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La Habra Adds to Limits Where Adult Businesses May Operate

The Planning Commission this week unanimously adopted an ordinance that prohibits sexually oriented businesses from opening within 250 feet of a school.

In addition, such establishments must be at least 275 feet from any home and 150 feet from other similar businesses, which include adult book and video stores, topless bars and X-rated theaters.

City Council members will consider adopting the same ordinance within weeks before a 300-day moratorium on issuing permits to adult businesses expires, city officials said. The moratorium imposed in January extended a 45-day ban that was adopted in November after the council heard a rumor that someone planned to seek permission to open a nude bar here.

City planners said uncontrolled adult businesses inflict detrimental social and economic strains on residents and other businesses around them. In a report to the Planning Commission, they said crime rates are higher in areas where such businesses operate.

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The report also said the image of the city “as a pleasant and attractive place to reside will be adversely affected by the presence of adult businesses in close proximity to” neighborhoods, churches, schools and parks.

Churchgoers and pastors agreed and applauded the Planning Commission’s action.

“We do not need adult businesses in this city,” the Rev. Rex Spraggins said. “Any type of adult business literally destroys families. . . . I’m not a prude, but we do not need it in this city.”

Some businesses and property owners who rent business space sent letters to city officials opposing the ordinance because it might discourage people from opening adult businesses in their complexes.

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