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Ordinance Adopted in Wake of Planet X Raid

Garland, Texas Planet X, an adult video store which is operating under a court injunction, was raided last week by police and store owner Bruce Kahn was arrested.

Less than a week later, the City Council has adopted a new sexually oriented businesses ordinance.

According to Officer Joe Harn, Garland police spokesman, police officers executed a search warrant at Planet X on Jan. 14 and seized more than 1,400 “obscene devices.” Earlier buys by undercover officers formed the basis for the warrant. The store is at 321 W. Kingsley Road.

While officers were conducting the raid, Officer Harn said, Mr. Kahn arrived at the store, and officers arrested him on a warrant for theft over $50 and under $500, a Class B misdemeanor. The charge carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail, a $2,000 fine or both.

Mr. Kahn is accused of stealing a sign posted by a businessman who shares a parking lot with Planet X.

Mr. Kahn said he had no comment.

Mr. Kahn went to federal court and won a temporary injunction from U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade in December that barred the city from turning off utilities at the store.

This week, the City Council adopted a new ordinance governing sexually oriented businesses.

City Attorney Charles Hinton said the new ordinance allows such businesses but restricts their location; their proximity to protected types of development and to each other; and requires that they meet signage, lighting and other standards.

It is not clear whether Planet X would comply with the new ordinance, Mr. Hinton said, because of its proximity to a church on Jupiter Road.

“We have a provision in the new ordinance for amortization,” Mr. Hinton said. “If you are not in compliance, you have three years to recoup your investment before you have to close.”

Mr. Kahn would also have to remove interior doors and walls to provide a clear view of the whole building with minimum lighting levels. The private viewing rooms now in place would have to go, Mr. Hinton said.

“The key thing is that the way Planet X is operated is to attract certain clientele who are there to secure dates,” Mr. Hinton said.

He cited police officers’ testimony before the council this week that they found used condoms in the viewing rooms at Planet X.

“And if there are subsequent convictions for selling obscene devices, that may be grounds for revoking a license,” Mr. Hinton said.

 

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