Vacaville planners to focus on adult businesses

California- from – It’s no secret that Vacaville has tried for months to figure out how to approach having adult businesses in the city when a retail store selling suggestive items took up shop right off of Interstate 80.

The Planning Commission will decide Tuesday on land use and development code amendments related to adult-oriented businesses.

A quick effort by the City Council in May 2008 to pass an interim ordinance imposing an urgency measure moratorium on the approval, construction or establishment of adult-oriented businesses within the city didn’t prevent Secrets, a lingerie boutique, from opening its doors just minutes before the council voted.

The moratorium allowed city staff time to analyze, prepare a study and provide recommendations as to necessary revisions to the city’s land use and development code as well as the municipal code.

The proposed amendments considered Tuesday, if approved, will update the definitions related to adult-oriented businesses, update requirements for locating adult-oriented businesses and cross reference the city’s municipal code regarding regulatory permitting and operational standards for adult-oriented businesses and adult performers.

A staff report explains that adult-oriented businesses such as adult bookstores, adult video stores and adult cabarets, engage in activities recognized as protected speech under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

The recommended amendment includes, among other things, that:

No adult-oriented business shall be established or located within 750 feet of a residential district or zone under the jurisdiction of either the city or Solano County, including a residential overlay district.

* No adult-oriented business shall be established or located with 750 feet of any school, park or recreation area, religious institution or any place frequented by minors.

* No adult-oriented business shall be established or located within 750 feet of any other adult-oriented business.

Secrets is still open at the old WW Outfitters building, next to Murillo’s Mexican Food restaurant on East Monte Vista Avenue. Although the council did not approve the business to occupy the building, provisions in the city’s zoning ordinance limiting locations for that type of business allow it.

The council was anything but pleased with the outcome at that time.

According to Vacaville’s city attorney, Gerald Hobrecht, the city cannot prohibit the establishment of an adult store, but can, however, restrict the location. For example, if that type of business were next to a church or school.

The property is owned by the Murillo family and that particular building was leased to the Blackburn family, owners of WW Outfitters. Apparently, the Blackburns, who had closed their business, had in turn subleased the empty building to the owners of Secrets. According to a sublease agreement, Secrets could occupy that building until 2013.

The City Council will hold a public hearing Feb. 23, with a second reading to follow March 9. If everything is approved, the ordinance is in effect 30 days following the second reading.

The Vacaville Planning Commission meets at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chamber, 650 Merchant St.

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