In 2001, Spokane passed an ordinance prohibiting hard-core sex shops from being within 750 feet of schools, churches and other sex shops. According to some people, these shops are offensive and lower the overall tone of the areas in which they are established. Not only did this ordinance push some people out of a living, but also, according to an article featured in The Spokesman-Review, drained a large portion of the city’s legal defense budget because of people opposing this ordinance.
An update to the ordinance of 2001 is now being discussed. If passed, the result would give violating sex shop owners five years to close.
While many people could agree that some of these shops are rather unsightly, is enforcing a strict ordinance that forces hard-working people out of their jobs the answer to a more respectable city? Perhaps, if the ordinance was less strict, it could be more beneficial to the city.
For example, placing further restrictions on what can be seen from outside the shop could improve the aesthetic components of the building. This sort of less extreme approach to this issue would maintain more jobs and reduce the spending from the city’s legal defense budget.