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Long Beach : Adult Attractions Targeted

March 20, 1986

The City Council has begun a push that could ultimately force adult theaters and bookstores out of residential neighborhoods within three years.

The council voted unanimously Tuesday to have the city attorney draft an ordinance and have it reviewed by the Planning Commission.

Under the proposal, an existing adult bookstore or theater would be uprooted if it is within 500 feet of a residential neighborhood, church, school or public park.

City law prohibits such theaters and bookstores from setting up shop within 500 feet of residences and 1,000 feet of churches, schools, parks or other adult entertainment businesses. But businesses operating before the measure was approved were not affected.

The tough restrictions of the new proposal would make it nearly impossible for adult entertainment businesses to remain in residential areas, requiring instead that they squeeze into industrial and commercial districts, officials say.

Leaders of the adult entertainment industry have challenged such prohibitions in the past, maintaining that they amount to censorship. Councilman Warren Harwood, however, contends that the issue is one of improper land uses, saying the businesses act as a magnet for prostitution and unruly patrons who disturb residents.

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