Commissioners delay vote on adult business ordinance

"Those against pornography and adult entertainment industry workers will have to wait one more week for commissioners to decide whether a proposed adult entertainment ordinance for Kitsap County should become law.Monday, the county commissioners delayed their decision for a week after listening to more public testimony on the issue and explanations of new additions to the ordinance. In the meantime, several questions need to be answered.For example, Commissioner Tim Botkin wondered if the wording “shall” would force the county to issue an inappropriate adult entertainment business permit if the business met ordinance requirements. Although the ordinance prohibits adult businesses from locating in residential neighborhoods and within 1,000 feet of playgrounds and schools, Botkin was concerned that it did not provide for all cases in which an adult-oriented business could be inappropriately located.County administrator Malcolm Fleming said Botkin’s proposed loophole – that an adult business license could be denied for reasons other than those outlined in the ordinance – “opened a can of worms” to a subjective standard, as Botkin put it.Fleming said he wanted adult business rules to be “very black and white” because issuing a permit is a departmental decision. Botkin asked county lawyers to look at whether a more subjective standard could open the door to litigation.“The question is which makes a more solid ordinance? Which is a better rule of law?” Botkin said.David St. Martin, president of the anti-pornography group Citizens for a Quality Community, reiterated some of his concerns with the county proposal. He said the ordinance should prohibit “indecent or lewd behavior” at the adult businesses.St. Martin added that his group would also like private viewing booths, or “peep booths,” regulated. And he asked for a “severability clause” that would allow the ordinance to remain effective even if a court rules that part of the law is unconstitutional.Other proposed ordinance changes:• An older draft of the proposed ordinance allowed adult entertainment stores to be open from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. In the new version, stores may be open from 8 a.m.-1 a.m.• The new ordinance includes four pages of rationale for why sexually oriented businesses should be regulated. • The older draft prohibited adult businesses from locating within 1,000 feet of playgrounds, residential areas, schools, daycare centers and places of worship. A newer draft stipulates that adult businesses may be located only in three types of commercial zones, and the 1,000-foot rule remains intact.• The older draft required an annual $1,162 adult entertainment business license. The newer draft cut the annual fee to $750. Fleming estimated the adult businesses would require several county departments’ attention (including the sheriff, health district and auditor) with a total of 24 hours of county staff time expended on each business per year. Calculating that time at $24.97 per hour, plus benefits, and $150 per application in overhead costs, Fleming arrived at about $750 in administrative costs to the county."

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