Quakertown Attempting to Zone Out Adult Entertainment

QUAKERTOWN, Penn. — The borough of Quakertown is drafting an ordinance that effectively would leave about one acre available for an adult business of any sort, according to The Morning Call.

The proposed law would restrict adult bookstores, strip clubs and other sex-oriented businesses from operating within 1,000 feet of a residential area or a school, or within 500 feet of a house of worship, library, day-care center, nursery school or public park. And Quakertown is only two square miles in size.

Furthermore, any adult business that did open would be prohibited from selling alcohol, entertainers would be required to stay at least three feet away from customers, and only "lawful" massages would be permitted, according to the proposal.

An adult business is "not an establishment that's good for the borough," said councilman David Zaiser. "We're trying to revitalize and move forward with a family friendly atmosphere, and this is not something we need right now."

The borough council was apparently spurred on to draft the ordinance by troubles being encountered in the neighboring community of Milford, where yet-to-open cabaret Coyotes is pursuing legal action against the township for maintaining adult entertainment regulations that it alleges are unconstitutional.

"We want to be proactive," Zaiser said. "We've had problems in the past with a spa. Coopersburg had a problem and now Millford's having a problem."

The spa Zaiser was referring to, K-Spa, was busted in 2005 for allegedly serving as a front for a prostitution operation. Following a raid of the business, two women were charged by authorities with prostitution, a third with promoting prostitution, and three men with soliciting prostitution, and the spa was shut down.      

In Coopersburg, the owners of Silhouette Showbar were ordered last year to stop hosting Club Kama Sutra, a recurring, members-only swingers party.

Quakerstown officials say their proposal is modeled after one that's been on the books for years in nearby Bethlehem. There, the city council passed a law in 1992 banning nudity in all public places, including bars and businesses that charge admission. The law was enacted after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an Indiana law requiring female entertainers to wear pasties and G-strings during performances.

Said Quakertown councilman Jim Roberts, "Certainly, I'm not embarrassed if the effect [of the proposed law is a ban]. I think that's best for the community, not to have the kind of establishment that's being talked about in Milford."

The Quakertown council has sent its draft of the ordinance to borough planners for review, and could vote on it by February.