West County

June 25, 1993

County agrees not to charge adult bookstore pending ruling

County officials have agreed not to file criminal charges against an Odenton adult bookstore until a suit filed by the store is decided by a Circuit Court judge.

Attorneys for the county and for Annapolis Road Ltd., which operates the store in the 1600 block of Annapolis Road, reached the agreement yesterday.

Deputy County Attorney David Plymyer said he plans to file counter suits within days against Annapolis Road and another adult bookstore in the Parole area, 2020 C, in an attempt to enforce a two-year-old county law and shut down the operations.

He said the county was not planning criminal charges against Annapolis Road anyway.

Attorneys for the the shop alleged in a suit filed several weeks ago that a 1991 county ordinance aimed at regulating adult video arcades and bookstores through zoning codes and licensing fees is unconstitutional.

The County Council passed legislation in November 1991 that required licenses for adult bookstores and adult video arcades. The law also requires that they be located in certain types of commercial and industrial areas and that they be at least 1,000 feet from any home, school, library, park, playground or church.

Annapolis Road, which is not in such a zone, applied for a nonconforming use permit that would have allowed it to remain open, but it was denied the permit in March and ordered to close June 16, according to court papers.

Attorneys for the store say the order to close violates the shop's First Amendment right to freedom of expression.

Hoyer urges D.C. to alert officials to prison escapes

A Maryland congressman is urging Washington, D.C., officials to alert local law enforcement authorities about escapes from the district's maximum security prison for juveniles in Laurel.

U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-5th, said the Oak Hill Detention Center is crowded because many youths have been transferred there from the defunct Cedar Knoll minimum security jail across the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

D.C. officials have been criticized for not alerting county police immediately after escapes, which plagued the Cedar Knoll facility, but occur less frequently from Oak Hill.

The House Appropriations Committee approved language yesterday in the district's 1994 appropriations bill requesting D.C. officials to "take appropriate steps to identify escapees and alert the surrounding community of an escape from the facility."

Mr. Hoyer is asking the various law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Park Police, Anne Arundel police and the Maryland State Police, to sign a memorandum of understanding, drafted more than a year ago, to coordinate their efforts if escapes occur.

"I intend to work with all parties involved to see that this agreement is adopted and a community system is implemented in the event that it is needed," Mr. Hoyer said.

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