Sunday, May 20, 2007

Houston Begins Shut-Down of Adult Entertainment...

Here's some bullshit from Houston, TX about "regulation."

I got this shit off Adultfyi.com.





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Houston Begins Shut-Down of Adult Entertainment

Houston- The city has ordered more than 100 adult cabarets, bookstores and other so-called sexually oriented businesses to close down their operations or face criminal and civil penalties, according to warning letters obtained by the Houston Chronicle.

City Attorney Arturo Michel's office mailed the certified letters on Thursday, stating that the businesses were violating an ordinance prohibiting them from operating within 1,500 feet of schools, parks, churches and other "sensitive" locations in the city. The cease-and-desist letters mean that employees and owners of the businesses face arrest "soon" if they fail to heed the city's notice, said Capt. Steve Jett, who commands the Houston Police Department's vice unit."They need to close up," he said. "We wanted to give them fair warning."

The move comes after a federal judge ruled in March that the police could begin enforcing the ordinance, which City Council passed in 1997. The restrictions, which also restrict the businesses from locating in largely residential areas or too close together, have been on hold for a decade, as federal district and appellate courts weighed the constitutionality of the ordinance. In a trial earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas ruled the ordinance's distance provisions didn't violate the business owners' rights to commercial speech, finding there were sufficient alternative sites for them to locate when the council passed the ordinance a decade ago. It's unclear how many such locations, especially those that might be commercially viable, remain.

Last month, Mayor Bill White promised "aggressive" enforcement of the ordinance, which could close down large, multimillion-dollar adult clubs such as Treasures and The Men's Club, but also scores of small adult bookstores and "modeling" studios. Club owners and attorneys reached late Thursday declined to comment out of fear they could jeopardize their employees and businesses first. Some also have notified Atlas' court that they intend to appeal her ruling. A manager at one establishment said he was disappointed to hear of the city's crackdown. "It's hard to legislate morality," said Thomas Venza, a manager at Centerfolds Adult Entertainment, in the 6100 block of Richmond. "If you don't agree with it, don't go." At least nine businesses have filed new lawsuits in state courts here in recent weeks, challenging the ordinance's provision for "amortization," a process by which the city could let clubs operate for a period after the law takes effect so owners can recoup their investments before moving or closing. White has said the clubs had a decade to prepare for the looming enforcement.

Privately, industry officials said they think the city's crackdown is unfair, noting that they are lawful businesses that contribute millions of dollars to the local economy through employment and sales taxes. Some also decry that all such businesses are linked together in one ordinance. They see a distinction between adult cabaret clubs, which require multiple permits because their businesses depend on liquor and food sales, from modeling studios and spas, some of which police say are nothing more than fronts for prostitution. Those distinctions have not been important to elected officials and police, who plan to begin enforcement as soon as next week. "The sole purpose of this notice is to clarify the City of Houston's legal authority and intent to enforce ordinance provisions governing sexually oriented business enterprises beginning immediately," the letter reads. "This notice is not subject to reconsideration or administrative recourse."

Employees and owners could face arrest on a Class A misdemeanor charge punishable by up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine. The city also may seek civil injunctions forcing closures. Jett called the letter a "courtesy." "We would much rather them comply, and let them know that the city is dead serious about this," he said. "We're not saying they can't operate. We're just saying they need to move."

Chronicle reporters Alexis Grant and Chase Davis contributed to this story


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Fortunately, The Federal Court ruled AGAINST The Greensboro City Council on some similar shit. Whether The Council wants 2 admit it or not, they didn't give the city's adult businesses enough places 2 move 2, THAT'S WHY THEY LOST!!

Of course, that doesn't mean that they r giving up the fight on this. Some of the clubs in the city have gone 2 court AGAIN because of this bullshit.

They LOST once, & they'll LOSE AGAIN!!


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