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Ordinance Plugs Sex Shop Loophole

Red Bank has amended an ordinance, limiting where sex shops and strip clubs can operate.

In an apparent effort to protect its more dignified retail outlets, Red Bank Council approved an ordinance at its regular meeting Tuesday night that closes zoning loopholes and would severely restrict sex shops and strip clubs from doing business within the borough. 

According to Mayor Pat Menna, court decisions rendered at the State level prohibit towns from completely prohibiting adult oriented businesses. The decisions have made it easier for lascivious enterprises to set up shop in or near the borough's downtown if they chose to, he said, though the closest Red Bank's come to full frontal in recent years has been a racy poster or two taped inside of a bar window.

The newly approved ordinance, which will head to the zoning board for a look over, sets aside the Highway Business Zone District as a potential landing strip for adult oriented businesses. The district is located on a section of Newman Springs Road between New Jersey Transit's coast line and the westerly freight line, an area largely occupied by car dealerships and other assorted businesses. 

Though the ordinance allows for adult oriented businesses there, they are further restricted from operating next to dealerships, car washing facilities and municipal buildings, among others. 

The no-fine-detail-omitted ordinance covers everything from turgid genitalia to sex paraphernalia when describing adult oriented businesses, eliminating any possible ambiguity that may have remained on the the books. 

"I think it's better for us to plug up those omissions," Menna said.

Currently, State law bars sex shops and strip clubs from operating within 200 feet of a school, playground, church, residential neighborhood or child service center, Menna said. That restriction, however, would not be enough to prevent an adult oriented business from locating in parts of Red Bank's downtown, which he admitted could be a turnoff to business owners and visitors. 

Though the ordinance wasn't in response to any immediate adult oriented business threat, inquiries have been made in the past. This ordinance should provide Red Bank with the protection it needs.

Renee Michelle November 21, 2012 at 02:03 PM
What gives Hip Town a lot of its vibe are the many families that find the schools and culture so desireable. Smart move, Mayor & Council! RB has a model pro-active and forward-thinking council - I wish my own were as invested.
ExChief November 21, 2012 at 04:27 PM
sorry Renee not a smart move at all the area he regulated these places be allowed are directly on the border of residential neighborhoods in his neighboring town of Shrewsbury nice way to throw us under the bus Mr. Mayor guess if you dont care about Shrewsbury residents I may have to take my business elsewhere rather then downtown and guess I should tell my friends also
m1969b November 22, 2012 at 12:52 AM
Yeah I don't think this is an area for a sex shop. Red Bank/Shrewsbury - NO WAY. Geeze - do you REALLY think it would be a busy place? SO many online sex stores offer free shipping now! Let's keep our area respectable people!
Lloyd Gramadon November 22, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Red bank already has plenty of crack houses and bordellos why not sex shops?

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