By: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

NILES, OHIO — The Niles City Council is focusing all of its energy to target businesses that cater to sexually oriented products with harsh new restrictions that some say amount to draconian regulations.

The Council passed new regulations Wednesday Oct 4, that would place new limits on where “sexually oriented businesses” can operate within the city limits.

Under the new legislation, the Niles City Council considers a sexually oriented business as defined to be an adult arcade, adult bookstore, adult video store, adult cabaret, adult motel, adult motion picture theater, adult theater, escort agency, nude model studio, and/or sexual encounter center.

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The new law states that “Sexual oriented businesses cannot be operated within 1000 feet of a childcare facility such as a daycare, preschool, public school, or private educational facility. In addition, the businesses cannot operate within 1000 feet of a church, synagogue, mosque, temple, any other building used for religious worship, parks, recreational areas, playgrounds, nature trails, athletic fields, bike paths, wilderness areas, and other similar locations.”

The ordinance continues to say that sexually centered businesses cannot be within 350 feet of any residential zoned area or entertainment facilities that cater to children, families, or senior citizens.

If that wasn’t enough, the new law also limits the hours of operation to no later than 1 a.m. on weeknights and Saturdays.

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Sexually oriented businesses must also apply for a license to operate in within the city limits. Now here is one that sticks a dagger into the First Amendment, an adult oriented business license can be suspended or revoked at the discretion of the police chief. We are sure to see litigation being filed on this new law very soon.

Council members claim that the point of the draconian legislation is not to restrict the First Amendment, but rather to promote the “health, safety, morals, and general welfare” of community members.

Review the text of the legislation – CLICK HERE

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