BROOKFIELD Trustees set limits for adult nightclubs
The trustees said they wouldn't take property unless in the public interest.
BROOKFIELD -- Township trustees gave first reading approval Tuesday night to an ordinance that would regulate business hours and set health inspection requirements for adult nightclubs and similar businesses.
The proposed regulations will be the subject of public hearings at 6 p.m. Aug. 1 and Sept. 5 at the township administration building.
Trustees discussed this issue at their June 6 meeting, a few weeks after the township's first "adult cabaret" opened.
Trustee chairman Philip Schmidt said that the "adult cabarets and massage establishments" covered by the ordinance have a First Amendment right to locate in the township, which does not have zoning regulations.
"It makes no difference whether there is zoning or not," he said. "We have to let them come in if they want to locate here."
He said commissioners have received no complaints about the new adult nightclub.
The resolution introduced Tuesday night would limit operating hours of the affected businesses to 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m., which Schmidt said was consistent with operating hours of other establishments serving alcoholic beverages in the township.
It would also require health inspections and physical examinations -- including for sexually transmitted diseases -- for all employees of adult businesses.
In other business, the trustees unanimously passed a resolution criticizing a recent Supreme Court decision that allows local governments to seize personal property for purposes of private economic development.
In the resolution, trustees said they would not exercise the power of eminent domain except in situations that "clearly serve the public interest."
"I think it's a dangerous decision," Schmidt said after the reading of the resolution. "I think it shows the need for conservative judges that will interpret the law rather than make the law."
The trustees agreed to take action on several "nuisance houses" in need of extensive upkeep in the township limits. Letters will be sent to several homeowners requesting that they mow high grass or remove debris, junk or garbage from their yards.
"We have to protect the value of residences and property in the township," said Trustee Gary Lees. He said Ohio law allows the township to do the necessary work if the homeowner doesn't respond, and then add the cost onto the homeowner's tax bill.
The trustees also:
UApproved the expenditure of about $151,000 for a new ambulance, to be placed in service by the beginning of 2006.
UApproved the designation of Health America as the new health insurance carrier for the 20 employees insured by the township. Fire Chief Keith Barrett said the move would save the township about $14,000 and would avoid a 29 percent premium increase that would have been put into effect by the previous carrier. Corey Financial Services of Pittsburgh will administer the plan.
UApproved the expenditure of $4,989 for three new decorative streetlights to be placed around the town green. The township will place 10 new lights, which have brackets and hooks for hanging flags and wreaths, around the green over the next three years as part of an overall beautification plan, township supervisor Jamie Fredenburg said.
UHeard a report from Fredenburg about recently completed street paving. The township spent about $134,000 to pave about two miles of streets in the township limits. Areas paved included all of Brookfield Estates and sections of Amy Boyle and Collar-Price roads.
UHired Jeff Wagner of Cortland as a part-time medic with the fire department.
UDeclined an offer by the Botar family to sell the township a parcel of land between state Route 7 and Strimbu Drive near the township administration building.