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Adult Retail Businesses Banned

EVERETT, Washingtom – The City Council Wednesday night banned new adult retail businesses from opening in Everett for the next six months.

The council rejected a similar proposal three months ago, in part because of fears that it would expose the city to a lawsuit. But in June, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld a Spokane ordinance that imposed severe restrictions on adult businesses.

“This has essentially given us a constitutional green light” to pass a moratorium, Councilman Mark Olson said.

The council deemed the ordinance an emergency, which meant it did not have to give the public advance notice of its action. The ordinance was approved unanimously.

Councilwoman Brenda Stonecipher, who introduced the measure, said the council didn’t want anyone to try to open an adult store before the council had time to act.

Stonecipher said she wants the city planning commission to research whether to more strictly regulate the location of the businesses. Adult retail businesses include stores that sell sex-oriented videos, magazines and toys.

The controversy over adult retail stores arose after Taboo Video opened in March just off Everett Mall Way across the street from a day care center and next to a home and a karate school.

Gordy Lindstrom, one of several people who have picketed Taboo Video, praised the council’s decision.

“I think they’re doing a very wise thing to study this,” he said.

The city had long barred adult-oriented businesses from within 1,000 feet of schools, churches, parks and homes. But the council took adult retail out of the ordinance in the mid-1990s after the state Supreme Court ruled that cities can only enact such restrictions if the presence of adult retail outlets leads to crime or other problems, city attorney Jim Iles said previously.

Businesses with adult-oriented cabaret and dancing are still prohibited within 1,000 feet of such places.

 

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