Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dille Law Faces Challenge

Senator Steve Dille wrote a bill in 2006, at the request of local Eden Valley citizens, to restrict a strip club that had popped up on the outskirts of town. By the time our own State Senate campaign kicked off in 2006, the club had been closed.

Seems like a southern Minnesota club is fighting Dille's bill.
The owner of the proposed Pussycat Cabaret wants an injunction against the city, as well as a temporary restraining order preventing Zumbro Falls from enforcing the state law, which another federal judge had warned was likely unconstitutional.

"Until we drive a stake through the heart of this statute, any future adult business that opens up is going to have to comply with it or file a suit to get it enjoined," said Randall D.B. Tigue, the Golden Valley attorney representing the business, owned by Shakiba Laura Dewitz, of Rochester, Minn.

Tigue said that if U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen rules in their favor after Wednesday's hearing, "My guess is the business would open the day we got a restraining order. They have dancers ready to go."

But Zumbro Falls Mayor Alan VanDeWalker said the city intends to battle the club, even though the cost of a legal fight "is going to put our small city in a very tough financial situation."
The restrictions in the law?
Unless a municipality writes its own ordinances governing adult-oriented businesses, state law applies. The state law was authored by State Sen. Steve Dille, R-Dassel, in 2006 and severely restricts establishments offering adult entertainment.

Among other things, the law says an adult business has to give the a city 60 days' notice before applying for a permit to operate. It also prohibits such businesses from being within 500 feet of residential property, 1,500 feet of other adult businesses or 2,800 feet of a school or place of worship; they can be open only between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. and must be closed Sundays.
In other words...virtually every small town in Minnesota is covered under this law.

Agree or disagree?

In light of the poor economy and financial crunch faced by Minnesota's small towns, could this law end up hurting the same towns it's meant to protect? Litigation is very costly, could it cost these small towns vital employees and services fighting these battles?

My point of contention with the law is consistency. Feeding off the Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) mentality.

Got a large feedlot that not only stinks to high hell, but pollutes the ground water in the area as well? That's ok, they have to go somewhere right?

Not that I care if Eden Valley has, had or wants an adult entertainment facility. I'd just ask for some consistency.

1 comment:

JLeuze said...

Yeah, and it would be nice to see another blue law off the books. Sunday is just another day to plenty of people!

Regardless of anyone's opinion on bars and strip clubs, they aren't any more or less deprived on Sundays.

I don't really think that the time restrictions are very respectful either in a 24/7 world. Aside from the reasonable safety concerns of keeping drunks off roads at night, it isn't fair to restrict the choices of nocturnal people.

Maybe if small town folks have a problem with these types of establishments, they should zone them in right next to the feedlots...