Requirements tightened for sexually-oriented businesses

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -  Rules for adult businesses in Columbia have been tightened up. City leaders have made it more difficult for one sexually oriented business to get a license.

The tightening of requirements is the first step in trying to address the issues of appropriate uses and appropriate zoning classifications.

The rules were aimed at operations like the new adult store that just opened on Devine Street near Rosewood Drive called Taboo.

Council members unanimously approved second reading of an amendment to the city's ordinance governing sexually-oriented businesses.

"I'm a business owner," said Doug Neal. "I understand what it's like to run a business. But these are not the type of businesses that we want in our neighborhood, and in our commercial, bordering the commercial areas of our neighborhoods."

The newly adopted rules now say Taboo and similar businesses must be at least 700 feet from schools, places of worship, homes or public parks. The old law said 500 feet.

That change alone could make it harder for Taboo to renew its business license.

City officials say they'll also look at revising zoning rules, with a goal of pushing adult businesses into industrial areas of Columbia.

"We're going to have our staff give us the best counsel they can on the best and most appropriate way to make sure that we respect constitutional rights and the rights of businesses to exist," said Mayor Steve Benjamin.

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