Sexually Oriented Business opinions heard by council
By Brooke Hodges
The opinions expressed about Ordinance No. 911, which lays out where in the City of Winslow Sexually Oriented Business may occur, were expressed evenly for and against the ordinance.
Before the public hearing was held, Mayor Jim Boles addressed those in attendance and stated this was not a moral issue, but was instead a zoning issue. “We can not ban [sexually oriented] businesses, but we can control where and how they operate.”
He asked if the ordinance was unconstitutional, which Winslow City Attorney Dale Patton answered no. Boles also asked if hotels or motels offering pay-per-view movies would be impacted. To that question, Patton answered that the definition of an adult hotel/motel included the terms that they rent rooms on an hourly or less than daily basis.
It was the definitions that Patton stuck to to keep from blushing. He had the hard task of maintain modesty while explaining what would be prohibited by the ordinance and what would not.
The Ordinance, which was discussed in a public hearing followed by a first reading, was made public information and is available for reading at City Hall.
Those opposing the ordinance brought up questions about art exhibits featuring nudes and historical books that contain sexually explicit content, including the Bible and the Kama Sutra.
Opposers also brought up the issue of movies with no or NC-17 ratings. It was pointed out that many of the movies shown at last year’s Winslow International Film Festival were not rated because most documentaries are not.
Those supporting the ordinance expressed opinions about keeping our city free from such businesses, except in the industrial zone, and keeping out kids safe.
The ordinance says that Sexually Oriented Business are only allowed in the Industrial Zone. It lays out that the business may not be in the Route 66 Overlay, within 2500 feet from the boundaries of any residential zone, public or private school, public park or playground, church, YMCA, YWCA, or another sexually oriented business.
The question if the 2500 feet boundary was too much of a distance was brought up. It was asked if, at that length of restricted use, room for only one sexually oriented business was left in the zone.
As the ordinance reads now, sexually oriented businesses are only allowed in the industrial zone below the levee due to the presence of homes, Head Start and Northern Arizona Academy.
Patton explained if there is only room for one sexually oriented business within the remaining zone after the boundaries are marked off, that may be construed as unconstitutional. His reasoning is that the city is keeping a business from entering their town.
When brought up for a first reading, Councilman Tom McCauley was the only “no” vote. This ordinance will be brought up for the final vote at the City Council meeting held March 11.
Larry Fester, of the city’s auditor, Fester and Chapman, gave a detailed presentation about the recently completed audit. He said the audit showed the “financial statements represent the financial standings of the city very accurately.”
He pointed out the audit included a few suggestion on how the city could work smoother, all of which were responded to by the city except for one. The only one not responded to was the suggestions that “management assess the effect of the changes in the city’s operating environment, new personnel, new or revised information systems, rapid growth, new departments, restructuring or reorganization and new accounting issues. It was pointed out that responding to this suggestion would take a while due to it being such a complex suggestion.
Council approved Ordinance No. 904, which authorized the mayor to sign a lease with the Federal Aviation Administration for space at the Winslow-Lindbergh Regional Airport.
The space will be used for a remote control outlet, which will serve as a relay office for instrument approach equipment and automated weather surface operations.
Council approved Ordinance No. 906, which amended the Winslow Municipal Code dealing with how the city pays for employee insurance.
They also approved Ordinance No. 910, which authorized the purchase of property located at 108 West First Street, known as the White Cafe, from Alex and Dorthine Renfro.
On the consent calendar, council took the following action:
• Approved Judith Smith to the Winslow Committee on Disability Awareness Advisory Board.
• Approved payment for the annual Aquifer Protection Permit Registration Fee to ADEQ for the utilities division.
• Approve payment for the annual Emission Fee to ADEQ for utilities division.
• Authorized repairs to the tenant street sweeper.
• Approved emergency payment for the disinter at Desert View Cemetery. This was due to a buried body being relocated.
• Approved purchase of tactical equipment for the police department.
• Approved emergency payment for electrical repairs and purchase of a new level sensor and breaker assembly for the utilities division.
• Approved purchase and payment of new pumps for waste activated sludge at the Wastewater Treatment Plant for utilities division.