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WESTMINSTER : City Buys Time to Limit Businesses

The City Council has approved a 45-day moratorium on issuing permits for certain types of businesses that have sometimes been used as fronts for prostitution and other illegal activity.

The temporary ban, approved last week, was requested by the Police Department, which has reported an influx of inquiries in recent weeks from people who want to set up tanning salons, dance studios, modeling studios and acupressure businesses in Wesminster.

City officials say they need time to strengthen laws regulating such businesses before they accept any new business applications.

“We noticed cities around us were adopting regulations and strictly enforcing them, so this is something we’ve been discussing internally for some time now,” City Manager Jerry Kenny said.

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City Atty. Richard Jones said that while it is impossible to prevent these businesses from coming into the city, it is possible to pass strict policies that might deter some of the applicants for permits.

Jones said the strengthened regulations would require those businesses to get police permits as well as business permits. The police permit would allow the city to check an applicant’s criminal history.

At the end of the 45-day ban, the city has the option of extending the moratorium for up to 10 months. But Jones said he thinks that the changes will be ready for adoption by the City Council by early September.


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