The City Council last week approved an amendment to a zoning ordinance that would drop a requirement for a conditional use permit for adult businesses.
Adult businesses will now be classified as permitted uses, rather than conditional uses, in commercial zones. Other amendments include deleting provisions that require approval for the size and type of signs and reducing the termination period for a nonconforming adult business use from five years to one year. Adult businesses were previously given five years to comply with the zoning requirements.
The changes were made because there were questions about whether the conditional use permit process is proper for First Amendment uses, a staff report said. The council referred the matter to the Planning Commission last year, which approved the changes earlier in June after it sought to strengthen the city's ordinance.
The city settled out of court last year with the owner of a topless bar after he sued, challenging the constitutionality of the city's ordinance. The 1979 ordinance allowed adult businesses to operate only with a conditional use permit. A permit could not be issued if the business was within 500 feet of schools, residential zones or another adult business. The ordinance gave businesses until December, 1984, to comply or close.