During a special meeting Friday, the City Council approved an amendment to Zoning Ordinance 10-02 that will regulate sexually oriented businesses in the event that one seeks to start up in Roswell.
Under the amendment, businesses, such as adult bookstores, theaters and caberets, can only be established or located within the city’s heavy industrial districts and must obtain a special use permit from the Planning and Zoning Commission.
The businesses must be located at least 750 feet from any other adult oriented business, as well as 750 feet from residential zones.
City Planner Michael Vickers said at the moment, the city has two areas zoned for heavy industrial, one in Petro Park and at the Roswell International Air Center. However, he said that could change, should a zone change request be filed.
Such businesses had been illegal in the city and Vickers said implementing the regulations would prevent the city from possible legal action.
“We are allowing them … but if we were to be challenged, if we lost, we would not be able to regulate what they do,” he said.
To his knowledge, there have not been any applications for any type of adult business filed with the city and the amendment is not to block or encourage them.
“This will outline a very firm process they must adhere to,” he said.
Mayor Del Jurney commended Councilor Jason Perry for his work in collaborating with officials in Lancaster, Calif. to create an ordinance similar to theirs.
Perry said the amendment was not to find a way for businesses to come to the city, but to be proactive.
“We cannot just sit blindly,” he said. “We better do something to insure we take safety precautions to make Roswell what we want it to be.”
Though the amendment was up for public hearing, no one spoke for or against it.
Jurney said the amendment would be published and go into effect by early July.