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Published March 19, 2012, 09:11 PM

GF City Council Could Tighten Regulations for 'Sexually-oriented' Businesses

Planned lingerie store is one block from elementary school
GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - City council members are taking action to set regulations and licensing requirements for sexually-oriented businesses.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - City council members are taking action to set regulations and licensing requirements for sexually-oriented businesses.

This all sparks from Fargo-based lingerie store Fantasy's that is proposed to open near a Grand Forks elementary school, homes and day cares.

Fantasy's has not yet been issued a building permit and at Monday night's meeting, City Attorney Howard Swanson presented a draft ordinance with licensing requirements and regulations.

Those will apply to sexually-oriented businesses currently operating, like Romantix in downtown Grand Forks, and those that would open in the future.

"I did want to voice our extreme concern about a business, because it is an adult-oriented business, and to have it one block from a school is, I think, very inappropriate," Grand Forks School District business manager Bill Hutchison said.

Among other things, the amended ordinance establishes rules for the business's location.

Swanson says he will likely recommend the council approves that it be illegal to operate 500 feet from a church, school, park or residence.

That ordinance would prevent Fantasy's from opening in its planned location at the corner of N. Washington St. and 5th Ave. N. and could make Romantix move from its downtown location.

"We've had no problems in the city of Fargo. We've got a day care that's two blocks from us. Our store is couples, mainly women and couples. We don't have a preview room, a cinema room, like you're going to find at Romantix downtown here," Jim Patterson, who spoke on behalf of the store, said at Monday night's meeting.

The council approved the draft ordinance with a five to two vote. It will be introduced for a first reading at the council's next meeting April 2.

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