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Zoning and Adult Entertainment

December 1st, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Does your jurisdiction have a provision for adult entertainment establishments in your zoning code?  If not, you may be at risk.  It’s possible one could open up right next to the local family pizza parlor.  Adult entertainment is an activity protected by the First Amendment but local governments have the right to regulate how the business is conducted  specifically as to time, place, and manner.  A regulation will be upheld if the ordinance is designed to serve a substantial governmental interest and allows for reasonable alternative avenues of communication.  That means that there has to be somewhere within the local jurisdiction where the activity is allowed. Usually, the use is restricted to an industrial areas or some other out of the way location.  However, if your zoning code is silent on the subject, there may be some embarrassing consequences.  Don’t assume this type of business is properly regulated by your zoning code without checking it.  I have seen municipal codes that were missing the necessary provision.

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