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West Ventura County Focus

OXNARD : Ordinance Restricting Adult Businesses OKd

August 18, 1993|MATTHEW MOSK

The Oxnard City Council passed a controversial ordinance Tuesday night limiting the location of adult businesses, but agreed to allow the city's two adult bookstores to temporarily remain where they are to avoid possible litigation.

The council, convinced that it would be subject to costly legal action, toned down the ordinance so that the existing adult bookstores might remain where they are until their leases expire.

A vocal crowd of about 200 residents was silenced by a firm statement made by Councilman Andres Herrera. "I don't care what anybody thinks. These businesses have constitutional rights," Herrera said. "The fact is, they are not illegal businesses."

Janet LaRue, an attorney for the National Law Center for Children and Families, an anti-pornography organization, urged the council to reconsider, saying the change would leave holes that would make the ordinance toothless.

"Prevention of disorder is a reasonable goal for an ordinance," she said.

City Atty. Gary Gillig, who opposed LaRue's hard-line position, convinced the council that the city could reach an acceptable settlement with the existing adult businesses. Gillig will negotiate with the business owners during the next week to determine how long they can stay.

The council voted unanimously to approve the ordinance, which will go into effect after a month of review.

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