Lawmakers consider statewide restrictions on the location of sexually-oriented businesses

Legislation that would create statewide restrictions on where sexually-oriented businesses such as adult bookstores and strip clubs could locate is headed to the full Indiana House for consideration.

The proposal passed out of the House Local Government Committee unanimously on Wednesday, with all public testimony in favor of the measure.

House Bill 1122 would prohibit a registered sexually-oriented business from operating within 1,000 feet of a facility that caters to minors. That includes schools, daycares, a YMCA, public swimming pools and playgrounds, as well as businesses such as arcades and trampoline parks. It would not apply to businesses inside shopping malls.

The measure would apply to all new businesses moving in. Preexisting businesses in violation would have until 2025 to move. The bill would also protect municipalities from litigation from businesses that would have to move.

Rep. Mike Speedy

While many communities already have restrictions on sexually-oriented businesses, bill author Rep. Mike Speedy, R-Indianapolis, said the bill could help locales that don’t have regulations in place and are surprised when a new business moves in.

Local governments also could adopt regulations more restrictive than the proposed state standards.

The American Family Association, the Indiana Family Institute, the Association of Indiana Counties and the Indiana Catholic Conference were all organizations in favor of the legislation.

Micah Clark, executive director of the American Family Association, said it was not unusual for an “adult business” to open near a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant or a trampoline park, and local governments are not prepared for it.

“They’re often scrambling to react or adopt an ordinance quickly that they don’t have on the books already,” Clark said.

Ryan Mann, special counsel to Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, said the city supports the measure. Indianapolis already prohibits sexually oriented businesses within 1,000 feet of a religious institution, school, public park, recreation area or any residentially zoned area.

“No doubt this is an issue that many, many members face in their communities and that we face,” Mann said. “So this helps provide a clear policy going forward.”

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