Clamp down now on adult-type businesses

May 01, 2003

Does Jefferson County, W.Va., have too many adult businesses? That depends on whether you define strip clubs and the like as entertainment for mature citizens or a blight on the landscape of the community.

We endorse the latter view and support county planners' effort to restrict where such enterprises are located.

Staff members of the county planning, zoning and engineering department began their effort to tighten up regulations by proposing that such establishments be limited to areas zoned for industry. On Tuesday that department's director, Paul Raco, called for more curbs.

Under Raco's recommendations, adult businesses would have to be located at least 1,500 feet from residences, places of worship and schools. And a roadway or railroad track would no longer be considered a sufficient barrier between adult businesses and other uses.

Rusty Morgan, a county commission member who serves on the planning commission, said the county should look at other related issues, like signs, operating hours and interior layouts.


But perhaps the most important issue has been raised by Lavarr McBride, a citizen concerned about the possible spread of such businesses.

McBride feels the county should have the power to approve or deny licenses for adult businesses, with those convicted of drug or sex-related crimes being denied a license.

Though some have argued that at this point there may not be a problem with such businesses, it will be a whole lot easier to regulate them before they're opened than to deal with a problem business that's already opened its doors.

And aside from other issues, there's the image problem. A county filled with strip clubs is not where most people want to raise their families or operate a business. Clamping down now, before there's a problem, is the way to go.

What is your opinion on adult-type businesses?

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