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Downey : Opaque News Racks Law

November 12, 1987

The Downey City Council tentatively approved an ordinance Tuesday that would require news racks containing adult publications to be equipped with opaque covers. The council is expected to give final approval to the ordinance at its Nov. 24 meeting. The ordinance would take effect Jan. 1.

The council acted in response to passage of Assembly Bill 711, which takes effect Jan. 1. The new law will allow cities to restrict the public display of material deemed harmful to minors by requiring "blinder racks" so that the lower two-thirds of such publications are not exposed to public view.

A coalition of church and civic groups last February called on the council to ban from Downey sidewalks vending machines offering sexually oriented publications that children could purchase. That prompted the City Council to consider various measures, including banning all news racks from city streets. But the council took no action for fear of violating constitutional guarantees.

In other action, the council extended its moratorium on motel construction for six months. The moratorium, which is to give the city time to establish new motel design standards, went into effect last July and was to expire last Tuesday.

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