New ordinance to regulate Bothell adult entertainment
by Jeff Switzer
BOTHELL--This Wednesday, city staff are expected to present to the Bothell Planning Commission a new draft ordinance regarding the regulation of adult entertainment businesses and strip clubs, and there has been very little input from the community on the proposed changes, according to Jerry Pyle, planning commission chair.
"It is discouraging that no one except one resident has testified at our public hearings," Pyle said. "The public either doesn't know or doesn't care. The time to express concern is now."
The commission meets Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall, 18305 101st Ave. NE, and is considering separation requirements from protected uses, such as schools, residential areas, churches, day care facilities, community centers, parks, and historic register properties. While they are under consideration, there is no guarantee that the separations will be required when the final ordinance is drafted. Preliminary discussions have considered not including daycares because they can be transitionary.
The U.S. Constitution protects freedom of expression, and the courts have determined that non-obscene, sexually-oriented materials, and nude dancing are expressive and merit constitutional protection.
The City of Bothell must allow these types of uses within the community; however, they can regulate negative secondary impacts in the zoning code and licensing requirements. According to city staff, Bothell's existing adult entertainment regulations are out of date, and these planned revisions are designed to protect the city from future lawsuits.