VENTURA : Council Backs Limits on Adult Businesses

To applause from some anti-pornography activists, the Ventura City Council approved a law this week banning adult-oriented businesses from all but the city's industrial areas.

The council approved the measure 6 to 1 Monday night. Councilman Gregory L. Carson opposed it because he felt some of the ordinance's language was vague and could allow "local citizens to be little vigilantes" in fighting all forms of nudity and obscenity around the city.

The council will have to vote on the ordinance again next week before it becomes law.

The law would prohibit adult-oriented businesses from operating within 200 feet of each other and within 500 feet of a church, school, residence or other place where children might be.

Ken Rose, a Ventura man who said he used to work in the pornography industry, applauded the council for approving the restrictions but asked that it consider prohibiting such businesses entirely in the future.

The city attorney has warned the council against doing so because it is unconstitutional.

In a 4-3 vote, council members also asked city planners to consider crafting a law prohibiting churches, schools and other structures frequented by children from locating within 500 feet of a pre-existing adult business.

Council members Jim Monahan and Jack Tingstrom and Mayor Tom Buford opposed the motion.

In a similar action, the Santa Paula City Council on Monday enacted an urgency ordinance that effectively blocks adult businesses from opening in the city.

A recent inquiry about opening an adult business in Santa Paula prompted City Atty. Phillip H. Romney to recommend that the council give him 45 days to draft permanent amendments to the existing law, which he said was legally deficient.

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