explicit merchandise.

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INDIANA

City Requires Adult Business Licensing

AVON, Ind. — The city adopted a measure Thursday that town officials say will give them more control if an adult business wants to set up shop.

The ordinance requires adult businesses to get a $1,500 permit and also allows for background checks of operators and inspections of adult businesses.

"The purpose is for us to be able to regulate these businesses," said Greg Zusan, Town Council vice president.

Although some council and audience members wanted the permit fee higher to prevent adult businesses, the law does not allow that, said town attorney Dan Taylor.

The price of the permit was set based on the amount of work necessary to process the request and for the business to be policed, Taylor explained. Adult businesses are already required to locate in sections of town that are zoned as industrial; most of Avon is residential or commercial.

"You'd like to say they're not coming in our town, but we have to allow for a place, and it's our industrial district," said council member Charles Dorton.

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PENNSYLVANIA

Township Abolishes Never-Used Porn Law

WASHINGTON TOWNSIP, Pa. — Supervisors on Wednesday repealed the township's pornography law 25 years after it was adopted and eliminated a pornography commission that was never filled.

The Pennsylvania Crimes Code already has its own pornography laws and the township has zoning regulations that say where adult bookstores and movie theaters can go, so the township decided to do away with an ordinance largely ignored since it was adopted in 1983.

"There's really no need for it with the regulations already in place. I think it's covered," said Rick Weaver, the township zoning officer.

The 1983 law called for a pornography commission of five township residents appointed by supervisors. The commission was charged with "examining, inspecting and reviewing material" to determine if it was pornographic and if a majority of commissioners found certain material pornographic, the person showing or selling it would face a fine up to $300 and up to 30 days in jail.

Only one person volunteered for the commission, and since the commission was supposed to enforce the law, the law was never invoked.

Township zoning laws permit adult bookstores and movie theaters in commercial zones as special exceptions, so anyone who wants to sell or show pornography in the township still has to go before the zoning hearing board.

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