Entrepreneurs who want to open an adult business in Manassas will have to jump through a few more hoops than other business owners in the city.
On Monday, the Manassas City Council unanimously approved an ordinance that regulates sexually oriented businesses and requires their owners to get a special license to operate.
The ordinance comes six months after a mother-daughter duo opened KK’s Temptations in Old Town Manassas. The store, which sells adult DVDs, lingerie and sex toys, met with resistance from many residents and city officials who questioned how it could open in a quaint, historic district.
The ordinance requires that adult store owners obtain a special license from the office of the Commissioner of the Revenue and get a special license for each employee who works there.
The special license costs $100 and can be renewed annually for an additional $100. The employee license is $50 and must also be renewed annually. Other businesses are not required to pay a fee when they apply to operate in Manassas, city officials said.
The ordinance also regulates the hours the business can operate, the signage and the location. Businesses must be 1,000 feet from any other sexually oriented business and 750 feet from numerous other buildings, including churches, schools and libraries. The businesses are also subject to random inspections by city officials.
After KK’s Temptations opened, city officials quickly worked to pass a temporary ordinance that prevented similar businesses from popping up in certain parts of the community. City officials paid the consulting firm Duncan Associates $29,000 to help draft a more permanent ordinance and craft a report that outlines what effects these businesses have on communities.
According to the report, increased criminal activity has been associated with sexually oriented businesses, but KK’s Temptations is “not the type of business that is likely to attract” such crime. Lawful adult shops don’t often “cause” crime, and criminal activity is more often associated with adult businesses that also offer entertainment, according to the study. Sexually oriented businesses can also effect the values of properties that are up to a half-a-mile away, the study states.
The ordinance approved Monday is scheduled to take effect after the council takes a mandatory second vote on it in May.