WEST COVINA — A 45-day moratorium on "adult" businesses has been enacted by the City Council to allow the Planning Department and city attorney's office time to draft an ordinance regulating such establishments.
The city has no adult theaters or bookstores and no ordinances regulating their location or operation. And although the city has received no application to open an adult business, several people have called City Hall recently seeking information on how such businesses could be operated, City Atty. Colin Lennard said.
In presenting the proposed moratorium to the council, Mayor Chet Shearer made it clear that he would prefer that the city continue to have no adult businesses, which he called "morally dirty."
"But the courts have found over and over that you just can't ban them outright; you've got to be nice to these people," Shearer said. The U. S. Supreme Court has consistently held that cities cannot prohibit adult entertainment, which is protected as free expression under the First Amendment. However, cities can regulate the "time, place and manner" in which the businesses operate by restricting their operating hours and proximity to churches, schools and other adult entertainment establishments.