Downtown Area : Council Moves to Create Zone for Adult Shops

Times Staff Writer

In what Mayor Carl Raggio termed “a calculated risk,” the Glendale City Council moved Tuesday to confine adult-entertainment businesses to the downtown commercial district

The council introduced an ordinance requiring that all Glendale-based adult shops operate in the 146-acre corridor surrounding Brand Boulevard and Central Avenue, where 1,319 businesses now operate.

Under the proposed ordinance, adult shops would be required to be located at least 450 feet away from residential zones, schools, playgrounds, churches and temples. They would also have to be at least 700 feet away from each other.

The ordinance would allow the city’s only adult shop, Total News and Video, located on 6524 San Fernando road, two years to move downtown or close.


City Manager David Ramsay said the new ordinance was “as tight as we can make it while still being legal.” The First Amendment prohibits the outright ban of adult-entertainment businesses.

However, Total News and Video attorney Roger Diamond warned city officials that new ordinance would attract, instead of discourage, adult-oriented businesses.

‘Opened a Can of Worms’

Diamond urged the City Council to reject the proposed ordinance at a public hearing Tuesday, and later said he would challenge it in court. He said that the new ordinance “opened a can of worms” by exposing the city to litigation and opening the downtown district to the adult shop industry.


“The city’s ripe for the picking,” Diamond said after the hearing. “They’ve given us downtown Glendale.” He said he would contact friends in the industry and woo them to move in with their businesses.

Raggio said he hoped that the presence of shoppers and office workers doing business downtown would discourage potential patrons from entering the adult shops, which would eventually go out of business. Councilman Jerold Milner added that the high market price of downtown rental space would make it very difficult for adult shop owners to move in.

The attempt to impose the new regulations is the latest round in an ongoing feud between the city and Total News and Video, since its opening in May, 1986.