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Matawa Council is considering regulation of adult entertainment

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Matawa — Members of the Matawa City Council will consider possible ordinances to regulate the operation of businesses that provide adult entertainment. After discussions at Thursday’s regular meeting, board members called for regulatory options.

“When we use adult entertainment within a company, we need a policy that allows law enforcement agencies to enforce the regulations,” says Celaya.

Members of the city council were initially uncertain whether the city had already enforced the regulations, but staff revealed the problem in light of recent complaints from residents.

Councilor Sylvia Barajas said events at a local company caused her some dissatisfaction. One of the petitioners spoke to Barajas with the city authorities, she said she was told that there was nothing she could do in the city. Public Works Director Juan Ledezma said she had talked to the petitioner and explained that there were no regulations enforced by the city.

City lawyer Kathryn Kennison said adult entertainment issues have been the subject of extensive proceedings for many years and the court has established some guidelines.

“You can’t ban it,” Berghot said.

“No, it can’t be banned,” Kennison said. “We can enact laws surrounding it, but it stipulates that the scope of regulation for adult business is fairly narrow.”

According to Kennison, state law requires training for adult entertainment workers and business owners, as well as the procedures that business owners must follow.

“Something like a panic button should be installed in a private showroom,” says Kennison. “And it is regulated by the state.”

Locally, it can be used to ensure the safety of performers and minors, but there are few options, Kennison said.

“At the local level, we can regulate from a zoning perspective and a business licensing perspective,” says Kennison. “We can require business owners to procure licenses subject to some requirements, including background checks, and entertainers may be required to obtain a license, so age and Make sure you’re monitoring that kind of thing. ”

City officials can also regulate the location of adult entertainment businesses, Kennison said.

“There are certain incompatible uses when they are in close proximity, taking schools, playgrounds and churches as examples,” she said.

“The ordinance gives us more control,” says Lopez. “We are sitting now, so we can’t do anything because there are no rules.”

Councilor Tony Acosta said he was skeptical of the ordinances specific to adult entertainment.

“We’re talking about capacity and some of them, but we’ve brought in live bands and seen other businesses that exceed their occupancy. Why not address these issues?” Acosta Said. “We must be totally fair.”

Members of the council have asked for several options, and further discussions are planned at the council meeting on August 4.

Councilor Wendy Lopez said adult entertainment poses other problems, such as excessive alcohol consumption, drug use, and fights.

Other businesses, such as those hosting live music, can experience the same problems as adult entertainment facilities, such as heavy drinking, Acosta said.

“I don’t think it’s as big a concern as everyone else,” he said.

You can contact Cheryl Schweizer at and welcome news tips from across the Columbia River Basin.