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Adult-oriented businesses won’t be downtown anymore

Parks to get biographical signs
By: Patty McAlpin, Reporter
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Lincoln City Council took steps Tuesday night to ensure any future adult-oriented business seeking to open in Lincoln will be at a location at the city’s outskirts.

On a unanimous vote, the five councilmen voted to adopt changes to the 1989 ordinance to regulate where an adult-oriented business can locate, limit hours of operation, require background checks on all owners and employees, installation of indoor and outdoor lighting as well as address how an establishment is built so patrons and employees are separated during live entertainment shows.

“It’s pretty restrictive and yet liberal enough not to be attacked in court,” Councilman Peter Gilbert said. “The timing is good. There are no applications.”

A new applicant could locate in light industrial, light industrial planned development and industrial zones in the city, provided that they are located 1,200 feet from residentially zoned or used parcels, 500 feet from any other sex-oriented entertainment business and 1,000 feet from public or private schools, parks, playgrounds, recreational areas, public buildings, churches or non-commercial establishments operated by a bona fide religious organization.

Three parcels match the new criteria, according to George Dellwo, the city’s Development Services Department assistant director. They are in the areas of Athens and Industrial avenues, 25 acres; Sheridan Lincoln Boulevard north of Markham Ravine, four acres; and the west side of Gladding Road north of Markham Ravine, 20 acres.

A moratorium on the establishment of adult-oriented businesses expires Feb. 25. That moratorium was put in place by City Council after complaints in summer 2011 that a tobacco shop in downtown was selling a sideline of adult-type compact discs and magazines. That business was located on G Street, which is now called Lincoln Boulevard.

Councilman Gabriel Hydrick asked Dellwo if there could be possible criminal activity stemming from like businesses being located 500 feet apart.

Dellwo said Lincoln officials looked at the ordinances of Auburn, Folsom, Rocklin and Placer County to craft language for Lincoln’s ordinance.

Lincoln city attorney Jon Hobbs said 500 feet is the standard in case law throughout the country.

“There are less if any effects,” Hobbs said. “Patrons going door to door to door would be problematic. Stick to the standard. The council can amend the ordinance if there are problems later on.”

Councilman Spencer Short asked if the police department would be burdened by having to perform background checks. He suggested that the responsibility be shifted to business owners and employees. He asked if they should be sent to the Department of Justice to obtain a printout.

“It would be best if they used the Livescan at the police department,” Lincoln Interim Police Chief Paul Shelgren said. “I don’t anticipate an influx of applications as the ordinance is written. It would be a minor burden if any at this time.”

If there was an influx, Gilbert said, the council could adopt an amendment to recover costs.

In other business, the council adopted a resolution to allow the Lincoln Rotary Club to fabricate and install biographical signs at city parks. The signs to be placed in existing and future parks will explain to park users who the individuals are who have had parks named for them.

The council ended the relatively short session at 7:25 p.m. The meeting started at 6 p.m.