City Council supports adult biz controls

September 11, 2002|by SCOTT BUTKI

All of the Hagerstown City Council members said Tuesday they support a proposal to regulate adult businesses that would require a downtown store to restrict its hours and close its viewing rooms.

The proposed adult business license ordinance is scheduled to come before the council for a preliminary vote at a Sept. 24 meeting, said Mayor William M. Breichner, who also supports the proposal.

During Tuesday's meeting, Acting Planning Director Deborah Everhart explained the proposal to the council.

Following the meeting, all five council members said they support the city's proposal, which would require all new and existing adult businesses to pay an annual fee of $250 for a license to operate.


Adult businesses in operation when the ordinance goes into effect would have to comply with the provisions within 90 days.

Only one city business, The Video Store at 23 E. Washington St., fits the ordinance's definition of an adult business, Everhart said.

The Video Store is open 24 hours a day.

The proposed ordinance would prohibit adult businesses from being open between 1 and 6 a.m.

The business has 12 viewing areas, where people pay to watch adult videos in closed rooms.

The ordinance would prohibit such viewing rooms.

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said that although he is liberal, he has no problem with enforcing such restrictions on the downtown business.

Changing the hours should eliminate problems with loitering in the area, Councilwoman Carol Moller said.

On Monday the manager of The Video Store, who refused to give his name, said he had no comment on the issue. An employee answering the phone Tuesday said the store had no comment.

The restrictions were suggested by the city's Community Revitalization Committee, which has been analyzing downtown to see what types of businesses could be potential problems, City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman said.

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