Palestine City Council to review zoning restrictions for 'adult-oriented' businesses
Palestine, Texas (City of Palestine) — The Palestine City Council will consider zoning ordinances to regulate sexually oriented businesses during a regular council meeting on Monday, July 14, 2014.
The United States Supreme Court has affirmed the First Amendment right of sexually oriented businesses to operate and local and state governments cannot prohibit their operation. Cities can adopt zoning ordinances to limit where, when and how the establishments operate. For example, cities can prevent sexually oriented businesses from locating near churches, schools or residential neighborhoods. Additionally, permitting requirements can be put in place in an effort to protect public health and safety.
Approximately a year ago, the City of Palestine received a single inquiry from a sexually oriented business. While the business took no further action, the Palestine City Council instituted a moratorium on the acceptance of applications for the establishment of sexually oriented businesses within the city limits. During the moratorium, city staff researched and developed more stringent development standards that would allow the city to control the operations of these facilities. The City of Palestine is not seeking to attract or promote sexually oriented businesses. The purpose of the zoning ordinance is to isolate or limit their development in the city.
“We currently do not have a request to operate one of these businesses,” said Development Services Director Jeffery Lyons, “nor is the City of Palestine trying to promote this type of business in the city. However, the review we are going through would help us if we ever did receive an application.”
The moratorium expires on July 18, 2014. The City Council plans to review and adopt zoning changes to specify where development may occur if the city is ever approached again. Citizens may comment on this issue by contacting the city manager’s office or their council member.
City council meetings are open to the public, and public input is welcomed. For more information on council meetings please visit www.CityofPalestineTx.com or call (903) 731-8400.