OXFORD — The city of Oxford has a new ordinance regulating adult businesses.
The Oxford Eagle reports that the board of aldermen adopted the ordinance this past week.
The ordinance that sets up two adult entertainment districts inside the city limits where clubs could operate.
The city had an ordinance before 2004 that was less restrictive than the one the board passed.
However, when the Land Development Code was revamped, it was inadvertently left out, leaving Oxford wide open for an adult business to come and open anywhere in the city.
Legally, a city can’t bar adult businesses from opening but it can regulate them and zone areas where they are limited to open.
“There is not a perfect place,” City Attorney Pope Mallette said. “There’s no number of zones that are required, but the statute says there must be adequate space for the reasonable outlet for the expression.”
Mallette said should the city annex more land, the districts could be moved to an industrial zone which is typically where adult businesses are zoned to.
“This ordinance is far more restrictive than we ever were,” Mallette said.
City Planner Tim Akers worked with other city officials to come up with two areas in the city that provide adequate space, but are areas which may not be the most attractive for possible adult business owners. This was done with the hope that the city meets state regulations, while also discouraging such businesses from coming to Oxford.
The proposed ordinance also restricts signage, prohibits alcohol sales and requires windows to be opaque as well as other restrictions.