Public has little to say about Adult Entertainment Ordinance

By Dan West | Feb 19, 2014

Searsport — Searsport held a public hearing regarding updating its Adult Entertainment Establishment Ordinance at which few members of the public spoke.

Voters will get a second chance to voice their opinion about the proposed changes to the ordinance at the Searsport Town Meeting Saturday, March 8. Those who spoke at the public hearing questioned how the new ordinance differs from the existing one.

Reverend Cliff Gall of Searsport Full Gospel Church and Pastor Norm Labonte of Safe Harbor Church both attended and asked what the exact changes made to the text of the original ordinance were.

Chair of the Ordinance Review Committee David Italiaander said the only major change was to incorporate the Obscene Material Ordinance into the new adult entertainment ordinance. Italiaander said there were other changes to the wording and order of the articles in the warrant to make it easier to understand and easier to enforce.

"We can't ban all these businesses by virtue of the fact that we don't like them," Italiaander said. "But we haven't changed the nature of the ordinance and we haven't made it any easier nor harder for a business to operate."

Planning Board Chair Bruce Probert asked why the committee did not want to wrap massage therapy businesses into the adult entertainment ordinance. Italiaander said he the businesses were distinct from each other in the types of services provided and therefore required separate ordinances.

The Planning Board closed the public hearing after 30 minutes of discussion.

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