Planning Commission recommends keeping adult-oriented businesses to city outskirts

By: Patty McAlpin, Reporter
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Know and Go

City Council is expected to review the adult-oriented business ordinance at the Jan. 8 meeting. The 6 p.m. meeting is at McBean Park Pavilion, 65 McBean Park Drive.

An ordinance that would essentially keep any future adult-oriented business located at the outskirts of the city is being recommended to the Lincoln City Council by the Planning Commission.

The commission, on Dec. 19, voted unanimously to recommend changes to the ordinance governing such businesses. The original ordinance was adopted in 1989.

A moratorium on the establishment of adult-oriented businesses will expire Feb. 25. The moratorium was first enacted Feb.12, 2012 when the City Council adopted an emergency ordinance. The moratorium was extended by City Council this past April 10.

The emergency ordinance was adopted by the council following complaints from the community in summer 2011 about a tobacco store in the downtown commercial district selling a limited sideline of adult novelty items such as adult-type compact discs and adult magazines.

The current ordinance regulates sex-oriented book stores, motion picture theaters, hotels or motels, motion picture arcades, cabarets, model studios and sexual encounter centers. Nothing in the current ordinance addresses an “adult novelty store.”

The current ordinance also contains the operative words “preponderate portion,” meaning that a major portion of the business has to be devoted to a type of sex-oriented business to be identified and regulated as such.

Under the current ordinance, sex-oriented businesses can  locate in the light industrial district but must be 1,200 feet away from residentially zoned or used parcels; 500 feet from any other

sex-oriented entertainment business; and 1,200 feet from public or private schools, parks, playgrounds, recreational areas, public buildings, churches or non-commercial establishments operated by a bona fide religious organization.

The proposed zoning amendment would still require a conditional-use permit but would change the location criteria to permit adult-related businesses to operate in all 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 in the city of Lincoln fit the above description, according to George Dellwo, the city’s Development Services Department assistant director. The parcels are located in the areas of Athens and Industrial avenues; Sheridan Lincoln Boulevard north of Markham Ravine; and the west side of Gladding Road north of Markham Ravine.

“There are no applications,” Dellwo said. “But California law says we cannot prohibit them outright. We have to have enough locations where one could locate.”

After learning where they could locate, resident Sally Bradshaw asked the commissioners why Lincoln has to have any of those types of businesses.

Since such a business would admit those who are age 18 and older, Bradshaw said, she is concerned such a facility will attract half the seniors at Lincoln High School.

“This will be the new toy store for them,” Bradshaw said. “I do not see why we have to allow this in our town.”

Planning Commission chairman Michael Roberts asked, “Can’t we change to 21 and older?” and

commissioner Dan Cross responded, “18 is state law.”

Dellwo said such establishments are not allowed to sell alcohol and market themselves to the younger crowd by calling themselves a “juice bar.”

Commissioners questioned a requirement that a business cannot have more than 25 percent of its display square footage devoted to adult-related books and video products.