Council approves adult entertainment ordinance

City officials are mulling a $100,000 traffic study for Welburn Avenue in Gilroy.

The City Council unanimously outlawed full nudity at adult
businesses and other forms of exhibition Monday night.
The City Council unanimously outlawed full nudity at adult businesses and other specific forms of exhibition Monday night.

The council adopted an ordinance that revises the city’s 1993 adult entertainment ordinance, which was last amended in September 1999.

City Administrator Tom Haglund said that revisions were needed in light of changes to case law.

“The process has taken us some time,” Haglund said.

Some of the changes include prohibiting patrons and performers from touching each other during performances, preventing performers from soliciting tips, and requiring dark coverings over performers’ genitals, buttocks and nipples.

Councilman Peter Arellano asked whether it was possible to outlaw adult businesses outright. However, Haglund said there must be some outlet for freedom of expression in accordance with the First Amendment.

Mayor Al Pinheiro requested that language of the ordinance be changed to prevent such businesses from operating within 1,000 feet of any residence or house of worship. The proposed ordinance already mentioned that they should not stand within 1,000 feet of parks, schools and recreation areas.

After the council voted on the matter with Pinheiro’s suggestions, City Attorney Linda Callon expressed concern that the revised language may illegally prohibit any adult entertainment businesses from operating in Gilroy. However, Pinheiro said there are plenty of areas in Gilroy that are not within 1,000 feet of homes, such as industrial parks and retail areas east of Highway 101. City staff agreed to revise the adult ordinance if it appeared there were no areas within city limits that do not exist within 1,000 feet of a house.

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