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Sarpy County is reining in the skin business.
Deputy County Attorney Bonnie Moore on Tuesday unveiled a set of proposed rules — a public nudity ordinance and 19 pages of zoning regulations — that would govern adult entertainment in the county.
It's a preventive measure. No strip clubs or sex shops operate in Sarpy County — nor do any adult hotels, pornographic theaters, cabarets, “sexual encounter centers” or any other businesses that would fall under the proposed rules, according to County Assessor Dan Pittman.
The rules would require any adult business in Sarpy County to obtain a special permit and follow a number of guidelines.
Among them: no touching, tips or alcohol at strip clubs. A 1 a.m. curfew. And a 1,000-foot buffer between such businesses and churches, schools, parks, day cares and other protected areas.
Bellevue, Papillion and Gretna have adult business ordinances — Papillion's buffer is 2,500 feet — and Springfield and La Vista regulate adult businesses under general rules.
Moore stressed that her presentation to the County Board was a preliminary step. The board encouraged her to put together a formal proposal for it to consider.
For years, Sarpy and other Nebraska counties have looked at drafting rules for adult businesses. They saw their chance when the Legislature granted counties ordinance authority in 2009, said Sarpy County spokesman Fred Uhe, who lobbied on the issue.
“It's one of those things that was on our list,” he said.
The task fell to Moore when she joined the office in January.
“There's no precipitating event,” Moore said. “We didn't get wind that there was going to be a sexually oriented business in Sarpy County or anything.”
But the goal is to avoid becoming a magnet for skin shops and strip clubs.
“We don't want to become a target,” board member Tom Richards said.
Adult entertainment is big business in other areas, Uhe said, and that's not the kind of economic development Sarpy County wants.
“If you've ever driven I-70 in Missouri, you get an idea of the potential,” he said.
Elsewhere, adult business owners have sued local governments for imposing such rules. Moore said the final regulations would be crafted to withstand a constitutional challenge.
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