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Rancho Cordova Puts Moratorium on Adult Businesses

Rancho Cordova, California- The Rancho Cordova City Council has approved a six-month moratorium on new adult businesses while officials craft a new law regulating strip clubs, adult-video stores and other “sexually oriented” establishments.
Rancho Cordova leaders complain that the area already has an over concentration of adult businesses as it is.

“It gives the city an unsavory image,” said Councilman Dave Roberts.

“They can advertise as a gentlemen’s club, but they also attract a high number of undesirable characters.”

The moratorium was prompted by a license application for World Famous Mustang Ranch Inc. at 3569 Recycle Road, south of White Rock Road. According to the application, the business would offer live entertainment, videos, books and novelties.

The applicant, Hubert Griesbach, also owns Pure Gold Showgirls in Rancho Cordova.

Sacramento County denied the license before Rancho Cordova incorporated in July. City officials said the decision will be reviewed after a new ordinance on adult businesses is in place.

After incorporation, the council adopted a county ordinance that allows three adult businesses per planning area. The Cordova planning area already has three adult stores.

With the application for a new adult business, officials last week decided the city needs to draft its own regulations to reflect Rancho Cordova’s boundaries – not the much larger Cordova planning area.

Otherwise, the existing ordinance could lead to confusion about how many adult businesses should be allowed in the city, said Assistant City Attorney Adam Lindgren.

Rancho Cordova now has one adult business. Two others are located in the unincorporated area, within a mile of the city limits.

Zoning ordinances generally are intended to prevent too many adult businesses in one area. During the next six months, city planners will look at what constitutes an overconcentration in Rancho Cordova and whether World Famous Mustang Ranch Inc. would create one.

Planning Director Paul Junker said the proposed ordinance may not be based on a numeric formula like the county regulation.

Planners could revamp the entire process for identifying proper locations for adult businesses, Junker said.

Adult establishments often are found in industrial areas because ordinances generally require that they be at least 1,000 feet from homes, schools, churches, parks and community centers.

Most of the county’s industrial-zoned land is in the Rancho Cordova area – including surrounding unincorporated land – which is home to three of the clubs.

“That’s why all of them are out here,” said Gus Fuson, business license manager for the county.

A city report said adult businesses increase crime and decrease property values. Roberts, a former sheriff’s deputy, said strip clubs open the door for prostitution, drunken driving and fights.

Roberts acknowledged that owners of the existing adult establishments – which do not serve alcohol – do a good job of controlling what happens inside. But he said owners can’t control what happens after patrons leave the clubs.

Adult businesses are constitutionally protected and must be permitted by local governments, subject to zoning requirements.

But Rancho Cordova officials do not want to allow any more adult businesses than legally required.

“There’s probably a majority of people in the city who would prefer to see them just go away,” said Curt Haven, assistant to the city manager.

 

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