December 23, 2003

Adult businesses

I pulled out my Town of Dryden Zoning Map (available at the town office - I haven't seen it on the Web) to compare it to the Future Land Use Plan, and was reminded of a a feature on the zoning map that isn't mentioned in the Draft Comprehensive Plan: the M-AA district.

The functioning of this zone, which includes 84 Lumber and nearby parcels, is described in the supplement that comes with the Zoning Map:

Supervisor Schug explained that this was a public hearing to establish an M-AA Zone. The M-A Zone has two zones with the town that allow for business, heavy industry, and so forth. The M-AA Zone would allow adult entertainment within that zone. Supv Schug explained that the proposed change had been published in the newspaper and Attorney Perkins paraphrased the amendment for those in attendance.
Atty Perkins - The proposed zone will cover all of Town of Dryden tax parcels 42-1-9.1, 10, and 12 and those portions off 42-1-2 and 11 lying north and east of Route 13, which basically is west of Hanshaw Road and north of Route 13. The amendment prohibits adult uses is all of the other zones in the Town of Dryden except the new M-AA zone. It adopts a new Section 1200 subdivision 2 stating that the intent and purpose of the M-AA zone and the following regulations is to establish and identify specific area where adult uses will be permitted and to establish regulations protecting nearby neighborhoods from the impacts of such uses, and separating such uses from non-compatible uses such as residential uses, schools, churches, and parks.
The Ordinance is amended by adding a new Section 1202 entitled Adult Uses. Subsection 1 defines adult use and adult entertainment business and it goes on to allow adult uses in the M-AA zone with site plan review as are all uses in M-A zones subject to specific other conditions. That is, no adult use can be located within 500' of any single family, two family, or multi-family dwelling, 1,000' of any public or private school, 500' of any church or religious facility, 1000' of any public park, and 2500' of any premises licensed by the State Liquor Authority under the provisions of the Alcohol Beverage Control Law. It establishes a method of measuring the distance. It sets forth additional requirements with respect to the interior of adult use buildings with respect to their locations. It requires additional screening at the discretion of the Town Board and prohibits adult uses also in the M-A zones. Effective date 8/11/98.

I doubt this was passed to turn 84 Lumber into a red-light district (though the bright red representing it on the zoning map is an interesting choice.) If I remember right, this was about the time that Sirens was operating across the town line in Groton, where the Elm Tree Inn is now. It echoes the zoning laws New York City passed while Giuliani was waging war on adult businesses. Municipalities without zoning can't regulate these businesses at all, and municipalities with zoning have to provide a place for them if they want to bar them from other areas.

The map for the Future Land Use Plan doesn't highlight the M-AA zone at all. In fact, it chooses an aquamarine color for the industry/office/research zone it would like to see develop there.

Posted by simon at December 23, 2003 10:04 AM in
Note on photos


Dotty said:

Although I have a pretty good idea of what these folks mean by "adult businesses", I do hope that there is a description somewhere in plan. I can see it all spinning out of control--age discrimination problems, church bingo nights being forced to move out of the church basement, wrong-headed (a favorite word, and so used with sarcasm) efforts to combine all adult activity so that there's heavy duty preaching of fire and brimstone next to the gambling dens next to the strip clubs next to the all day all night bar next to a motel unmistakeably named, "Hour Bed Is Yours".