Selma Council Fights Adult Entertainment Business

January 21, 2009 8:24:10 AM PST
Downtown Selma is a good place to do business. There are lots of quaint shops and t there's William Hill's business. It's called, "When the Sun Goes Down Entertainment." William offers Exotic Dancers and the neighboring business owners like Marianne Rodriguez don't like it."I just think it's gonna bring the wrong element to the heart of our city," said Rodriguez. She owns a music store right next to the office of the adult entertainment company. Dozens of children come to the music store for lessons every day.

Marie Tygart has a custom sewing shop nearby. "I know he says he's a legitimate business owner, and that's fine with me, but I just don't believe this kind of business belongs downtown." Said Marie.

Hill's exotic dancer agency would be directly across the street from the studio, where little girls are learning to dance ballet, and tap. Deanna Garcia's daughter is one of the students.

"That doesn't make sense. Why would they even consider positioning it right across the street from a children's dance school. That's upsetting to think it's even being considered." She said.

Parents and business owners took their concerns, and a petition with over five hundred signatures on it to the Selma City Council Tuesday night. After hearing from the people, the council voted quickly, and unanimously to pass an emergency ordinance, which would prohibit Hill from operating his business downtown.

After the vote, Selma Mayor Dennis Lujan said, "We feel really confident we this is going to take care of the situation. The crowd that was here tonight shows that Selma is a very, very moral type of community."

Under the ordinance, Hill's business would be lumped in with other enterprises, like topless bars or strip clubs. Not banned, but restricted to industrial areas. Hill was not happy with the vote.

"You can get more money downtown. That's the whole point. Come downtown, get more money." He said.

While saying downtown is where the money is, Hill says there would be no dancing at the business. He says the office would be just a place to answer the phone.

The City Council took the fast action after learning Hill did not yet have a city business license. The City Attorney advised the council that if he had obtained a license, the city would probably be unable to force him to move. The council's action is temporary. The city has 45 days to hold a public hearing and vote on a permanent ordinance. City leaders believe they are on solid legal ground in having the office of an adult entertainment site placed in the same category as a strip club. But William Hill says he has a lawyer and could challenge the city's action.

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