News Column

Officials considering sexually-oriented business ordinance

July 20, 2014

By Vanessa Kahin, Clovis News Journal, N.M.



July 20--A possible city ordinance proposed by Clovis High School teacher Sheri Carpenter continues to incite discussion among city officials, who plan to consider the ordinance in further depth in early August.

Although the proposed Clovis Gentlemen's Club is within the confines of Curry County -- and not in the city of Clovis -- Mayor David Lansford said it is still good to take a look at possible zoning and operational regulations that can be imposed on such a business.

"We have no jurisdiction over the coming club whatsoever," Lansford cautioned. "What we're discussing is just reviewing our existing ordinance and looking at an additional ordinance in the case a business like this would want to locate within the city's boundaries.

"There are two ways to regulate adult entertainment, or sexually-oriented business," he said. "You can regulate with zoning, which designates where those businesses are located, or you can regulate with licensing which requires operational requirements."

Lansford said regulations would include having the sexually-oriented business post signs with information on who to call in the event of abuse, having men and women's bathrooms separated by a certain distance and imposing limits on the level of exposure that is allowed.

For Margaret Fritz, who is against the Clovis Gentlemen's Club, an ordinance could help protect those who work at the club.

"It's not about stopping the facility," Fritz said of the proposed club, which is scheduled to open its doors later this year. "It's about getting regulations in place to protect the employees."

According to Carpenter, who is a member of the newly-formed Concerned Citizens of Curry County, or C4, along with Fritz, an Albuquerque ordinance could be used as a blueprint for a similar ordinance in Clovis.

Carpenter sent Albuquerque's ordinance to Lansford, who acted on her suggestion. He discussed the creation of a Clovis ordinance with the city commission and with City Attorney David Richards during the commission meeting on July 3.

Lansford said further discussion on the topic might take place during the first city commission meeting in August.

When Carpenter approached the Clovis City Commission concerning a possible ordinance to regulate sexually-oriented businesses in light of the Clovis Gentlemen's Club coming to Curry County, she was following in the footsteps of Albuquerque resident David Maddox.

Maddox dedicated almost a year to helping the Albuquerque City Council create the city's Sexually Oriented Business Ordinance.

Enacted in 2012, Albuquerque's ordinance seeks to deter human trafficking; placing restrictions on the licensing and operation of adult entertainment businesses.

Carpenter wants like-minded individuals to support the creation of a sexually-oriented business ordinance for Curry County by signing an online petition.

The petition, she said, accrued 60 supporters with the first 24 hours of its posting.

There is also a Facebook page that's been set up for the cause, Carpenter said.

On the 'Net

The petition for the ordinance can be accessed at http://chn.ge/W7B2RF. More information can also be accessed on Facebook by searching for Clovis Saynotocgc.

Fast facts

What: Concerned Citizens of Curry County, or C4, meeting

When: 5 p.m. Sunday

Where: Beacon of Light, 1300 N. Thornton St.

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(c)2014 the Clovis News Journal (Clovis, N.M.)

Visit the Clovis News Journal (Clovis, N.M.) at www.cnjonline.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services


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Source: Clovis News Journal (NM)


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