X-rated shops, clubs banned | TheUnion.com

X-rated shops, clubs banned

Peddlers of smut, lewd reading materials and videos won’t have an easy time setting up shop in Nevada County, elected officials said Tuesday.

The county Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an ordinance temporarily banning adult businesses such as X-rated movie theaters, strip clubs and bookstores that primarily sell adult-themed literature.

“The community’s corporate mindset is they aren’t enthusiastic about this kind of business,” said Chairman Nate Beason. “We aren’t going to make it easy for them to open up here.”

The county’s planners brought the “interim urgency ordinance” before the board after receiving calls over the past year inquiring as to the county’s ordinances regarding adult bookstores, said Planning Director Jory Stewart. The county doesn’t have a permanent ordinance.

“I think they were surprised to find out we didn’t have any (ordinance),” Stewart said.

There were two inquiries, Stewart said. Both times county planners gave the interested parties information on what sort of zoning area they would need to establish such a business, she said.

The interim ordinance is a pre-emptive strike, meant to give the county enough time to craft an ordinance on where adult businesses can set up and what restrictions would be placed on them, Stewart said. Planners are expected to ask for a 10-month, 15 day extension on the urgency ordinance next month, she added.

The First Amendment prohibits the county from outlawing adult businesses altogether, said county counsel Michael Jamison.

Both Sheriff Keith Royal and Niko Johnson, executive director of the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition in Grass Valley, spoke in favor of limiting adult businesses in Nevada County.

“This is something Nevada County does not need,” Royal said. He cited his past as a vice officer familiar with the crime adult-themed businesses attract.

In a report submitted to the supervisors, Senior Planner Tyler Barrington pointed to studies citing an increase in criminal activity around adult businesses.

Nevada City doesn’t have an adult business ordinance on the books, said City Planner Cindy Siegfried. Grass Valley does, and it limits adult-themed businesses to industrial areas outside of the main downtown business district, as well as restricting those businesses to 1000 feet away from residential and school areas.

To view the county’s staff report on the ordinance, visit TheUnion.com and click on this story.

To contact Staff Writer Kyle Magin, e-mail kmagin@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4239.

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