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Just what is an adult-use business

From the Editor's Notebook

July 1, 2012
by Chuck Hunt - Register Editor (chunt@faribaultcountyregister.com) , Faribault County Register

Just mention the words adult business and watch what happens.

People immediately become concerned that an adult book store or a strip club is going to locate next door.

There has been a lot of talk around the area ever since it was reported that the county is looking at creating an adult-use ordinance.

Many had the reaction of "Why, is there some adult business looking to come here?"

The answer is no.

But, the county zoning commission wants to be prepared in case one is.

You have to applaud their foresight.

After all, the way things stand, an adult business could locate just about any where they wished to.

Oh, there are a few rules out there, but not many.

Remember a few years back when a strip club opened in Nicollet and then relocated to Cosmos?

The citizens in those towns were shocked to find an adult business suddenly located in their quiet little town.

And then they had to fight hard to get it to leave.

I can also relate a story about a town in Southwestern Minnesota that I know of.

All of a sudden, the downtown bar decided to become a strip club, in order to boost business.

The local citizens were outraged and stormed the next City Council meeting.

The council and the citizens were stunned to learn that basically there was nothing much they could do about it.

No local ordinance covered this type of activity in the town. No county ordinance either.

No one ever thought such a thing would happen in this quiet little town of 1,200 folks.

It took a long time to develop an ordinance, pass it, publish it and have it in effect.

Then it took more months to prove the bar was in violation of the ordinance and to eventually shut it down.

Primarily, it had to do with illegal activity at the establishment. One night a convoy of squad cars descended on the bar and officers made multiple arrests.

The bar was found to be violating local ordinances and state laws as well. Specifically, there was prostitution going on besides the strip show.

The raid effectively shut the bar down temporarily, and violations meant the liquor license was in peril as well.

The net effect no more strip club.

It was a wake up call for towns and counties in the area. Numerous ordinances dealing with adult use businesses were quickly passed and put on the books.

Passage of the ordinances, by the way, meant also publishing it in the local newspaper. The paper had to put a disclaimer above the legal notices warning readers that the language in the ordinance was sexually explicit and graphic in nature.

That disclaimer probably made the ordinance the best read public notice ever in the newspaper.

This ordinance under consideration in Faribault County would not shut down this type of activity. It would however, designate what would be allowed, and even more importantly, where it would be allowed to be.

Those areas would be limited. That would preclude having an adult business, such as an adult book store or strip club, open in an empty building in downtown Blue Earth, for instance.

Some question why all adult themed businesses can't just be outlawed from even entering the county.

Evidently, that would not be lawful, under the U.S. Constitution or state laws, for that matter.

However, the location of such a business can be set.

The types of businesses under this ordinance covers a wide variety of operations that most average citizens would not want in their neighborhoods.

Adult book and video stores, strip clubs (or gentleman's clubs, as they are sometimes referred as) and adult massage parlors are on the list, as one would expect.

But, there is also adult cabarets, adult modeling studios, adult-use sauna/bathhouse/steam rooms, adult-use novelties and adult body painting studios.

There are also things like adult-use companionship establishments and adult conversation parlors.

Even adult-use rap parlors are on the list. What is that, anyway?

I would doubt any of those businesses are destined to find their way to Faribault County.

But, if they do, the new ordinance will spell out just where they can locate their adult-use business.

And, it shouldn't be next door to you.

 
 

 

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