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Jamestown City Council Enacts Sex-oriented Business Ordinaces
JAMESTOWN - After months of intense research and extensive rewrites, the Jamestown City Council held the second reading of an ordinance to create and enact a new Chapter 27 of the City Code pertaining to the regulation of sexually oriented businesses of adult cabarets and escort services.

Prior to the motion and comment period, Mayor Katie Andersen thanked city attorney Ken Dalsted and his staff for the many hours they put in crafting an ordinance that the mayor said she felt "would withstand any constitutional challenges." Dalsted had said earlier the language of the new city code chapter was based on extensive readings of similar ordinances in other cities that had failed or withstood constitutional lawsuits. He said the idea was to deliver as strong a set of rules as could be achieved under the U.S. Constitution. The chapter includes the definitions of several types of sex-oriented businesses in an attempt to cover the broad scope of the industry.

Andersen also pointed out that prior to the enactment, a sexually-oriented business of any kind could open in any commercial space in the city without any controls, because the city lacks any type of laws governing such establishments.

Andersen also emphasized once again that there are absolutely no applicants to open such a business, nor have there been any inquiries along those lines. The council has been seeking to proactively get ahead of the issue and avoid some of the problems created in communities and counties in the western part of North Dakota, where the oil boom has brought explosive population growth and many of its associated problems.

The mayor also said that Stutsman County officials have been looking forward to the new ordinances with an eye at adopting similar controls throughout the county. Andersen says 15 townships and any incorporated communities would have to either create their own ordinances to deal with the issues, or cede authority over to the county.

After the public comment period, the council voted unanimously to enact the new Chapter 27.

Dalsted said after the council meeting that the new chapter to the ordinances takes effect upon publication of the notice of its passage.

-Lynn Hopewell