The owner of the Blue Ox Bar in downtown Brainerd is upset with changes to the city's adult use ordinance.
Richard Madges told the Brainerd Planning Commission on Thursday that the proposed ordinance would end the exotic dancers he has at his bar Wednesday and Friday nights.
Specifically Madges is opposed to the portions of the proposed ordinance that state a dancer must be at least 10 feet from any patron and dancers shall not receive a gratuity from any patron.
"This is just going to end it for us," said Madges. "To make the requirements so tough, you might as well abolish it (adult uses). It's the same thing."
Other changes include allowing adult uses in I-4 zones -- heavy industrial -- rather than just B-4 -- general business -- zones and requiring background checks on people proposing an adult use business.
James Thomson and Mary Tietjen, attorneys with Kennedy and Graven, were asked to make proposed amendments to the ordinance as stringent as legally possible.
The commission recommended sending the proposed ordinance to the Safety and Public Works Committee on July 1. The commission also recommended the city council, for health and safety concerns, adopt a one-year moratorium on any new adult use businesses in Brainerd.
Updating the ordinance was considered after two groups in March made inquiries of the city about opening adult-oriented businesses.
The groups proposing the adult-oriented businesses -- Matthew Bankey and William Britton, and Cye and Sandy Powell -- in March said they believed their possible businesses wouldn't fall under provisions of the current ordinance.
Neither group has disclosed Brainerd addresses or sites for proposed businesses, seeking instead only an interpretation of the adult use ordinance.
Adult uses are protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution. The city, by law, can't ban adult-oriented businesses and the city has to provide a reasonable opportunity for such businesses to locate within its boundaries.
The city also can't regulate the content of the material, merchandise or entertainment of the business.
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