- Jun 22, 2005
- South Central Mass
IIRC this was the result of a court decision that strip clubs and adult stores had 1A rights, so they could not be banned, but they could be zoned.
In MA it was a big deal because of some adult shop up at the top of Winter Hill in Slummerville, the C.O.P. parked a cop on the sidewalk every day to drive business away... since Slummerville didn't have a local law preventing it from locating there they eventually created a adult entertainment zone, as did many other communities .
I remember being at Town Meeting and speaking in favor of an article creating an adult district up off Pleasure Island Rd, and people were speaking against it because they were not smart enough to figure out why the article was on the warrant... we had to explain it to them in very simple language.... the article also defined how much space constituted adult useage... so the local dirty book store "news stand" had to sell more lottery tix, smokes, and newspapers to keep from getting labeled an adult book store. You didn't want the local 7-11 not to sell Playboy ya know.
Up in Dracut, the zone is on 38 just before the NH line.
A customer of ours lost his lease on his shop in Woburn, he tried to get permitted for a new body shop in Wilmington and got turned down.... he saw property in Dracut and looked into it.... Dracut couldn't green light his permits fast enough.... anything he needed they bent over to help with.... it turns out the property he bought was the last parcel in that adult allowed district, and by him building a shop on it it prevented a strip club from opening in Dracut as all the other properties were in other use and were not for sale.
A lot of this came about as a result of a very fierce battle in Mendon when an adult entertainment venue bought a piece of commercial property to open a strip club. Since the location is very close to the Mendon Drive in it was hard for the town to say the zoning did not include entertainment. The town spent a lot of money, that it didn't have, to try and block the club from opening. In the end Mendon lost. The strip club isn't open yet as the owner ran into funding issues, but at this point he seems to have the funding now and the construction is ongoing.
When this happened all the sleepy towns around Mendon went full bat shite crazy to immediately amend their zoning laws to make sure this didn't happen to them. My understanding is that towns far and wide took this as a "call to arms" to try and protect their towns from the same thing happening.