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Raleigh Votes on Stripping Adult Businesses of Land

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RALEIGH — Raleigh's city council is set to vote today on limiting adult businesses along Highway 70. One councilman says that the city should not make a quick decision on this issue.

For several years a developer has wanted to build a steak house in the area with topless waitresses to serve the customers. Today, the council will vote on a proposal that could limit any type of adult business from locating anywhere on the thousands of acres that surround RDU International Airport.

City councilman John Odom says that if it were up to him, citizens would not find women exposing their bodies and serving up drinks anywhere in Raleigh.

Currently, there are only 11 adult entertainment clubs and book stores in the city with a few more looking for entry.

Raleigh city planner Charles Walker said that the federal government requires all cities to allow a certain number of the adult clubs to operate.

"The adult establishments in Raleigh serve a purpose," Walker said. "They are protected by the constitution and that is just the general public's right."

Zoning in Raleigh is strict when it comes to adult establishments. Only 2.5 percent of the land is zoned to allow these types of businesses.

Odom says as much as he does not like these types of clubs, voting for tougher zoning laws on the thousands of acres around the airport may be a red flag to the federal government.

"I want to stay where we are now with the limited 2.5," Odom said. "If we go down to 1.5 percent of our land mass, the federal government may tell us that we have to have it at 6 percent, which would make it even more than we have now."

Odom said keeping the government out is one of the reasons he will vote against the proposed limitations. The city is also in the middle of a lawsuit with another adult business trying to located in the Capital Boulevard area, and Odom said he wants that case to be resolved before he makes a decision. Reporter: Todd Hauer

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