City tables adult business ordinance - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

City tables adult business ordinance

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By Cade Fowler - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – For the past 14 years Gail's Lingerie has been in business on West Broad Avenue. During that time Gail Tymes says her business hasn't caused any trouble.

That's why Tymes wants to know, "Why now? What is the problem?"

Gail's in one of three sexually oriented business in Albany. Christies Adult Store and the Toy Box, both on Slappey Boulevard, are the others.

City leaders claim sexually oriented businesses are frequently used for unlawful sexual activities and are often associated with other crime.

Planning director Howard Brown says the study didn't find a lot of problems. But the ordinance shows a link to crime and prostitution associated with those establishments.

Brown says, "We did have enough, according to our city's attorney office, to substantiate a need for the ordinance."

Owners say they disagree with the findings and have no knowledge of any criminal activity occurring in or around their businesses.

The ordinance would regulate all types of sexually oriented businesses including strip clubs. It calls for adult stores to be located on major thoroughfares - Slappey Boulevard, Oglethorpe Boulevard and Dawson Road - 250 feet away from places likes playgrounds, schools and churches.

The problem for Gail's, it's on Broad Avenue.

"If it comes to putting me out of business or re-locating me, then I'm just another person on unemployment that been in business for 14 years," says Tymes.

The ordinance also says sexually oriented businesses have an adverse on surrounding properties. But business owners next door to Gail's say the adult store hasn't been bad for their business. If anything, they say it's been a plus.

"When you have down period, like on the weekend, it has brought in customers that wouldn't normally come by," says Gail Brown, co-owner of BTB Events.

Tymes addressed commissioners during Tuesday nights meeting about her business and the zoning ordinance, requesting that it include West Broad Avenue.

That's part of the reason leaders chose to table the vote until next month.

Neighboring business owners and even Tymes pastor were at the commission meeting to support her effort to change the proposed ordinance so her business can stay open.

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