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Adult entertainment faces new, stricter regulations in Lincoln     Send a link to a friend

[MAY 24, 2004]  Sexually oriented adult businesses now have more stringent requirements to follow in order to operate within the city limits of Lincoln. The action was sparked when an adult entertainment business recently made inquiries about city regulations. Though the business did not pursue its interest in coming here, ordinance committee chairman Steve Fuhrer engaged the city attorney to update the current regulations.

Attorney Bill Bates reminded the council and those in attendance that those businesses, like any other, are protected by the freedom of the First Amendment and the city cannot prohibit them from coming into town. However, they can be strictly regulated. He publicly thanked April Doolin, a Lincolnite who contacted him and came to a previous city council meeting. Doolin directed him to a document that was found at the Legal Resource Center in Mississippi and provides a lot of protective parameters for the city.

Bates relieved aldermen of reading the approximately 40-page document but suggested that they look it over. He read it and applied what portions he could to the new ordinance.

The ordinance is modeled much like the one that regulates businesses that sell alcohol. It specifically sets parameters and regulations for all types and categories of adult businesses.

Adult:

  • Arcade, bookstore, video, cabaret, motel, motion picture theatre, theatre, escort agencies, nude model studio or sexual encounters center

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Restricts location:

  • Within the city
  • Proximity to one another
  • Proximity to certain other businesses, churches, parks, public facilities

Regulates fee structure:

  • $2,000 business application
  • $1,250 annual renewal
  • $50 annual license fee per employee

The ordinance also stipulates the conduct of such businesses. The regulations are not intended to inhibit the businesses but to protect the interests of the public. Fees are set in accordance to cover city costs and services, such as policing and fire protection.

A copy is on file for anyone to review.

The council unanimously approved the ordinance on May 17.

[Jan Youngquist]

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