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A SECOND ISSUE ON THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF A TOWNSHIP ADULT BUSINESS ORDINANCE IS STILL PENDING.



Published: Sat, June 30, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



A second issue on the constitutionality of a township adult business ordinance is still pending.

By LAURE CIOFFI

VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU

NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Adultland XXX will stay open -- for now.

Lawrence County Common Pleas Court Judge Ralph D. Pratt ruled in favor of adult bookstore owner Eric Boron this week on one of two pending issues.

Boron challenged a decision by the Pulaski Township Zoning Hearing Board to revoke his building occupancy permit for Adultland XXX, on U.S. Route 422 near the state line.

Township residents complained about the bookstore after learning that Boron didn't tell the township zoning officer there would be video viewing booths in the store before a building occupancy permit was issued.

The zoning hearing board agreed with the complaint and revoked Boron's license. The adult bookstore remained opened pending Boron's appeal.

Owner's argument: Boron's attorneys argued that it is commonly known that video viewing booths are in adult bookstores to allow patrons to preview videos for sale or rent.

They likened it to music stores allowing people to preview compact discs.

Pratt's ruling agreed, stating that the video viewing booths are an "accessory use." The ruling said it's not necessary to reveal every detail, operation or service in a business when applying for a permit.

A second ruling from the judge is pending on the constitutionality of a township ordinance that regulates the hours and employees of adult businesses.

Boron has said the township ordinance should not apply to him because it was enacted about five months after his store opened.

While waiting for a decision from the judge on the constitutionality of the ordinance, Boron and five employees did apply for permits required under it.

Police Chief James Morris denied the permits, saying there were several violations.

During a Feb. 2 inspection, Morris found a woman working who had not applied for a permit.

Requirement: The ordinance requires anyone wanting to work in an adult business to first apply for a permit. Police then do criminal background checks before deciding if a permit will be issued.

Boron says the woman was not an employee, but someone trying out for a job.

Morris also contends that Boron's application stated the hours of operation would be from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. That violates the township law that says adult-oriented businesses can only operate from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Boron appealed the police chief's decision to township supervisors.

Supervisors upheld the police chief's decision at their June 11 meeting, said Supervisor Dan Abramson.

Boron could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.




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