Fayette chooses zone for sex shops

Hoping to take the bull by the horns before it enters the china shop, the Fayette County Commission passed an ordinance Thursday that heavily restricts sexually-oriented businesses that might seek to locate in unincorporated Fayette County.

The new ordinance restricts such businesses as strip clubs, “adult” movie theaters, adult modeling studios and adult novelty stores to be located only in areas zoned for light industrial use. Doing so limits such locations to just three different areas in the county, officials said.

Ostensibly such a regulation would keep adult businesses from being near the prevalent commercial and residential zoning districts in the county.

The ordinance also restricts sexually-oriented businesses from operating within 1,000 feet of a school, religious institution, public park, child care facility or any property zoned for a residential use.

The ordinance also requires employees of sexually-oriented businesses to get a special permit from the county that includes a fingerprint check and a criminal history background report conducted on each applicant, according to the ordinance.

The new rules also forbid the sale of alcohol on the premises of any sexually-oriented business.

The new regulations passed unanimously, but not before some spirited comment from two residents.

Denise Ognio, wife of county commissioner Randy Ognio, said she didn’t like the ordinance restricting sexually-oriented businesses to areas of the county where there are existing problems already.

Marissa Williams said she was concerned about the sexually-oriented businesses being limited to lower-income areas of the county and having a negative affect on those residents.

Officials noted that they had to find some way to accommodate sexually-oriented businesses through zoning, because if they failed to do so, such a business could essentially locate anywhere in the county it so chose.

The county’s three areas zoned for light industrial use are off Ga. Highway 54 east of Fayetteville, off Ga. Highway 85 north of Fayetteville and off Ga. Highway 314 north of Fayetteville. Commission Chairman Steve Brown noted that the light industrial-zoned properties do not run the length of those highways but are instead restricted to specific areas.

Williams said she was going to do some research on the matter, and several commissioners invited her to come back and make a report to them if she was able to come up with a better idea on the zoning issue in particular.

Williams said she supported the idea of the ordinance in terms of regulating sexually-oriented businesses, but she opposed the locations in which such businesses would be allowed.

Commissioner Randy Ognio noted that county Planning and Zoning Director Pete Frisina did a lot of research in checking how lawsuits had been filed in an effort to create a legally defendable ordinance.

oak tree
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Sex Shops

The commission is going to allow these shops to locate just east and north of Fayetteville but not allow them to be around PTC? It's obvious that the commission is looking out for the citizens in the western part of the county but not the citizens in eastern part of the county. The Pavilion area already has too much crime and now the commission is inviting more crime. Why does Fayetteville have to have all three allowed sex shops and PTC not have any? How about allowing one sex shop in the county and put it right next to the jail!

Spyglass
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None of these areas are in any city limits

Read the article.

oak tree
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Sex Shops

Yes, they are all in the county but all three are located very close to the Fayetteville city limits, one to the east of the Fayetteville city limits and two just
to the north of the city limits. Why isn't at least one of the three located very close to the PTC city limits?

Spyglass
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Because the zoning they are approved for doesn't exist

where you want it to. There is no industrial zoning on just on the outskirts of PTC.

Can't you see that this is a good thing, the County Commission is getting out ahead of this...I don't see it being that big of a deal.

oak tree
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Yes, I can see that it is a

Yes, I can see that it is a good thing that the commission is getting out in front of this. It's an even better thing if you live in the PTC area but not such a good thing if you live in the Fayetteville area.

Robert W. Morgan
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Gotta know the difference between the county and the cities

The county commission is voting on things that occur in the unincorperated part of Fayette County. That means every thing except the cities. The cities have their own zoning and for the most part that is fine on this particular issue. Steve and company is on a path to isolate or discourage sex shops from coming into the county. it is not that want it or allow it, they want to isolate the applications for it to areas that won't support it. THEY ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING!!!!

Same deal with that liquor by the drink thing on the ballot this time - only has to do with the parts of the county that are not in a city - probably only Frank's Old Mill. And maybe that place north of Woolsey that was a GA Bulldog gambling club. Can't remember which rabid Bulldog fan actually owned the house and the barn out back where most of the action took place, but some old 1980's county commissioners and current bank executives and at least one city council person were there snortin' and drinkin' and whorin' and gamblin' on Fridays for at least 5 years in the late 1990's - or so I have been told. That's probably what got Steve Brown so uptight about the "Old Guard" - all that snortin' and drinkin' and whorin' and gamblin' and he could not get in, so to speak. But if you all pass the liquor by the drink thing, Steve can visit the old Bulldog's house and get his -------well, never mind.

Robert W. Morgan
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Gotta know the difference between the county and the cities

The county commission is voting on things that occur in the unincorperated part of Fayette County. That means every thing except the cities. The cities have their own zoning and for the most part that is fine on this particular issue. Steve and company is on a path to isolate or discourage sex shops from coming into the county. it is not that want it or allow it, they want to isolate the applications for it to areas that won't support it. THEY ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING!!!!

Same deal with that liquor by the drink thing on the ballot this time - only has to do with the parts of the county that are not in a city - probably only Frank's Old Mill. And maybe that place north of Woolsey that was a GA Bulldog gambling club. Can't remember which rabid Bulldog fan actually owned the house and the barn out back where most of the action took place, but some old 1980's county commissioners and current bank executives and at least one city council person were there snortin' and drinkin' and whorin' and gamblin' on Fridays for at least 5 years in the late 1990's - or so I have been told. That's probably what got Steve Brown so uptight about the "Old Guard" - all that snortin' and drinkin' and whorin' and gamblin' and he could not get in, so to speak. But if you all pass the liquor by the drink thing, Steve can visit the old Bulldog's house and get his -------well, never mind.

Husband and Fat...
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Wonder what they know

I wonder what commission knows or has heard that this became an issue. Are they expecting all of the out of town temporary workers will be seeking out entertainment during their off hours?

Robert W. Morgan
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Nothing new, just the lawyers finally getting their attention

For years local pols have shied away from voting on anything to do with these less than desirable establishments for fear of a future political opponent saying "He voted for adult stores". Of course when you don't vote at all you open yourselves up to a lawsuit from one of these businesses that comes in says "there is nothing in your zoning ordinance that prohibits my kind of business, so I'm going to put it here" and a judge eventually lets them in. Exhibit A - Starship at Thomas Crossroads.

Some places have finally figured out the best defense is to give them pre approval in certain types of zoning so that they can't sue and locate on the main street. So, industrial allows them, but no one is likely to open a retail business in an industrial park.

So this is just Fayette County being proactive. The new out of town visitors will find their late night carousing in Clayton County after hours clubs and strip joints and in the private speakeasys and poker clubs hidden in the barns around South Fayette County.

NUK_1
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Exactly

You cannot explicitly ban these kind of establishments without risking an avalanche of lawsuits. Courts have held up the concept of zoning them into very small and select areas, however. A lot of cities and counties have already got them in place in the last 15 yrs or so and it's good FC is getting with the times. Surely they learned something from watching Coweta vs. Starship, but a lot of cities like PTC already had a good ordinance that can very likely withstand a legal challenge in place a decade plus ago.

Husband and Fat...
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its a good thing

we can also build more schools, churches, parks, daycare centers too, lol

Speakeasys and poker clubs? Aint that where these guys make the deals?

NUK_1
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If I ever opened a bar.....

it would be called "Speakeasy." Bringing back the old school days!

Then again, since the old adage is that if you want to be worth a million dollars and own a restaurant or bar, start with two million, makes me hesitate on bringing the "Speakeasy" concept to life.