Bloomington is one step closer to allowing more space for sexually oriented businesses in city limits.
Bloomington’s City Council voted 8-1 Wednesday to expand locations available for businesses like the existing strip club Night Moves. The changes would bring the city into compliance with a 1986 U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
Development Services Manager James Roach says he’s been trying to change the city’s zoning laws for the past year because the city could be sued under current regulations.
“Cities can regulate sexually oriented businesses but they can’t regulate to the point where there is no locations available within a city to operate that sort of use,” Roach says.
A 2006 ordinance created a series of regulations for sexually-oriented businesses, including 500-foot buffer zones from many public spaces including parks, schools and places of worship.
Homeless shelters are now included as a protected space but large shopping centers and cemeteries were removed from the list.
Roach says he has seen no resistance from the community about the expansion plans.
But he says that’s likely because no businesses are applying for permits right now.
“I’ve been with the city for nearly 18 years and there’s been very few proposal even reviewed in that time, these are not the types of businesses that are actively searching for properties in Bloomington,” Roach says.
The city planning commission will consider the changes. If approved, Mayor John Hamilton will have the final say.
Roach says he expects the changes to be in place by mid-November or December.