Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Clay to Consider Allowing Adult Stores; Commission to Decide about Revising Development Code

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Clay to Consider Allowing Adult Stores; Commission to Decide about Revising Development Code

Article excerpt

Byline: Teresa Stepzinski

Clay County doesn't have any adult entertainment stores such as book stores, arcades, theatres or novelty shops. But that might change soon.

The County Commission on Tuesday, Nov. 12, will consider revising its land development code to permit adult entertainment stores in some areas as the result of an inquiry about which zoning districts allow those establishments.

Such businesses are not allowed at all in the unincorporated areas. The county, as well as Orange Park and Green Cove Springs, have long-standing ordinances that ban those establishments. It wasn't clear if Keystone Heights has a similar ordinance, but it has no adult entertainment stores.

The commission's Economic Development Committee on Monday recommended revising the county's land development code to allow the stores. But they would be restricted to areas zoned for heavy industrial or heavy commercial use as long as they're away from populated areas. Officials are developing a map to show the commissioners where those areas are located.

Committee Chairman Wendell Davis said the proposed ordinance being drafted by county staff should be "compatible with our county and our county culture and still meet federal and state laws."

"I don't think it makes any sense to put our head in the sand and do nothing. Or write something up that is real silly and be taken to court and lose a lot of citizen tax dollars losing in court. ...We may not like the fact of adult entertainment, but wasting citizens' tax dollars makes no sense," said Davis during Monday's committee meeting.

Davis expects some people on both sides of the issue will be unhappy. But if done correctly, the ordinance will withstand a court challenge, he said.

"We can be compatible, which means we will be a lot tougher than some people would like, but not so tough as some people would like," Davis said. "And, if challenged in court, there is a very high percentage that we won't pay a lot of fees in court and we would win in court because it would withstand the precedent of previous court cases."

Some Clay residents told the Times-Union on Tuesday that adult entertainment businesses don't belong anywhere in the county. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.