WEST JORDAN Sexually oriented businesses won't be getting any leeway in West Jordan any time soon.
Instead, City Council members strengthened the city's restrictive SOB ordinance Tuesday night by adding proof and case documents to buttress the idea that negative side effects and potentially harmful health conditions come with such businesses.
"What we're trying to do is make sure there is no misunderstanding about where we stand and why," said Mayor Dave Newton. "We're inserting all of the references and experiences of other cities into the (city) code so there is no question on why we will make decisions."
The city's attorney, Roger Cutler, added 1,000 pages of supplemental material to the city's code to defend regulations on where SOBs can locate, how close they can be to other SOBs and what kind of clothing is allowed inside. But Cutler says the city was careful not to violate First Amendment rights of potential SOBs that may come to the city.
"You can regulate the time, place and manner (of SOBs), but you can't prohibit or regulate the content or direct the message and require certain things to be said or not said," Cutler said. "You need to tailor your regulation so you don't get overly broad and cover protected activity any more than it is necessary."
According to the resolution approved Tuesday night, crime statistics show that "all types of crimes, especially sex-related crimes, occur more frequently in neighborhoods where sexually oriented businesses are located."
The resolution also refers to a 1972 case that asserts that sexual acts may occur at SOBs, and that communicable diseases can be spread by the activities that can occur at the businesses. Nude dancing in the businesses also encourages prostitution and the likelihood of drug dealing and drug use, the resolution states, with reference to previously tried legal cases.
Currently, the city does not have any such businesses or pending applications for similar businesses, Cutler and Newton said. Council members say they plan to add ordinances and restrictions on adult dancers and adult dances in the new year."The courts have been so worried that we do everything right when it comes to these things and (make sure) we have legitimate reasons so we aren't arbitrary," Newton said. "That's why we're listing these reasons, so we're not arbitrary. That will make (the code) validated when and if we have to say, 'No,' and, 'These are our reasons.'"
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