Tuesday, October 03, 2000

Mason moves against sex businesses

By Kevin Aldridge
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MASON — Fast-growing areas loaded with prime real estate and good demographics can be as alluring to porn shops, peep shows and strip clubs as they are to Fortune 500 companies.

        That's why Mason leaders are scrambling to strengthen laws that set parameters for sexually oriented businesses.

        Mason City Council recently ordered its attorneys to beef up the city's ordinance on sexually oriented businesses. It was last amended in 1995.

        “We think we have everything in compliance with the most recent Supreme Court rulings and cases,” Mason Law Director Ken Schneider said. “This type of legislation can be tricky. It is essentially a moving target because there are more of these types of cases every day.”

        Council members stressed the importance of keeping Mason's ordinance up to date and giving city staff and attorneys the tools to do so.

        “This ordinance is something that has to be looked at all the time in order to prevent these types of businesses from locating just anywhere in our community,” Councilman Pete Beck said.

        The First Amendment prohibits municipalities from barring adult-oriented businesses. However, they can restrict them to certain areas and require they uphold certain standards.

        Jimmy Flynt, who plans to open a Hustler store this year, said adult businesses have the right to locate any where as long as they follow the laws of that community.

        “I don't care what they do because I'm going to follow the laws and I'm going to get my stores in anyway,” he said.

        Mason leaders recently sought the advice of Cincinnati Councilman Phil Heimlich. He has championed the fight against sexually oriented business in Cincinnati.

        Mason “is a very beautiful community and the last thing that you want to see ... is a big purple neon sign that says "Girls, Girls, Girls' across the street from your high school, or one of your nice housing developments,” Mr. Heimlich said.


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