Friday, December 13, 2002

Community protests adult book stores

The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE - Residents in southwest Jefferson County are protesting the recent openings of two adult book stores that have not complied with Jefferson County licensing requirements for operating adult-entertainment businesses.

The businesses, owned by John Allen and William R. Smith, are challenging the constitutionality of the licensing requirements in federal court.

A coalition of residents, businesses and churches have planned rallies and have started a petition against both bookstores, Blue Sky Video and CAM 1.

"Both businesses have ignored our requirements to apply for licenses," said John Spellman, director of the county Department of Public Protection, which licenses adult entertainment businesses.

Mr. Spellman said owners of both businesses have received criminal citations from county police that carry penalties of up to $1,000 fines and 90-day jail terms for each day a violation occurs. But both stores have remained open.

The owners' attorney, Mike Hatzell, said his clients aren't complying with the county's regulations because they think the court will find the laws unconstitutional.

A hearing is set for Dec. 19.

Mr. Hatzell said the county has acted improperly by essentially zoning adult entertainment out of the county. He said the law is impossible to comply with because it requires a buffer between such businesses and homes, churches, schools, libraries, parks and other sites.

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