Council Bans Adult Bookstores In Residential Areas

November 20, 1991|By Paul Shread | Paul Shread,Staff writer

Pornography and homes don't mix, say County Council members, who unanimously approved a bill forcing Arundel's four adult bookstores to move.

But the owners of the four stores will sue to challenge the bill, which forbids adult bookstores and peep shows in residential neighborhoods, a county official predicted.

"We'll be back in court," said Deputy County Attorney David Plymyer. "There's no doubt about it."

Attorneys for the stores couldn'tbe reached yesterday.

Residents turned out in force earlier this year to oppose peep shows and adult bookstores proposed for Glen Burnie and Odenton. Those stores, which opened as adult bookstores after the council approved a moratorium on new peep show licenses, will have to close under the new law.

In addition to new adult bookstores in Glen Burnie and Odenton, a second Odenton store and an Annapolis store also will have to close.

"This is better than anything I could have imagined," said Larry Cunningham, who lives near the Glen Burnie store. "I'm not trying to legislate my morality or anyone else's. I don't think it's appropriate in the neighborhood I live in."

Thecounty approved the peep-show moratorium to give officials time to develop the new regulations approved by the council Monday night. Council members David Boschert, D-Crownsville, and Edward Middlebrooks, D-Severn, proposed the ban.

Bookstores and peep shows unsuccessfully challenged the moratorium in courton constitutional grounds.

Thelegislation, developed by a county task force, will prohibit adult bookstores, peep shows and movie theaters from operating within 1,000 feet of homes, schools, libraries, parks, day-care centers, churches or other adult entertainment establishments.

It restricts the businesses to areas zoned C-4 (highway commercial) and W-3 (heavy industrial) under county zoning law.

The bill also requires the interiorsof peep show booths at which X-rated movies are shown to be open, lighted and visible from a manager's station, to prevent sexual activity in the booths.

In other action Monday night, the County Council:

* Heard testimony on a bill that would prevent organized crime from having ties to the county's commercial bingo parlors.

Only two people spoke on the bill, and no one opposed it. The council could approve it as early as next month. The legislation would deny licenses to owners and managers with ties to organized crime or gambling convictions and require them to submit to background checks.

* Introduced a resolution that would release construction money for North County High School. A public hearing on the resolution is set for Dec. 2.

* Listened as representatives of the Magothy and Severn river associations called for stricter controls on a new law allowing recreational piers.

The law, approved at the request of residents of Atlantis in Cape St. Claire, allows communities to build non-boating piers with county and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approval. Evans, who sponsored the legislation, said she will meet with groups to discuss amendments to the bill, which she said merely codifies a long-standing county practice of approving such piers.

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