Adult Entertainment Bylaw discussed at public meeting

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Council members listened to the public’s feedback in regards to the proposed Zoning Adult Entertainment venue Bylaw.

Around 25 members of the public showed up to the public meeting. Hair Bin Salon co-owner Lorraine Isenbecker voiced her concerns on the new bylaw and what affect it would have on local small businesses. She also stated her concern for children in nearby neighborhoods.

Lawyer Tyler Holt who claims he is the representative of a number of local businesses, stated that geographical buffer zones that have been defined by the bylaw wasn’t clear.

City Manager Dianne Hunter and Development Services Director Ken Rodgers insisted the city has followed the purposed bylaw zones of businesses wanting to become an “Adult Entertainment” venue. If a business possessed a liquor licence they can also be an Adult Entertainment establishment.

According to the section on permitted uses, adult entertainment venues would be prohibited from operating within 500 meters of an institutional or residential-zoned property, restricting their locations to within close proximity of the Alaska Highway.

A new business would have to follow the new bylaw and set up within the given zone. Existing businesses would be exempt or “grandfathered.”

The bylaw defines adult entertainment as any exotic dancing, or sexually explicit performance, including but not limited to strip-tease performance. Belly dancing is not considered adult entertainment under the City’s definition.