Sex shop put on hold
By 08/07/2003 00:00:00
Adult store owners originally submitted falsified plans for an auto part store
The Ellis County Press
WAXAHACHIE - A proposed adult entertainment store will not be built in the city - at least for another 90 days.
The Waxahachie City Council voted unanimously to place a moratorium on the planned development of the store on Interstate Highway 35 and Sterrett Road, after officials received an application for the facility.
'We're trying to protect the health, safety, and welfare of citizens,' said Waxahachie Building Director Sanford Smith. 'I've talked with the planning and zoning commissioners and we're trying to present an ordinance to you.'
The moratorium cannot be permanent, according to Smith.
Originally, the application the adult store submitted stated it was to sell auto parts, but a separate application for signage told a different story.
'They falsified their application documents,' Smith said at a previous council meeting.
Smith and the P&Z committee plan to draft an ordinance that would place heavy regulation on businesses such as the adult store, which currently fits into the heavy industrial classification.
'Heavy industrial [zoning] allows factories,' Smith said. 'The [adult store] would fit that.'
The 90-day moratorium would slow the entertainment store's ability to proceed with construction, but not their application process.
'We have to give them an opportunity to apply,' said City Attorney Steve Chapman. 'We can't prohibit them [from that].'
Currently, the owners of the store have plotted a corner of their property - in the light industrial zoning classification - as the site of the establishment.
But a new ordinance would spell out the specifics of putting an adult entertainment complex in any part of the city limits, Smith said.
'They would have to come before P&Z, the city council, have a public hearing, and apply for a special use permit.'
Opposition, according to council members and members of the community, has been vocal.
'We will not allow the business [and signage] at that location,' Smith said.
Recently, the City of Dallas and residents of the White Rock Lake area successfully forced topless clubs and bars out of their neighborhood, a process involving thousands of dollars in legal fees as a result of ongoing - and controversial - litigation.
Waxahachie officials said they believed an ordinance restricting the use of such businesses would save money on legal issues in the future.