The XBIZ Weekly Retail Round-Up

The XBIZ Weekly Retail Round-Up
Tod Hunter
CONNECTICUT

Store Loses Legal Fight

DERBY, Conn. — The city's only adult entertainment business, Love Shack, lost its appeal of an order by Police Chief Eugene Mascolo that bars it from receiving a license by a 7-0 vote of the city's Board of Aldermen.

Shortly before the Love Shack opened this summer, the aldermen passed an ordinance that prohibits such businesses within 250 feet of a residential zone and 1,500 feet of a school.

"This violates both of those requirements," Board of Aldermen President Ken Hughes said of the Love Shack, adding that the issue was a matter of public health and safety.

The store opened in June. Chief Mascolo sent Love Shack a letter in July outlining the violations and instructing the business to cease and desist.

Building Inspector Dave Kopjanski notified Mascolo that the business is 1,200 feet from St. Michael's School and about 200 feet from a residence.

The city had in place regulations pertaining to adult businesses and amended them after the state Supreme Court granted municipalities the discretion to require them to be certain distances from homes and schools.

The business' attorney, Daniel Silver, has filed a suit in federal court against the city over the delays in opening the store, and will file another in state court should this appeal fail.

"We have zoning approvals, a building permit and a certificate of occupancy, and a stipulation from the court that we can open," Silvers said. "After that, we get a letter from the chief denying us an adult business license.

"This is going to cost the city a ton of money now," he said, "and for the life of me, I don't understand why."

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IOWA

Ordinance Approved For Adult Businesses

HAMPTON, Iowa — The Hampton city council voted 5 to 1 in support of an adult business ordinance, setting up boundaries for businesses that don't even exist yet.

The one council member who voted against it said that the community should make the ultimate decision.

"If people were really against an adult bookstore or a adult movie theater it would go out of business," said City Council Member Pat Palmer.

The new ordinance also has other restrictions, such as the building can only be painted one solid color and have no flashy lights.

City Council Mayor Diane Weldon said they can't stop an adult business from coming in, but they can prepare by choosing where it can be built.

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TEXAS

County OKs New Rules for Adult Businesses

EL PASO, Texas — Strip clubs, sex shops and adult theaters now have limitations on where they set up shop after the county adopted a sexually oriented business order on Monday.

The new rules require that sexually oriented businesses be located at least 1,500 feet from churches, schools, child care facilities, parks and residential areas. Those not already in compliance will have one year to find a new location.

"It's an excellent order. It prevents communities from being overrun with these types of businesses," County Judge Anthony Cobos said.

The only business identified so far that will have to move is Pegasus Elite Gentlemen's Venue in Canutillo, which has a lease that expires early next year.

The club sparked public outcry several months ago after it opened near a residential neighborhood on a busy Canutillo street. Several residents regularly protested outside the business and even set up a Web site to display license plate photos of club visitors.

"I'm very glad that we're being treated like Americans. It shows that if you put in the effort, that the system works," Canutillo resident Veronica Watkins said. "A year is too long (for the club to remain), but at least now it won't happen again."

Owners of the strip club could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Nine existing businesses in unincorporated areas will have 120 days to obtain a license from the county. New applicants will be required to post signs indicating they intend to operate such a business at a location.

The court did not seek to restrict activities within the businesses, citing existing laws that cover crimes such as prostitution.

"I think it was an absolute win for the residents of the county who have been asking for this," Commissioner Veronica Escobar said.

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City Adopts Adult Business Ordinance

KILGORE, Texas — The Kilgore City Council on Tuesday adopted an ordinance that designates a mile-long stretch of highway as the only area that a sexually oriented business may be established in Kilgore.

The new ordinance states that such a business must be along, or immediately adjoining, Texas 42 and must be between Watson Road and the southern city limits.

The issue came up in August after an entrepreneur expressed interest in opening a sexually oriented business on U.S. 259, said Kilgore Director of Planning Carol Windham.

In addition to the zoning regulations, the new ordinance requires that an applicant for a license or permit for a sexually oriented business post an outdoor sign stating the intention to locate the business there.

The ordinance also prohibits such a business from being closer than 2,500 feet to a residentially zoned property and 2,000 feet from a church, school, care center, hospital, cemetery or swimming pool.

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ENGLAND

Sex Shop Sunday Hours Courts Controversy

ISLINGTON, England — Adult World, a sex shop in the heart of Islington, has courted controversy by applying to open on Sundays and extend its opening hours until 10 p.m. Monday to Saturday.

People living nearby are up in arms.

Councillor Martin Klute said: "I objected to the previous application on the grounds that Islington Green is a family area, and not a suitable location for a sex shop that openly advertises itself. For the shop to extend its opening hours represents both a further degradation of amenity for the area. Furthermore, Sunday is still more of a family and recreational day."

A decision will be made at Islington Town Hall next Wednesday.

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