Salisbury Adult Business Law Amended

SALISBURY – Without opposition, the Salisbury City Council finalized stringent regulations this week on adult entertainment businesses.

On Monday evening, the City Council considered an ordinance in its second and final reading to amend sections of the Salisbury Municipal Code relating to adult entertainment business.

The ordinance before the City Council for approval states, “The City previously passed ordinances to regulate the location of adult entertainment businesses, and at that time the City found that in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the City’s citizens, it was necessary to allow suitable locations for certain adult entertainment businesses while limiting their adverse secondary effects on the community.”

The ordinance furthers, “The City found that adult entertainment businesses are associated with increased crime and decreased property values, and adversely impact the quality of life in surrounding areas … the City found that it was necessary to place certain restrictions on the location and arrangement of adult entertainment businesses. Similar ordinances have withstood legal challenge.”

City Attorney Mark Tilghman explained the amendment will change the definition of “significant amount” in regards of adult entertainment merchandise display area from 20 percent to, “15 percent of the area used for the display or storage of merchandise on the floor, walls, or vertical display area of the cabinets, shelves or racks which rise from the floor (or any combination thereof which is at least 15 percent of the area used for display or storage) is used for the display or storage of adult entertainment or material or houses or contains devices depicting, describing, or relating to adult entertainment or material. … at least 15 percent of the gross revenue is, or may reasonably be expected to be, derived from the provision of adult entertainment or material.”

Tilghman added, “Previously there were limits on the location of adult stores, they have to be more than 1,000 feet from churches, residences, etc. and the definition of nonconforming uses … is basically stating they be permitted to continue to exist in their current locations without conforming to the 1,000 foot limitation for up to two years after the passage of the ordinance. After that, they would be compelled to conform.”

The council voted unanimously to approve the ordinance with no discussion.