East Ridge limits strip clubs, adult bookstores

East Ridge limits strip clubs, adult bookstores

July 23rd, 2010 by Chris Carroll in Politics Local

East Ridge officials regulated strip clubs and adult bookstores during a spirited City Council meeting Thursday.

Tied into their efforts to "revitalize" the city's image, councilmen voted 5-0 for an ordinance that restricted where adult-oriented establishments can be located in East Ridge.

"We cannot forbid someone from buying a license to operate an adult-oriented business," Mayor Mike Steele said. "What we can do is we can restrict where they put it."

The new ordinance confines adult-oriented establishments to Scruggs Road, which runs about 100 yards before hitting Georgia's state line. The city already has one adult novelty store on Ringgold Road, which is allowed to stay in its location.

City Attorney John Anderson added that a U.S. Supreme Court ruling prohibits censoring adult-oriented "content," but allows local governments to regulate "time, place and manner."

In other business, City Manager William Whitson said the city's long-debated budget will have its second and final reading on Aug. 12. A public hearing will start at 6 p.m. before the council's regular meeting.

"It's based on the same property tax rate with no increase," Mr. Whitson said.

Officials recently cut funding toward Waterhouse Public Relations - the city's PR firm - and canned its fledgling biodiesel program.

Another East Ridge project was delayed.

After determining that East Ridge Community Pool operated under outdated code standards, city officials decided to take more time to make it safe.

Mr. Whitson said it was "logistically impractical" and "physically impossible" to open the pool before summer's end. He said a state grant that East Ridge plans to apply for could help officials steer toward opening the pool in 2011.

Mr. Whitson reported preliminary pool repair estimates ranging from $500,000 to $750,000.

Continue reading by following these links to related stories:

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Article: East Ridge trucks ahead with biodiesel program

Article: Suit claims East Ridge mayor went too far with PR deal