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Opposition to Delilah’s Strip Club

Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey- The 9th District delegation has introduced legislation that would give municipalities more power to regulate sexually oriented businesses.

The proposed legislation, dubbed the Defense of Community Standards Act, is response to the proposed Delilah’s strip club in Little Egg Harbor, which the delegation opposes. It was drafted by Sen. Leonard T. Connors [pictured] and Assemblymen Christopher J. Connors and Brian Rumpf, all R-Ocean, Burlington, Atlantic.

“The key elements of our measure would establish regulations to minimize the adverse secondary effects on communities which result from these types of establishments,” Sen. Connors said in a statement released by the delegation Friday.

The legislation is modeled after a bill currently being considered by the Ohio state Legislature.

The bill stipulates:

> Sexually oriented businesses would be prohibited from operating within 2,500 feet – as opposed to 1,000 feet, which Little Egg Harbor’s current ordinance states – of any place of worship, any elementary school or secondary school, bus stop, municipal or county playground, or hospital or child care center.

> A sexually oriented business would be required to close no later than 11 p.m. unless a municipality sets a later closing time through an ordinance.

> Municipal governing bodies would be authorized by ordinance to regulate the time, place and manner of operation of a sexually oriented business and its employees including independent contractors.

“Keeping towns like Little Egg Harbor a desirable place to live is our central focus,” said Rumpf, a former Little Egg Township committeeman and the town’s mayor when it drafted an ordinance regulating adult oriented businesses in 2001.

Businessman Joseph E. Shamy, of Route 539 Development LLC, is seeking a variance to place Delilah’s Little Egg Harbor within a 1,000 feet of a residential area on the east side of Route 539, just south of the Garden State Parkway.

The Zoning Board will hold a special meeting to hear the application on Feb. 15, at 7 p.m., at Pinelands Regional High School.

The legislation would have no bearing on the ordinance already on the books in Little Egg Harbor, Sen. Connors said.

“While this bill has the appearance of doing something for Little Egg, Little Egg really doesn’t need to do anything because it’s covered by the law now,” Connors said by phone Friday. “We’ve only increased it. A thousand feet really isn’t that far. The blocks here in Surf City,” where Connors is mayor, “are 1,000 feet long and I can see very easily to the end of the block. Now put a Delilah’s at the end of the block. Would I want the people on our block subjected to that?”

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