March 23, 2013 in Washington Voices

Adult store ruled a ‘public nuisance’

Hollywood Erotic Boutique allegedly violated zoning
By The Spokesman-Review
Map of this story's location

Spokane County Superior Court Judge Annette S. Plese declared the Hollywood Erotic Boutique store at 9611 E. Sprague Ave., a public nuisance in a sometimes pointed decision written last week.

The city of Spokane Valley filed a lawsuit against the business, arguing that showing sexually explicit movies to customers violates the city’s zoning code. The store is licensed as an adult retail business, but adding the movies makes it an adult entertainment business, which isn’t allowed in that location, the city argued.

In turn, the store’s owner argued that the adult entertainment ordinance didn’t apply because he is operating a theater. The store has several small rooms on the second floor where the movies are shown.

Plese wrote that the so-called mini-theaters meet the definition of an adult arcade establishment. “The court finds that in order to interpret the code in the way that HEB desires, one would have to throw out common intelligence,” she wrote.

Plese also ruled that the business is not a legal nonconforming use because an adult entertainment business was never allowed on the property even under Spokane County zoning before the city incorporated. “HEB has not challenged the city’s legislative finding that adult entertainment establishments cause adverse secondary impact on the community,” she wrote. “These secondary impacts on a community are a public nuisance.”

Attorney Gilbert Levy, representing the business owner, said during a previous court hearing that he would argue that the city’s adult entertainment ordinance is unconstitutional if the court ruled in the city’s favor.

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