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MISSION VIEJO : City Might Regulate Adult News Racks

August 03, 1994|FRANK MESSINA

Distributors of adult-oriented news rack publications would be required to apply for a permit from City Hall under an ordinance backed by the Planning Commission this week.

City planners said the ordinance, which must receive final approval from the City Council, will help keep track of news racks that feature sexually explicit materials.

The news rack ordinance also would enable the city to regulate where the stands are located. In addition, the proposed law requires that no sexually suggestive words or pictures be visible from outside the vending machine.

"What we're trying to do is get news racks registered and make sure to put them where they belong," Commissioner Sherri Butterfield said. "This way, if we have a problem with the material or if a newsstand gets knocked over or needs repair, we can contact the owner directly."

The ordinance would not require a permit fee. Also, only one permit is required for any number of news racks.

Butterfield said there is no count of the number of news racks featuring adult materials in Mission Viejo, and "one of the purposes for instituting a permit process is to take an inventory."

Planners had agreed on the need for a news rack ordinance in June, but delayed their approval in order to insert the permit requirement and further define descriptions of adult materials.

The news rack law would allow removal of any stands that allow the display of sexually explicit words or pictures. News racks that are placed near schools or impede the public right of way could also be relocated under the proposed ordinance.

News rack distributors also would have to install blinders that cover at least two-thirds of the publication.

The proposed ordinance is the city's latest attempt to regulate adult-oriented businesses or materials in Mission Viejo.

Last year, the City Council passed an adult business ordinance that restricted establishments such as cabaret shows and massage parlors to certain areas of Mission Viejo to keep them away from churches, schools and residential areas.

Nobody appeared before the commission, which met Monday, to oppose the ordinance.

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