City Council briefs

October 23, 2002|by JULIE E. GREENE

Proposed law regulating adult businesses passes

The Hagerstown City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve a law regulating adult businesses that would require a downtown store to restrict its hours and eliminate its viewing rooms.

Under the new law, all new and existing adult businesses must pay an annual fee of $250 for a license to operate.

Adult businesses in operation when the law takes effect would have 90 days to comply. The law becomes effective Nov. 21.

Only one in-city business, The Video Store at 23 E. Washington St., fits the law's definition of an adult business.

The law will prohibit adult businesses from being open between 1 and 6 a.m. The Video Store is open 24 hours a day.


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

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

Law will control number of apartments in city

The Hagerstown City Council unanimously approved Tuesday night a law intended to better control the number of apartment units in the city.

Under the new law, owners of some residential buildings will be prohibited from altering or subdividing them for the purpose of creating additional residential units.

The Hagerstown Planning Commission on Aug. 14 voted to recommend adoption of the changes.

Planning officials have said some property owners are converting houses and apartments into more apartments, thereby turning neighborhoods into eyesores.

Planning officials said the property owners create several apartments in a dwelling so they can collect more rent.

The new law goes into effect Nov. 21.

Cameras to be bought for police substation

Hagerstown City Council members voted unanimously Tuesday night to buy a surveillance camera system for the area near the Hagerstown Police Department's Bethel Gardens substation.

The nine cameras are to deter drug dealing and other crimes, Police Chief Arthur Smith has said.

The project will be paid for with money from the Hagerstown Housing Authority, Bethel Gardens Corp. and a grant to the police department.

The project's budget was $60,000, but KIPP Security Systems of Baltimore will provide the equipment for $38,713, according to purchase information.

The cameras would continuously record. They would be fixed in certain positions, but officers in the substation can rotate the cameras 360 degrees using joysticks, Smith has said.

Information caught on the cameras would be admissible in court, Smith has said.

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