Town Council members decided to increase the length of the prohibition of sexually oriented business to operate in the Town of Jackson. The council has been struggling with updating laws to direct the location of any potential sex business. While no proposal exists to develop any kind of sex business, and while the town has sought to obviate the ability to locate anywhere in the incorporated limits, many residents sought to portray the council of encouraging the activity.
Charleen Bendixon, who owns property at 1655 Martin Lane said she was worried about the location being considered, which is know as the Jackson Business Park off of Gregory Lane,
“I do not want to see a child hurt,molested, or raped,” she said. Bendixon said the council should allow those businesses to exist near the Town Hall on Pearl Street. “If this is something that you feel so strongly about,” she said, pointing to the north, “Then why don’t you put it right there, and when you walk out you can say, I let that come in.”
David Bott, a pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church said, “I am one to stand up for first amendment rights…but there are somethings you just have to stand up for.” He said that other communities in the State control the proximity to schools He said the, ” You should choose the farthest distance, to where they can not be any place unless you would like to put them no farther than 20 feet from a sitting councilman’s residence.” Bott went on to say, “As public servants, how could you possibly want to bring anything like that into this city?”
Bott went onto say, “It devalues property, that means the taxes go down.” Bott said, “You like taxes. They go down, you get less money.” Bott was apparently unaware the the town does not levy any property taxes.
Resident Dave Nalley said that, “Right now, Direct TV has enough pornography on it to just satisfy any needs whatsoever. We don’t need anything else in our community.” Nalley also thanked council member for dealing with the challenges they face.
Mark Upton, a business owner in the area, thanked the council for creating a forum to discuss the issue.” I do believe the moratorium is appropriate to further investigate a different location.” Upton said he didn’t think there was an appropriate site. He said his neighbors don’t want adult businesses with the possible exception of, “One diesel mechanic who was looking forward to it.”
Upton also clarified that he knew the Town was not trying to create a welcome mat for these types on businesses.
Councilman Don Frank asked Town Attorney Cohen-Davis how long it had been since the town reviewed the regulations about adult businesses and Davis said 90 years.
Frank said, “In 90 years the legal landscape at the Supreme Court level has changed.”
Frank also said that, “It is the intent of this town council with the forward thinking leadership of Audrey Cohen-Davis, to make sure we understand how laws are applied. Both constitutional protections and the regulations that are available to us to make it as hard as humanly possible for anyone to even dream of opening a sexually oriented business.” Frank said the council does not want them.
“Make no mistake,” Frank said, “this is a very thoughtful and strategically complex exercise in figuring out how to protect our community because the Supreme Court of the United States says these businesses have the right to exist. We are trying to be as impeccable, and as thoughtful, and as careful,” as possible.
“I just want to make sure that everyone understands that we are playing on the same team here,” he said.