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Manitou Springs extends ban on sex shops

October 9, 2017 Updated: October 10, 2017 at 7:29 am
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Manitou Springs city officials are trying to finalize rules for another controversial industry: adult entertainment. Associated Press file photo.

Manitou Springs has, once again, extended a temporary ban on adult businesses to give city officials more time to figure out how sex toy shops, strip clubs and other "sexually oriented" enterprises will be regulated.

The City Council voted unanimously at its regular meeting Tuesday to extend the moratorium six more months, said Mayor Nicole Nicoletta.

The decision came two weeks after the council postponed final approval of an ordinance that would create rules for licensing such businesses. Some council members viewed the measure's location requirements as too restrictive.

The regulations have been in the works since 2010. The council passed the moratorium in February after the Planning Department received a few inquiries about establishing such businesses within city limits. In August, the ban was extended to mid-November and now will continue through May 2.

"The ordinance isn't ready," said Nicoletta. "There's no sense in receiving applications if the rules and regulations aren't in place."

City officials say the requirements will help ensure that any adult businesses in the city are appropriately located and prevented from giving way to illegal activity, such as gambling and prostitution.

Colorado Springs established similar licensing requirements in 1995.

The version of the ordinance voted down by the council last month would have barred the businesses from opening on lots abutting El Paso Boulevard, Beckers Lane or Manitou, Park, Canon or Ruxton avenues; it also would have required them to be at least 500 feet from a church, public library, day-care center, school, liquor store or recreational or medical marijuana business. The stipulations left just a few parcels in town, including the Higginbothom Flats area, a stretch along U.S. 24, just southeast of Serpentine Drive, that can be seen from the highway.

Councilors directed staff to look for other potential locations and amend the ordinance.

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Contact Rachel Riley: 636-0108

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