County Council Votes Tonight On Proposal To Ban Peep Shows

August 05, 1991|By Paul Shread | Paul Shread,Staff writer

The County Council will vote tonight on a moratorium that would prevent new businesses from showing adult videos.

Two council members proposed the moratorium after two companies applied for licenses to show peep shows in Glen Burnie and Odenton.

Because of community opposition, the companies, Magura and Tokai enterprises, last week dropped plans to show adult videos. However, the two companies have approval to sell adult books and videos.

Councilmen Edward Middlebrooks, D-Severn, and David G. Boschert, D-Crownsville, plan to go ahead with the moratorium anyway. The councilmen said they didn't want to return to the days when downtown Glen Burnie and Boomtown in Odenton were known for strip joints and peep shows.

"People don't want to see that come back," Middlebrooks said.

Another bill proposed by the two councilmen asks County Executive Robert R. Neall to appoint a committee to develop new guidelines regulating peep shows. The committee would recommend new guidelines by Dec. 1.

Last week, the county cracked down on two businesses that have been showing peep shows for years without proper "Class Y" licenses.

County Attorney Stephen R. Beard threatened to take the two businesses, 2020 News in Parole and Annapolis Road Books in Odenton, to court.

But the owner of the Odenton store agreed to stop showing peep shows until he obtains a license. As of Friday, the peep shows had stopped running, Beard said.

But the owner of the Parole store told county inspectors Friday he won't stop showing peep shows, Beard said,so the county will take him to court.

"We will be in court with 2020 News," Beard said.

In other action Monday night, the council will conduct hearings on three bills recommending changes to the county's critical areas law, which restricts development within 1,000 feetof tidal wetlands or the shoreline.

* One bill would open up landaround the old Wiley H. Bates High School in Annapolis for development. Both supporters and opponents predict a large turnout for the hearing.

Bates was the only high school for blacks in the county until it was desegregated in 1966.

Since it closed in 1981, a coalition of housing advocates called the Bates Development Corporation has been trying to convert the school into apartments for the elderly and a multipurpose center.

The group also wants to create a monument for Bates, who served as a city alderman in the 1800s.

However, removing asbestos from the school will cost $1 million, and the corporation hasn't been able to convince government officials to pay for the project.

So the group has proposed building 90 town homes on critical-areas land near the school to finance the asbestos removal. The group says it can't make the project work without the town homes.

Environmentalists, however, say the project would destory 11 acres of the city's diminishing open space.

If approved, the final decisionto let the group build on the land would be up to the Annapolis CityCouncil.

* Another bill would allow a fixed amount of developmenton about 160 acres of critical-areas land.

The state critical-areas law allows the county to open up a certain amount of such land to more intensive development. The bill, proposed by the county administration, would allow 58 acres to be developed at one home per four acres, and 102 acres to be developed for industrial, commercial and higher-density residential development.

If the bill is approved, property owners can apply to the county Office of Planning and Zoning to develop their land more intensively.

* A third critical-areas bill,proposed by Councilwomen Diane R. Evans, R-Arnold, and Maureen Lamb,D-Annapolis, would allow tree-planting funds to be used to buy woodlands and to replant shoreline grasses.

The money is collected fromdevelopers who build in critical areas.

The county has about $700,000 in the fund, but hasn't planted any trees because it hasn't found appropriate sites.

However, the law has resulted in developers' spending $400,000 to replant trees in areas they've cleared.

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