If adult entertainment businesses want to open a shop in Belleville, they now have to follow a 27-page ordinance unanimously approved Monday night by the City Council.
Mayor Mark Eckert has said the city has not had a business apply to open an adult entertainment business but city leaders supported the ordinance in an effort to be “proactive.”
The city simply can’t ban a type of business such as strip clubs but court rulings have allowed cities to regulate adult entertainment businesses, Eckert said.
“You can zone these types of businesses but you can’t just say flat, ‘No.’ I think that’s the best way to put it,” Eckert told the aldermen.
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Here are the restrictions of where a sexually oriented business can be located in Belleville:
▪ Must be in either a light industry or heavy industry zoned district.
▪ Must be 1,500 feet from any other sexually oriented business.
▪ Must be 1,000 feet from a church, school, park or public building.
▪ Must be 1,000 feet from any residentially zoned land.
Cahokia and Collinsville have recently approved ordinances regulating adult entertainment businesses and Dallas, Texas-based Doctor John’s Lingerie and Novelty Boutique has filed federal lawsuits against both towns after the store was not allowed to open in either town.
Andrew McCullough, an attorney for Doctor John’s, has said the store is not an adult entertainment business and should not be regulated as one.
Belleville's ordinance states that adult entertainment businesses are directly related to a decline in property values, particularly in residential areas. Also, male and female prostitutes have been known to frequent such businesses in pursuit of customers, according to the ordinance.
Eckert told aldermen that City Attorney Garrett Hoerner researched the ordinances that other Illinois cities have passed and used that information for a "very thorough" ordinance for Belleville.