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Radcliff to place new regulations on adult entertainment

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Ordinance bans alcohol, nudity in sexually oriented businesses

By Marty Finley

Radcliff City Council is looking to implement an adult entertainment ordinance ahead of a vote to expand alcohol sales to wet status in early October.

The ordinance as proposed would prohibit the sale of alcohol in sexually oriented businesses and regulate where adult entertainment could develop in the city.

Radcliff’s ordinance roughly mirrors laws enacted in Louisville that withstood the scrutiny of the Kentucky Supreme Court, City Attorney Michael Pike said.

Pike tweaked the ordinance to full compliance because a portion of Louisville’s ordinance was outlawed by the state’s highest court.

Radcliff has been working on the ordinance for months and Mayor J.J. Duvall said he would like to see it adopted before voters head to the polls Oct. 4 to consider the wet-dry vote.

In addition to barring alcohol, the ordinance would ban nudity in sexually oriented establishments and require employees in a semi-nude state to remain a minimum of six feet away from customers. Likewise, employees working in a semi-nude state cannot receive money directly from customers and cannot touch patrons.

Semi-nudity in the ordinance is defined as an employee wearing opaque clothing to cover only certain portions of the body.

One of the main concerns the council expressed was the desire to keep adult entertainment a reasonable distance from schools and residential areas. Under the ordinance, a sexually oriented business must operate at least 500 feet from schools, churches, residential areas, a park-mall or park-like open space under government authority, or a building used for a government function or a public library.

To clarify, Pike said the 500 feet requirement would apply from the front door of the adult establishment to the nearest boundary line of the adjoining property.

Councilwoman Barbara Baker posed a hypothetical question, asking how the requirement would apply if the sexually oriented business was inside a mall structure. For instance, she asked if an adult entertainment business could move into a location like Towne Mall in Elizabethtown if a daycare also is in the building.  

Pike said he would have to research the inquiry further before he could provide an answer.

Councilman Edward Palmer suggested the city consider expanding the building requirement beyond 500 feet and install the maximum distance other cities have legally prohibited construction of sexually oriented businesses.  

Palmer said his concern is to protect children from the influences of sexually oriented businesses and their customers.

“I’m not in favor of adult entertainment, but we have to regulate these types of businesses,” he said.

City Planner Murray Wanner said the city would need to exercise caution in expanding the location restrictions to avoid “exclusionary zoning,” which is considered overly restrictive. In those cases, Wanner said, litigation could be brought against the city.

Pike agreed.

“You can’t expand it to (the point) as such that it’s illegal for the business to exist,” he said.

Palmer also asked if the ordinance could include a parameter to prohibit employees of a sexually oriented business from entering or exiting the building in a scantily clad “costume.”

But Pike said the city’s hands are tied if the employee’s dress does not violate public nudity laws.

“A woman can come to a council meeting in a bikini if she wants to,” Pike said.

The ordinance also would require sexually oriented businesses to construct the facility in a way that a manager’s or cashier’s view of the entire building is unobstructed excluding restrooms and equipped with overhead lighting of “sufficient intensity” to illuminate the area. The ordinance also bans openings between viewing rooms or booths and allows no more than one person at a time in a viewing room.

Sexually oriented business also would be prohibited from operating between the hours of 1 and 4 a.m. Monday through Saturday and would be required to close on Sundays.

Additionally, adult entertainment establishments could have only one sign outside, flush to the wall, measuring no more than 10 feet in length horizontal to the ground and three feet in width vertical to the ground. The sign could not include flashing lights or depictions of sexual activity.

Baker asked if the sign requirements were more restrictive than the city’s sign ordinance, but Pike said they could be so long as the city applies the restrictions to all sexually oriented businesses.

Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com.