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10-3-12


City still studying adult business regulations
Aldermen hold another work session on the topic; some concerns expressed

by Valerie Verkamp
Landmark reporter

Parkville is getting closer to adopting a new ordinance that sets forth specific criteria for the licensing and regulations of adult businesses.

City officials wish to adopt an updated ordinance to more easily control the “adverse” secondary effects of adult businesses.

Attorney Andrea Bough spent about an hour with the Parkville Board of Aldermen Tuesday evening discussing how the proposed ordinance varies from the ordinance adopted in 1994.

It would be unconstitutional for the city to prohibit all adult business, but cities can regulate adult business to an extent.

One significant change involves the definition of a sexual encounter establishment, which is being considered for the purpose of eliminating the chance of a business somehow getting around the regulations of other adult businesses.

Pursuant to the ordinance, a business that advertises the “establishment as a place for persons to engage in specified sexual activities” could potentially be labeled as a sexual encounter establishment Alderman Diana Driver singled out a local B&B and asked whether it would be considered a sexual encounter establishment.

“I believe so,” said Bough.

Alderman Chris Fisher says he is concerned about the ordinance's enforceability due to the specific language of the ordinance.

Fisher said the proposed ordinance defines hotels and motels “in a negative manner as opposed to defining a sexual encounter establishment in a positive manner…It really scares me from an enforceability perspective. I'm concerned that if the court gets a hold of this they will say 'okay a hotel or motel will not be classified as a sexual encounter establishment just because it offers private rooms for rent.' Well then what exactly constitutes a sexual encounter establishment?”

Bough said she would consider revising the specific language of the proposed ordinance, but is concerned traditional hotels or motels would be labeled as such without stating within the ordinance motels cannot be classified as a sexual encounter business by “virtue of the fact that it offers private rooms for rent.”

The city would like to deter businesses that might rent by the hour, not traditional hotels, but it is a fine line, said Bough.

Another potential weakness of the statute involves the words “affords opportunity,” said Fisher.

“Because there's not a motel or hotel or backseat to a car that does not afford opportunity,” he said.

The draft of the proposed ordinance also more clearly defines sexually-oriented toys and novelties, said Bough

Also Tuesday, the board authorized Shannon Thompson, city administrator, to allow the city to spend an additional $20,000 on materials to restore English Landing Park.

The city plans to purchase additional trees, bushes, flowers, mulch, top soil, and other necessary items. This will bring the total spent for the restoration on the park to $145,000, said Kirk Rome, public works director.

DRJP workers associated with the Missouri Department of Economic Development and the Full Employment Council have substantially assisted with the restoration and are directly paid by the council. Necessary tools and materials are not funded by the DRJP grant, but rather the city.

In other news, Parkville is going pink. The driving force behind Parkville turning pink is Police Chief Kevin Chrisman, who is on a shared mission to raise awareness about breast cancer. In honor of his work, the entire board wore pink Tuesday evening.

Visitors attending Parktoberfest held on Saturday, Oct. 6 will find that the city fountain just east of downtown Parkville sprays pink. They will also find pink ribbons pinned on all police vehicles for the entire month of October.