Wichita Braces For Adult Zoning Battle

WICHITA, Kan. - The Kansas City Star reports that adult businesses in Wichita may soon be up against a fight with the city to remain open in their current locations.

A law approved by the City Council two years ago that relegates adult businesses to areas zoned for limited industrial and commercial development takes effect Jan. 1, making it unlawful for three stores to operate where they're located.

Attorney Charlie O'Hara, who has represented a number of adult stores in obscenity cases, told the Star that he expects the affected businesses will ignore the law.

The Wichita Eagle, meanwhile, elaborated that while some of the stores' owners feel the city has no right to displace established businesses, the group leading the charge against them claims that people living near the stores have suffered decreased property values and "sex-related garbage" littering their lawns.

"We expect the city to make sure the law is enforced," anti-adult activist Jan Beemer told the Eagle. "You get rid of them, your crime goes down."

Other zoning regulations taking effect stipulate that adult stores may not be located within 500 feet of churches, schools, licensed day care centers, public parks, residential districts or other sex-oriented businesses.

Senior Assistant City Attorney Kelly Rundell told the Eagle she could not comment on whether the city plans to file suit against the affected stores once the law becomes enforceable.