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Community Digest

Bell Gardens

September 26, 1985

The City Council voted Monday to extend a 45-day urgency ordinance adopted in August that repealed a law banning fortune-telling and other occult businesses. The interim measure also directed the Planning Commission to develop an ordinance to regulate such businesses.

The urgency ordinance was extended for 10 1/2 months because the commission needed more time to draft new regulations, said Assistant City Manager Maria Aguirre. A public hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 15, but further revisions may be made before the new ordinance is presented to the City Council for adoption.

The action by the council comes in the wake of a recent state Supreme Court ruling that held such ordinances to be unconstitutional. In striking down an Azusa ordinance, the court ruled that cities can regulate fortune-telling businesses but cannot prohibit them.

Cities with similar ordinances have been put on notice that they are no longer enforceable. The Santa Fe Springs City Council, for example, threw out an ordinance banning fortune-telling businesses Sept. 12 and approved a 45-day moratorium on the establishment of such businesses until regulations are developed. Pico Rivera has taken similar action.

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