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City considers 30-day moratorium on adult entertainment permits

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

The Forest Park City Council will hold a special-called meeting today at 5:30 p.m., to consider a 30-day moratorium on the issuance of new permits to adult-entertainment establishments.

During the meeting, the city will also discuss a vote taken on Monday on a revision to the city's adult-entertainment ordinance.

On Monday, the council voted 3-2 in favor of passing a new ordinance revising the city's March adult-entertainment ordinance, which instituted a number of strict guidelines concerning the operation of strip clubs.

Prior to the vote, however, Councilwoman Debbie Youmans introduced a motion, which was seconded, to strike from the ordinance sections which would have prohibited full nudity, and the sale of alcohol after Jan. 1, 2010.

According to City Attorney Joe Harris, confusion among members of the council about the validity of Youmans' motion has led the council to reconsider a vote on the matter.

The 30-day moratorium is being considered as a protective measure, while the city takes time to sort through the situation, the ordinance and what the city intented, he suggested.

"I am assuming they will be talking about Roberts' Rules [of Order] and the effect of the motion made by Councilmember Youmans," Harris said. "They [adult entertainment establishments] have nude dancing and alcohol because we [the city] have stayed the enforcement of the ordinance. It's just a precaution, so that nobody applies for a permit under the new ordinance.

"We don't want anymore lawsuits, and we don't want anyone to apply for a permit under an ordinance we don't completely understand," he said.

The meeting will be held at Forest Park City Hall, located at 745 Forest Parkway.