Tighter restrictions on adult businesses in Hopewell

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) – There are now tighter restrictions on adult-oriented businesses in Hopewell. City leaders say the move will help keep Hopewell family friendly. The new law tones down images strip clubs and adult shops can advertise on their signs.

There aren't many exotic entertainment businesses in Hopewell but officials say they want to be prepared if more come knocking.

"We think it's a good time to do this while we have the opportunity. We've seen more activity coming in the future of development in this area and we want to make sure we continue to be a family oriented community," said City Manager, Ed Daley.

So, the city has decided to make a change regarding signage for Exotic Entertainment.

"It describes further what things are permitted on signs and what things are not. It's to restrict the graphic display on signs," said Daley.

Under the new law, signage for sexually oriented businesses can not have photographs, silhouettes, drawings, graphic images, or any pictorial representation. Michelle James welcomes the new law. She works at a daycare -- two doors down from a strip club which features a silhouette on its sign.

"We have school age children that come in the afternoon and they see that and they know what it is because they're older," said James.

The new law also tones down language. So, if a sign says "sex store" it must now say, "adult novelties." Robin Thomas says she's surprised by the new law and calls it unnecessary.

"I don't think the sign is offensive. I don't know what the big to-do is about," said Thomas.

Adult business owners with such signage and the proper permits are grandfathered in and the new law won't apply. Those without the proper paperwork must make a change.

NBC 12 reached out to adult entertainment business owners in Hopewell for reaction, but were told no comment.

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