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Preemptive Strike Against Adult Businesses : Government: Fountain Valley will draft law just in case one decides to open in town--but city officials vow to ban them outright.

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Hoping to safeguard the community from adult businesses that might open here, the City Council last week adopted a law regulating where and how they could operate. Officials also vowed to seek a way to ban them outright.

Even though Fountain Valley has no nude or topless clubs or adult bookstores, council members said they want to make sure that limits are in place in case any such business moves into town.

“The first step is to limit the parameters that sexually oriented businesses can [have],” Councilman George B. Scott said. “The second step is to eliminate sexually oriented businesses altogether by involving the community, county, state and federal lawmakers.”

The courts have ruled that adult businesses are protected under the 1st Amendment. Cities cannot ban them but can set standards for their location and operation.

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Under an ordinance scheduled for final adoption Dec. 19, local adult businesses must close at 9 p.m. and would be allowed only in a portion of the Southpark industrial and commercial area.

Southpark, east of Euclid Street and west of the Santa Ana River, would provide a 600-foot buffer from homes and a nearby church along Euclid and Slater Avenue, Planning Services Manager Andrew Perea said.

Southpark has more restrictive development standards than any other commercial or industrial area of the city, Perea said.

Because of those rigid rules and its strong management association, he said, Southpark would be able to accommodate sexually-oriented businesses with minimal effect on nearby residential areas.

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Some people who live near Southpark disagreed, though, expressing concerns about higher crime rates and lower property values should such businesses open there.

“We feel 600 feet is too close to our community,” said Nora Brown, a Paradise Manor Management Assn. board member. “Six hundred feet won’t stop crime, and it won’t protect our children.”


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