DuPage County has formed a committee to consider the issue of adult businesses. They are looking for ways to better define and control adult businesses after a number of residents raised complaints about businesses such as adult photography studios, which are not legally classified as adult businesses by DuPage county.
DuPage County previously used zoning ordinances to restrict adult businesses. Under the current classifications, there has been only one legal “adult” business in operation. This does not include, however, other business that provide adult services but are not currently included in the legal definition of an adult business.
The main issue is the unincorporated areas of the county. Cities have the right to create their own regulations regarding adult businesses, but unincorporated areas are exempt from city rules. Paul Hoss from the DuPage County told the Daily Herald that the county’s zoning ordinance “has reached its limitations on dealing with the operations of adult business uses.”
One option they are considering is expanding the definition of an ‘ adult business,’ to include any business that serves exclusively people over the age of 18, with an exception for bars and liquor stores.
Although businesses currently in operation would not be affected, any businesses seeking to open in DuPage County under new parameters would have to abide by the laws for adult businesses.
One such law restricts adult businesses from opening within 1,000 feet of areas such as schools, daycares, parks, residential neighborhoods, religious institutions, and graveyards. One goal of such restrictions is to keep minors from unintended contact with adult businesses.
The county is also looking for other alternatives, such as requiring special licenses for adult businesses that would allow DuPage County to keep better track of the businesses and who worked at them.
These changes would affect both new businesses and those currently in operation.
According to the Daily Herald, the county claims it is not trying to place unnecessary restrictions on citizens and businesses but that it wishes to eliminate the “negative secondary effects” of adult businesses. One such effect may be safety, as one business recently closed after a fatal shooting on the premises. Some suggest that adult businesses attract crime, although this claim is still debated.