April 30, 2000 09:00pm
San Diego Propose to Revise Adult Laws
Source: Private Dancer Monthly
(SAN DIEGO, CA) -— Doors on adult-video booths could come off and dance performance regulations could be tightened under new laws proposed for San Diego’s adult entertainment industry. The changes in San Diego police regulations will be discussed at City Hall hearings before the Vice and Licensing Task Force before advancing to a City Council committee.
Several of the revisions to the municipal code governing video booths, nude entertainment, cabaret and dance businesses and escort services are regarded as controversial, especially those that govern massage and holistic-health practitioners. The proposal includes bringing holistic health practitioners under police supervision and writing ordinances to govern dance venues, after-hours activities and promoters.
Several of the proposals have been suggested over the years, but never implemented because of fierce debate among affected industries, police, City Council members and those who see a link between adult entertainment and prostitution and crimes against women. The task force’s ordinance project was revitalized in 1999 after city laws limiting nude dancing and other forms of adult entertainment were ruled unconstitutional by a federal appeals court.
The changes were proposed after meetings of a task force representing police, the City Attorney’s Office, adult entertainment industry members and the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Some of the most significant changes from a draft ordinance proposed in 1996, but never enacted, deal with adult-movie booths. San Diego police vice unit personnel now recommend the doors on booths be removed, saying the change would make policing by the business owner easier and would eliminate booths in which several people may watch a video.
There are about 20 businesses in the city that show adult movies in booths, police said. Police previously believed keeping the doors on would help in the regulation of activity inside the booths. Some adult businesses in downtown San Diego do not have doors in some movie booths, but the new rule would make the change citywide and involve all categories of adult viewing booths. In addition, only one person would be allowed in a booth, and video cameras would be required outside the booths.
Police say tightened regulations reflect today’s changing moral standards and law enforcement priorities and are an attempt to balance the needs and desires of the community, business owners and the Police Department. Police also say current industry trends support the need for an ordinance regulating the proliferation of dance venues and after-hours events.
In other recommendations, 1,000 holistic-health practitioners would be brought under police supervision. Such a move, when previously suggested, has been vehemently opposed by many members of the industry. They have said they fear legitimate businesses would be stigmatized by such regulation. Police also want to modify hours for about 1,200 massage technicians and 16 massage establishments to be consistent with normal business hours. Massage industry officials say that would curtail or eliminate some evening massage services.
In addition, the task force is recommending that educational requirements be increased from 100 to 500 hours for a massage permit and that each permit require continuing education. Police say this recommendation will deter criminals and unqualified individuals from entering the field.
Officials with the holistic-health and massage industries have previously been critical of increased policing because, they say, it unfairly puts the professions in a bad light when most practitioners obey the law.
Among the dance entertainment proposals is one that would prevent fondling or caressing between patrons and entertainers during clothed performances.