Citizens Back Bill Restricting Porn Shops

'You See People Creeping Around In Your Alley'

February 25, 1992|By John A. Morris | John A. Morris,Staff writer

Living next to an adult bookstore is something a group of Glen Burnie residents say they wouldn't wish on anyone.

That's why they havethrown their support behind statewide legislation that would ban adult bookstores, peep shows and movie theaters within 1,000 feet of homes, schools, libraries, parks, day care centers and churches.

The bill, sponsored by Del. Joan Cadden, a Democrat from BrooklynPark, mirrors new zoning regulations adopted last November by the Anne Arundel County Council.

"We don't want to drive our problem into someone else's neighborhood," said Debbie Brunetti, a member of theneighborhood group that pressed for changes in the county zoning laws.

"Our thrust is that some businesses are appropriate for residential neighborhoods and some are not."

Glen Burnie residents were "horrified" when an adult bookstore opened last summer at the corner of Crain Highway and Wilson Boulevard, adjacent to an established residential community and along the path neighborhood children walk to and from Richard Henry Lee Elementary School, said Muriel Carter, president of the Glen Burnie Improvement Association.

"We felt the people who would be hanging out there would not be of the caliber we wanthanging around our children," Carter said.

Since Paradise One opened last summer, Debbie Cunningham said, the neighborhood has taken adefinite turn for the perverse. "You see people creeping around in your alley, doing things that don't really make you comfortable," she said.

An ad hoc citizens group quickly organized, and with the support of the Glen Burnie Improvement Association, helped push stricterzoning regulations through the County Council.

The county law restricts the businesses to areas zoned C-4 (highway commercial) and W-3(heavy industrial). It also requires the interiors of 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.

County officials have said Paradise One will have one year to move from the residential neighborhood and comply with the new regulations.

Worried that the owners might move the bookstore's operation to another neighborhood, residents asked Cadden to introduce statewide legislation. Cadden's bill goes before the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow.

"They didn't want these places moving from our county to another county," Cadden said. "They didn't feel it belonged in anyone's neighborhood."

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