Spokane City Council passes ordinance to crack down on adult stores

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane City Council is cracking down on adult bookstores.

On Monday night they passed an ordinance that will shut down two northside businesses. 

The city said businesses, like the Hollywood Erotique Boutique and the Hollywood Erotic Boutique, have a negative effect on the surrounding area, including an increase in property crime, prostitution and illegal drug use.

Spokane City Council passes ordinance to crack down on adult stores

More than a decade ago, the city put in place rules on where adult sexually orientated businesses can operate because, the city explained, those stores bring criminal and other unwanted activity to the neighborhood. For example, the current zoning doesn't allow for an adult business to be within 750 feet of a park, school, daycare or residence.

Most shops moved locations to friendlier zoned areas like Sprague and Trent avenues. Two -- Hollywood Erotique Boutique and the Hollywood Erotic Boutique -- did not. The stores argued that they didn't fit the definition of an adult business in the original ordinance, so the city created a new ordinance.

"What we are proposing tonight is an ordinance that will close those loopholes," attorney Milton Rowland of Foster Pepper said.

Council members say the new ordinance does a better job defining what makes an adult business. For example, if the store advertises itself using the word "XXX" or "Adults-Only" than under the new ordinance it is considered an adult bookstore.

"Those are reasonable clarifications, they are much more precise than what we had before," Spokane City Councilman Steve Salvatori said.

The two stores owned by CAWA Corp have one year to move or close down since the new ordinance would clearly put them in violation of the zoning rules. Neighbors say Hollywood Erotique Boutique is less than 200 feet from .

The lawyer representing the two businesses didn't wish to do an interview with KXLY but said his client is very disappointed by the city council's decision.