The Norfolk Planning Commission voted to recommend an addition to city code regulating sexually oriented businesses.

The commissioners voted unanimously to recommend an amendment to city code enacting Chapter 13, Article XVI to regulate sexually oriented businesses and to replace or update references to adult businesses in other parts of city code.

The purpose of this new article is simply to update existing city code, said Valerie Grimes, director of planning and development.

“We’re deleting our current section of adult business code, and what people are calling them are sexually oriented businesses, and that is what we would want to enact as a new section of code,” she said.

The current codes have been in place for decades, Grimes said.

“Our adult business code has been in place for almost 20 years. You’ve seen in the news, nationally, a lot of these places will sue cities for not allowing them to do certain things,” she said. “So as a preemptive measure, we’re just looking at code to make it more current to what other cities have.”

The new codes will not affect any existing businesses, Grimes said.

Grimes looked at what other cities had in their codes to develop the new ones, she said.

Chairman Dan Spray said he thinks this is a good time to update the code.

“I like that this is becoming its own section of code,” Spray said. “I think this makes it a lot easier to define and to enforce. It doesn’t affect any existing businesses, so this will be a good time to do this.”

The motion to recommend the new code passed unanimously.

The amendment will go before the city council next, which will have the final say on it.

No one from the public spoke during the public hearing portion of the meeting for this code.

The Norfolk Planning Commission met Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. at the Norfolk City Council Chambers.

Commission members present: Dan Spray, Kyle Deets, Melissa Figueroa, Zackary Gangwer, Dirk Waite, Brandon Franklin, Mary Hammond, Martin Griffith.

Commission members absent: Jacob Thone

Meeting lasted: 30 minutes.

Others in attendance: City staff, four; media representatives, two; and 12 from the public.


— Approved a zoning change for a property located at 212 S. Eighth St.

— Approved of a zoning change on a property located 1/4 mile east of the intersection of North 49th Street and West Eisenhower Avenue.

—Approved a conditional use permit for climate controlled storage of non-hazardous materials on a property at 919 S. 20th St.

— Approved motion to recommend amending city code to enact Chapter 13, Article XVI to regulate sexually oriented businesses in permits and regulations.

— Approved recommendation of the final plat of The Pines Subdivision.

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