Mingo Junction Village Council heard first reading of an ordinance Tuesday to regulate sexually oriented businesses in the village.
Village Solicitor Ernest Wilson said the ordinance was prepared by the Ohio Attorney General's Office and has been adopted by communities around the state and upheld in court. Wilson said the ordinance doesn't ban such clubs, but it regulates what can happen at the clubs.
Wilson said the owner or operator of a sexually oriented business and all employees will have to be licensed through the village. The application process will include a photograph taken by a police agency, fingerprints, identifying marks on the body including tattoos and a criminal background check.
Once an application is received for the owner or operator and all employees, the police department will conduct a review and submit the results to Village Council. The fire department and county health department will inspect the building to make sure it complies with regulations. The village administrator also will inspect the building to make sure it complies with the village property maintenance and zoning codes.
Within 21 days after receipt of the sexually oriented business license application, Village Council will meet to approve or deny the request. The application can be denied because required information is missing or not complete. The license also can be denied if the applicant has been denied another license elsewhere in the past 12 months or had a license revoked by any other jurisdiction, or the applicant has been convicted of a sexually oriented crime, including promoting prostitution.
The sexually oriented business can have its license revoked for prostitution, allowing controlled substances or illegal drugs into the business or allowing an act of specified sexual activity prohibited under the ordinance.
The ordinance also will not allow a person to appear before a patron in a state of nudity. Employees are allowed to be semi-nude but must be on a stage separated by a specified distance from patrons, and must not be touched by a patron.
Such a business is not allowed to operate between midnight and 6 a.m., unless there is a liquor license setting the hours of operation, but the sexually oriented side of the business must end at midnight.
Wilson said the ordinance will apply to any existing businesses.
"We are not shutting down any business. We are just regulating how they can operate," Wilson said.