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May 2, 2000
Hon. James D. Yarbrough, County Judge
Hon. County Commissioners
Galveston County Courthouse
Galveston, Texas 77550
Re:
Proposed Final Sexually Oriented Business Regulations and Takings Impact
Assessment
Gentlemen:
We received several comments from community members that indicate they may have
misunderstood our communication to you last month and our recommendation for next
year. This is to correct that misunderstanding and ensure everyone is on the same page.
We recommend that, with the minor modification below, you adopt the regulations we
presented in April. We ask that adoption of these regulations occur on May 25, 2000
after you conclude the Takings Impact hearing and make the necessary Texas Private
Real Property Preservation Act findings.
We next recommend that during the upcoming legislative session you introduce and
attempt the passage of legislation that will exempt sexually oriented businesses from the
provisions of the Texas Private Real Property Preservation Act. We are enclosing a copy
of the proposed legislation and a letter you may wish to send to our legislative delegation.
Assuming the legislation is passed and once it is in effect we recommend that county
staff and the ad-hoc committee revisit the regulations, and determine if changes are
required. Circumstances at the time may show some or no changes to be in order.
We caution that passage of the proposed legislation will not automatically cure all
problems that exist regarding regulation of sexually oriented businesses. Nor will it
automatically or easily make existing businesses go away. Both Federal and State
Constitutional issues will remain. Amortization is likewise still an issue on any
additional regulations that are passed that impose additional regulations or change or do
away with any grand fathered provision. Existing businesses could continue to exist for a
number of years even if new regulations are passed.
Hon. James D. Yarbrough
May 2, 2000
Page 2
The second purpose of this letter is to make a suggestion that we slightly modify the
proposed regulations you are currently studying.
It has become apparent that the
prohibition against physical contact was not adequately defined. For that reason we
recommend that Section XXV (a) (15) be modified to read as follows:
The following shall be violations of these regulations
punishable as authorized in Section 243.010(b) of the Local
Government Code. Each day a violation continues constitutes and is
punishable as a separate offense: ……
(15)
for any employee, independent contractor or other person
present at a SOBE who is nude or in a state of nudity or
performing or entertaining or while exposing any specified
anatomical areas or while engaging in any specified sexual
activities to make physical contact with or to touch in any
manner through any method any patron of a SOBE otherwise
than is specified in (17) and (18) below.
This language was partially derived from City of Houston SOB regulations.
Should you have any questions concerning this letter or the enclosures herein, please do
not hesitate to contact either of us.
Sincerely yours,
_______________________
Michael J. Guarino
Criminal District Attorney
Galveston County
________________________
Harvey Bazaman
Galveston County Legal Dept
Cc:
Ms. Judy Chin
Chief Deputy Gean Leonard
Mr. Richard Branson, Asst. D.A.
Ms. Brenda Trolinger
Mr. Nikolaos D. Manetas
Mr. Randy Brandt
Mr. Wayne Faircloth
Hon. James D. Yarbrough
May 2, 2000
Page 3
Ms. Becky Green
Mr. Harry Robinson
Ms. Evangeline Whorton of Scenic Galveston
Mr. Heber Taylor, Gal. Cty –The Daily News
Ralph Morris, M.D., M.P.H. Exec. Dir. GCHD
Rev. Alan Splawn
Ms. Elizabeth Beeton
Mr. Marty Entringer, GCHD
Mr. Alan Wheat - Lipsticks
SOB Second Comm Ct letter
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