County adult video bill withdrawn

Council members say they will retool legislation to restrict adult business

May 27, 2010|By Mary Gail Hare, The Baltimore Sun

Two members of the Baltimore County Council have withdrawn a bill that would have added restrictions on adult businesses and forced some to relocate.

Council Chairman John Olszewski and Councilman Sam Moxley vowed to rework the bill, which had been set for a vote Thursday, and bring it back to the panel within a few weeks.

"We are still looking for a way to buffer these businesses from the community," Olszewski said. "We will retool and make the bill cleaner and definitely reintroduce it."

The seven-member panel could decide on another version of the proposal as soon as June 7, he said.

The bill would have restricted businesses that deal in sexually explicit materials to nonresidential and noncommercial areas, such as warehouse complexes. All such businesses, including video stores, massage and tattoo parlors, would have had to be at least 1,000 feet from residences or community establishments such as schools, churches or day care centers.

Mainstream video stores would have had to reduce their adult merchandise from the maximum allowable 20 percent to 5 percent of inventory.

"We are pulling the bill back while we discuss whether 5 percent is too much and how far we want to go," Moxley said.

Moxley, who represents the southwestern part of the county, has also asked the county legal staff for an opinion on banning viewing booths in video stores. He has received several complaints from constituents about a video store in his district that has booths with peepholes and clear glass areas.

"I am waiting to hear if we can ban booths or at least add more stringent restrictions," he said.

Olszewski said the delay would give the public more time to comment on the proposal.

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