Placentia : Law Expected for Adult Entertainment Shops

In the wake of an application for a "peep show" business, city officials next month plan to approve a law that sets "stringent" criteria on such adult entertainment establishments.

"It is a very stringent ordinance, and that's what we meant it to be," Mayor George Ziegler said of the law, which received initial approval last week.

Raymond Pistol, who applied to open the city's first peep show business, said he does not expect that the proposed ordinance will affect his request because he applied before the ordinance becomes effective. If given final approval Jan. 7, the ordinance will become effective 30 days later.

But Pistol's request has yet to receive approval. He was denied by the Planning Commission, which cited inadequate parking space, and now will appeal to the council on Jan. 7--the same day the officials are scheduled to finalize the new law.

The ordinance would mandate lighting and air-conditioning standards, set forth an application and permit process, enable police to conduct background investigations on applicants and employees and prohibit doors on booths used for viewing adult movies, City Administrator Roger Kemp said.

Pistol, who owns a shop called Brand X Video in Van Nuys, said his staff conducted a survey in north Orange County and found that there is a demand for such an establishment in Placentia. "I've (through staff members) spoken to several hundred people who live in a 10-mile radius who can't wait for it to open up," Pistol said.

Pistol, who has applied for a shop with 60 booths on the 1600 block of East Orangethorpe Avenue, said the same shopping center where he wants to open the business has a video store that sells adult videotapes and a mini-mart that sells adult magazines.

"It's already in (the) city. It's in that shopping center. There is a video store and a mini-market that already sells X-rated material. We're not bringing anything new into the community," Pistol said.

But Ziegler disagreed. Noting that the city has received letters from "church groups, PTAs, schools, young and old alike," he said: "I haven't found anybody for it yet."

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