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Porterdale council approves sex business ordinance change

PORTERDALE, Ga. – The Porterdale City Council voted to approve a change to the city’s code of ordinances Monday night, adding an Article governing sexually oriented businesses.

The ordinance change addresses concerns and problems the city might encounter going forward with businesses that sell sex and might one day want to locate in Georgia’s Historic Mill Village.

It defines what sexually oriented businesses are and lays out specific rules for governing them, including what is and is not permitted and where such businesses can be located.

The Article states that its intent is to “protect and preserve the good order, health, peace, safety and welfare of the citizens of the City of Porterdale.”

The ordinance change also addresses protected free speech stating, “Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit constitutionally protected expression or speech. This article is intended to reasonably regulate sexually oriented businesses which engage in commercial activities involving acts or services of a sexual nature or which involve acts or services involving matters which are sexual in nature.”

The Article requires any person wanting to apply for a permit to operate such a business in the city to make application in person at the city manager’s office. The applications are available in the city clerk’s office.

Violation of any requirement or prohibition in the Article is a misdemeanor, punishable on conviction by a fine of not more than $1000 and/or by imprisonment for not more than six months.

The council also approved a change to the city’s zoning ordinance permitting the businesses in areas zoned L-I, or light industrial.

City Clerk Megan Reid told The Covington News, “There have been no business applications received in the city clerk’s office.”

She said the council approved the ordinance change to be proactive.