Adult businesses won't be allowed on U.S. Route 224 or Market Street.
By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
BOARDMAN -- Adult cabarets, or strip clubs, can make the township their home, but only under the tight scrutiny and watchful eye of trustees, police and zoning officials.
Trustees voted recently to enact a resolution that will regulate where the businesses can operate, what times they can operate, and require licenses for all employees of any such business.
Trustees said regulation of strip clubs was of immediate concern because the township's zoning codes dealing with the issue were similar to Austintown Township's zoning codes, which a court ruled were unconstitutional.
Trustees also were concerned that the township's vast commercial district would eventually attract such businesses.
"We had to pass this resolution immediately," said trustee Tom Costello. "Before this we had nothing, and we needed something to protect the citizens of this community."
Professor Alan Weinstein, who worked with Darrin Crivelli, assistant township zoning inspector in drafting the language of the resolution, told trustees an outright ban of the clubs would not hold up in court, but regulations out of secondary concerns for crime are permitted. He said the most important regulation is location.
Under the resolution, adult cabarets will be permitted only in industrial districts and commercial districts that abut South Avenue and are between McClurg Road and a point 1,000 feet south of Beech Avenue.
The businesses will not be permitted on Market Street or U.S. Route 224.
The resolution also says the businesses may not be located within 500 feet of churches, schools, public parks and areas of recreation, residential areas or other adult cabarets.
Trustee Kathy Miller did not vote for the ordinance, saying the property along South Avenue starting at McClurg Road should be off limits to such business.
Weinstein said, however, that area must be made open to the businesses to provide ample available space as dictated by law. Too little available space and the entire resolution could be struck down, he said.
The resolution also limits the businesses to operating only from noon to midnight. Employees at such businesses may not entertain completely nude, and any form of touching between patrons and employees, such as lap dancing, also is out.
Adult cabaret owners will have to apply to the township for a license to operate the business as well as a license for each employee. Those licenses will have to be renewed on an annual basis.
Language in the resolution applies only to adult cabarets. Other types of adult businesses will be handled through the township zoning codes. The resolution takes effect in 30 days.