San Antonio city hall redefines 'sexually-oriented business'

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by Joe Conger / KENS 5

Bio | Email | Follow: @joe_conger

kens5.com

Posted on December 6, 2012 at 7:28 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 6 at 8:41 PM

SAN ANTONIO -- It comes down to the bikini top: Wear anything less than what you find in a Victoria's Secret catalog and female dancers and entertainers are officially strippers in San Antonio.

City council passed a tougher, conglomerated sexually-oriented business ordinance Wednesday, designed to eliminate loopholes in the city’s stripper laws.

Since 2010, strip-club dancers have been wearing “pasties” over their nipples.

Up until now, that satisfied a clothing requirement that kept the employees and strip-club owners from having to register for licenses with the city.

The new ordinance cleans up the language, making sure that employees wearing anything less than a bikini top are designated as participating in a sexually-oriented business, or SOB.

Denise Pohl is hopeful the men’s club near her children’s Catholic elementary school will close down, rather than apply for a SOB license.

She says she is tired of her kids and other students finding lewd, happy-hour flyers that are often scattered near the school grounds.

Pohl said, “If we protect our children physically with speed zones and drug-free zones, why can’t we protect our children emotionally and psychologically by limiting this impact in our community?”

But attorneys for the strip clubs say the new rules may backfire.

If the dancers keep their tops on, then the business stays open, and doesn’t have to register as a strip club.

“Why doesn’t anyone want to be a sexually-oriented business? Because the ordinance is so complicated, the things you have to do are so costly and risky, that nobody wants to put the investment at risk that they have in these clubs,” said attorney Jim Deegear. Deegear represents 13 of the club owners.

The new law goes into effect in 60 days and includes stiffer fines and regulations.

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