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Amy Dalrymple, Published February 07 2009

Bill would regulate adult businesses

North Dakota Legislature sets hearing on proposal calling for tougher restrictions

The owner of a Fargo lingerie store worries a bill introduced in the North Dakota Legislature relating to adult businesses would unfairly target her business.

Kim Patterson, owner of Fantasy’s Lingerie, 2512 7th Ave. S., said House Bill 1553 may require her to either change her product line or relocate her business.

The bill, which lists Rep. Matthew Klein, R-Minot, as the primary sponsor, has several requirements for adult businesses, such as where they can locate and hours of operation.

The businesses would need to be 1,500 feet from churches, schools, day cares, libraries, parks, playgrounds, residences, recreational areas or walking trails.

Under an amendment that Sen. David Hogue, R-Minot, plans to introduce, the bill would not apply to adult businesses that are already regulated by city ordinances.

Hogue, a co-sponsor of the bill, said the proposal is meant to regulate adult businesses that may try to open up outside of city limits.

Fargo’s ordinance for adult businesses is less restrictive than the bill. It requires adult businesses to be 1,250 feet away from churches, schools, parks and recreation facilities.

Pleasure Palace, 1015 38th St. N., meets the requirements of the ordinance. The Northern Gentleman’s Club, 325 10th St. N., and ABC Adult Book Center, 417 NP Ave., were grandfathered in, said Fargo City Planner Jim Gilmour.

Fantasy’s is not regulated by the ordinance, so Patterson worries the bill would apply to her business.

The store sells lingerie and has a back room with merchandise for bachelorette parties and other adult items, Patterson said.

“There’s more to this than just black and white; there’s a lot of areas of gray here,” Patterson said. “They’re not looking at that. They are grouping all of us together.”

Other requirements of the bill, which as amended would not apply to businesses already regulated by city ordinances:

- Adult businesses could not serve alcohol.

- The businesses would need to close at midnight.

- Nude or semi-nude employees would need to be at least 6 feet from patrons.

The bill is scheduled for a hearing at 10 a.m. Friday before the House Political Subdivisions Committee in the Prairie Room.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590