Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bill Would Ease City Strip Club Law

A Pittsburgh Councilwoman wants to change the way the city deals with strip clubs and other adult establishments.

Councilwoman Theresa Smith has introduced legislation to limit adult businesses to commercial and urban industrial zones of the city. Smith says she wants to protect residential areas.

Smith’s package of three bills would also set a code of conduct for strip clubs, which she says will alleviate some of the “secondary effects” of adult businesses.

“We did not just create what we think might be occurring; we actually pulled some statistics to back up what we know to be occurring,” says Smith. “And we know prostitution, drug activity, in some cases gambling and other issues, just a host of concerns that come along with some of these establishments.”

She says the city lost a court case to a group seeking to open a strip club on the North Shore, on the grounds that the city’s current law restricts adult businesses’ constitutional right to free speech by requiring special permits.

Smith says her legislation is modeled after an Ohio law that withstood legal challenges, because it allows strip clubs to operate in certain zones. She says she still expects a legal battle over the bills; the city has hired a zoning lawyer to help its case.

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