February 23, 2013 in City

City insists E. Sprague adult shop a nuisance

Judge hears arguments in Erotic Boutique case
By The Spokesman-Review
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East Sprague Avenue in Spokane Valley isn’t zoned to allow adult entertainment businesses and never has been, attorney Ken Harper argued Friday in a hearing on whether an adult retail store there is a public nuisance.

Harper, who represented Spokane Valley, faced off with attorney Gilbert Levy, representing the owner of Hollywood Erotic Boutique in front of Spokane County Superior Court Judge Annette Plese.

Plese listened to over an hour of arguments before announcing she would mail her decision to attorneys when it is complete.

The business at 9611 E. Sprague is licensed as an adult retail establishment, but shows sexually explicit movies in small rooms on the second floor. Numerous police reports detail group masturbation and other lewd behavior taking place on a regular basis in the rooms.

The city of Spokane Valley filed the court action against the business, arguing that such activities fall under the city’s adult entertainment business license, which Hollywood Erotic Boutique does not have.

Levy argued that the city’s adult entertainment rules do not apply to the business because it is a theater.

If the court decides the business is subject to adult entertainment regulations, Levy said he was prepared to argue that the city’s code is overly broad and unconstitutional.

As it is written, he said, it’s so all-encompassing that it could be applied to Regal Cinemas.

Harper, representing Spokane Valley, replied that he didn’t see anyone from Regal Cinemas in the courtroom worried that the city would apply its adult entertainment ordinance against them.

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