Moratorium sought to stop new adult businesses

Carson City officials are seeking a 90-day moratorium to halt approval of any new adult entertainment businesses.

The reason is to review and potentially overhaul current rules because regulations for these types of businesses are "over 20 years old," said Edward Oueilhe, the city's senior deputy district attorney.

"We don't know what we're going to do right now, but this request is to give us time to review the code," he said.

The city's master plan also would be updated to reflect any changes in the code.

There aren't any businesses in the city that offer live adult entertainment. There are a couple of lingerie shops that carry adult merchandise, and some other retailers offer adult videos or publications, said Walter Sullivan, the city community development director.

According to chapter 18.03.010 of the city's municipal code, adult entertainment facilities include theaters, bookstores, cabarets, model studios, or other businesses "established for the primary purpose of offering its patrons services, goods or entertainment characterized by an emphasis on matter depicting, describing or relating to 'specified sexual activities' or 'specified anatomical areas.'"

While the description of the moratorium request mentions creating standards for retailers who sell adult merchandise, a variety of rules related to adult businesses are going to be examined, Oueilhe said.

JB's The Cabaret at the Carson Hot Springs Resort opened and closed in 2004. Women wearing pasties and thongs gave customers lap dances, but it was in a location of the city where nudity is prohibited. The exception to the nudity rule is a small area east of Deer Run Road.

The code also stipulates that adult entertainment businesses can't operate within 1,000 feet of a park, church, school, residential district or another adult business.

The moratorium needs to be approved by the Planning Commission, then the Board of Supervisors, before it can begin.

Rumors aren't true that Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlite BunnyRanch, plans to open a cabaret in the site of the former Golden Dragon restaurant, he said.

Hof owns the building in the 2600 block of North Carson Street, and the apartments behind it. He seriously considered operating a restaurant and bar there, but said he found it "virtually impossible" to do everything the city asked of him.

Any changes would be presented to the Planning Commission. Then the supervisors would have to allow it to be introduced, then approve it during a subsequent meeting - as is the case with any changes sought in the municipal code, Sullivan said.

If necessary, officials can ask that the moratorium be extended another 90 days, Oueilhe added.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber or 882-2111, ext. 215.

If you go

WHAT: Planning Commission meeting

WHEN: 3:30 p.m. Wednesday

WHERE: Sierra Room, Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.


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