Monday May 20, 2013
Voters Will Get Their Say on Where Strip Clubs Can Do Business in OregonKevin Hays Salem-News.com
If approved, the measure would change Oregon law and allow local regulation of alcohol and zoning, to restrict the location and operation of strip clubs and strip acts.
(SALEM) - Former Republican State Party Chairman and Gubernatorial candidate Kevin Mannix is leading a charge of Oregonians fed-up with Oregon’s unrestrictive laws on the location and operation of strip clubs and strip acts in the state.
Mannix, along with Faye Wright Neighborhood Association Chairperson Julia Allison and prominent Salem realtor Marge Houck, have formed a Political Action Committee called Oregonians Protecting Neighborhoods, and filed an initiative petition last month with the Secretary of State.
The group formed after Allison, the Salem City Council, and hundreds of Salem residents battled a local business owner from opening a strip club in a residential area in south Salem.
On August 28th, the city council voted unanimously to send an unfavorable liquor license recommendation to the OLCC for the following reasons:
"The club will be located within 500 feet in a urban or suburban areas or within 1,500 feet in a rural area of the boundary (measured property line to property line) of a licensed child care facility or elementary or secondary school; a church; a hospital; nursing care facility or convalescent care facility; a park or children-oriented recreational facility; and alcohol and other drug treatment or rehabilitation facility and will adversely impact the facility."
Chairman Brad Nanke also claimed that according to ORS 471.313, the applicant is not of good repute and moral character.
The Board felt the presence of a park and possibly other facilities set out in OAR 845-005-0326(2)(a) within the 500-foot boundary of property line was grounds for denial of the license, and that the applicant’s moral character, Frank Boussad, who owns Big Shots Bar & Broiler in North Salem, is planning on opening Presley's Playhouse Cabaret in the former Mike's Steakhouse, 3803 Commercial St. SE should be examined.
OLCC spokesman Ken Palke said the unfavorable recommendation from the city will mean that the liquor application will receive more scrutiny.
However, the city will have to show there's a negative aspect to that business being located near a park or business that caters to kids, Palke said.
A ruling is expected this month.
Allison says media coverage of the fight between neighbors, the city, and nearby business owners, with Frank Boussad, over his proposed Presley's Playhouse Cabaret in the former Mike's Steakhouse, had people calling and writing her asking what they could do to prevent the same thing from happening in their neighborhoods.
“Positive response to our fight over the strip club came from all parts of the state” Allison said. “People wanted to find a way to protect their neighborhoods from these types of businesses, so we put our heads together and this will give the citizens of this state a chance to put a stop to these types of businesses opening near schools, parks, and other children-oriented businesses” she said.
The Oregon Constitution currently prohibits government restrictions on nude-dancing establishments based on the expressive nature of the activities occurring there.
The groups proposed ballot measure would change that, by adding the following section to Article XV of the Oregon Constitution:
1. State, county, and city governments may use alcohol regulatory authority to restrict the location and operation of any strip club and any strip act, to the extent allowed under the United States Constitution.
2. As used in this Section:
A. “Strip club” means an establishment where a person or persons who is nude or partially nude, or who become nude or partially nude, appears before one or more patrons of the establishment.
B. “Strip act” means a performance where a person or persons appears nude or partially nude, or who becomes nude or partially nude, before one or more patrons of a club or business enterprise, or before one or more members of the public.
3. The Legislative Assembly, each county and each city is authorized to establish more detailed definitions of a strip club or strip act, as necessary to implement this Section or as necessary to ensure that this Section does not restrict constitutional rights under the United States Constitution.
4. It is the intention of the people that a good faith and common sense interpretation and application of this Section shall occur. This Section is not intended to extend matters not commonly viewed as strip clubs or strip acts, such as a model appearing before a legitimate artist or a legitimate stage performance which includes an element of nudity.
5. This Section is intended to have supremacy as to this topic: state, county, and city regulatory authority over strip clubs and strip acts. It is intended to allow Oregon to adopt alcohol regulatory restrictions and zoning restrictions as to strip clubs and strip acts which have been adopted in many other states, and which meet United State Constitutional standards.
6. The Sections takes effect upon passage.
Oregon Attorney General Hardy Meyers has drafted a preliminary ballot title that reads: “Amends Constitution, allows state, local governments, to restrict location and operation of “strip clubs” and “strip acts”.
Last week, both the Oregon ACLU and Portland law firm Davis, Wright and Tremaine filed a legal objections to the AG’s preliminary ballot title.
They would like the ballot title to read: “Limits free expression”, amends Constitution, allows state, local governments, to restrict location and operation of “strip clubs” and “strip acts”.
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