Should Dallas limit the hours of operation of sexually oriented businesses? The city wants your thoughts.

Dallas is considering new restrictions on sexually-oriented businesses. The state recently declared that employees of these companies must be 21 years of age or older. Now some in town are planning to tell them when they can be opened.

City council member Adam Bazaldua came up with the idea at the Quality of Life, Arts and Culture Committee meeting last week. Bazaldua, the chairman of the committee, cited similar restrictions in neighboring towns like Plano, where these businesses must close between 2 a.m. and 10 a.m.

“This is to address the possibility of better regulating the hours of operation of the companies that we have seen having criminal activity and where it has been the most important and there is data to support that with the presentation,” a declared Bazaldua.

Kristie Smith lives in District 7, part of Bazaldua town, and says she is in dispute over the proposed restriction. Smith said there is a club near her home that is open until 5 a.m. and allows patrons to bring their own alcohol. Crime seems to be a problem in the parking lot, so she can figure out that she wants something to change.

But she also understands that the state comptroller collects fees from these companies and that the first $ 25 million generated by the fees each year goes to the Sexual Assault Program Fund. These dollars cover the cost of prevention, intervention and research programs provided by nonprofits, municipalities and the state. Surplus funds are deposited into the Texas Health Opportunity Pool.

She worries about the kind of hole that would remain in those funds if more restrictions were placed on sexually oriented businesses that help raise them.

Dallas has a habit of placing restrictions on sexually oriented businesses.

In 1986, citing similar measures in other cities, Dallas enacted a chapter in the city code “to promote the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the citizens of the city, and to establish reasonable and uniform regulations to prevent continued concentration. of [sexually oriented businesses] in the city.

The chapter created zoning restrictions that required sexually oriented businesses to be within a thousand feet of each other, as well as churches, schools, residential areas and parks. The code also defines a sexually oriented business as “an adult playroom, an adult bookstore or adult video store, an adult cabaret, an adult motel, an adult movie theater, an adult theater, an escort agency, a nude model studio or a sexual encounter center ”.

It also defines nudity and “state of nudity” as “the appearance of a bare buttock, anus, male genitalia, female genitalia or female breast”.

The companies did not want to be seen as sexually oriented by the city, subjecting them to the new restrictions, which would have forced some to relocate. So, they changed the outfit of their dancers to “simulate” nudity. The dancers would now wear flesh-colored bikini bottoms and thongs. This made these businesses eligible for the city’s dance hall licenses, allowing them to stay put.

Then the city changed the city code to include a new class of dance halls – Class D – which included definitions of semi-nudity and simulated nudity. If companies did not adopt, they would again face the prospect of being relocated.

So they changed things again. Dancers now wore non-flesh-colored patties and bikini bottoms that covered the pubic area and buttocks. The city also adapted in the 90s, changing the city code to accommodate this loophole. They used crime statistics suggesting sex crimes were more common near these businesses to support change.

A little more back and forth over the years has led to the current state of the municipal code regulating sexually-oriented businesses.

The state’s new age requirement for employees of sexually oriented businesses has again sparked the conversation about what restrictions should be in place in Dallas.

The Quality of Life, Arts and Culture Committee will hold a public hearing on the proposed change on December 5. During the hearing, DPD will present data in support of possible restrictions on the opening hours of sexually-oriented businesses. Dallas residents can also comment if they register before 5 p.m. on December 3.

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