New regulations for sexually-oriented businesses

POSTED: Monday, March 23, 2009 - 9:28pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - 12:02pm

Smith County commissioners change rules after three decades

SMITH COUNTY - During a regular meeting Monday, March 23, Smith County Commissioners Court passed updates to the Sexually Oriented Business Order that are more consistent with state law. It has been nearly three decades since the Order was last amended.

Smith County recently increased in population to more than 200,000 residents according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Commissioners Court is updating regulations to support a denser population.

The changes to the Order will affect only new business and expansions of current businesses. At this time, there are no applications for new businesses on record.

Changes to the Smith County Sexually Oriented Business Order include the following:

· Business must be 2,500 feet from schools, churches, and other sexually oriented businesses (previously 1,000 feet);
· $700 application fee for a new business (previously $500);
· Signage for business must be displayed for 60 days while application is pending;
· $400 fee for initial manager's permit;
· Changes to yearly application and renewal fees for entertainer and employee permits; and
· Terminology is more consistent with updated technology.

Licensing and permit fees are necessary to cover the cost to the County of conducting extensive background checks.

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