Unalaska City Council passes adult entertainment regulations

Posted: Friday, March 15, 2002

UNALASKA (AP) -- The Unalaska City Council has passed strict regulations that will require a new strip club to relocate.

Although the council spent months debating how to regulate the club Mermaids since it opened in January, the ordinances passed unanimously on Tuesday without comment.

The ordinances cover how and where adult businesses can operate. A new zoning law prohibits such establishments from operating within 300 feet of a church, school, youth-oriented business, playground or residential development.

One of the ordinances makes Mermaid's current location illegal. The business will have as long as a year to relocate to an acceptable area.

A separate law regulates the business itself, including hours of operation, minimum distances between dancers and patrons, how dancers may be tipped, and size restrictions on adult businesses.

At a previous meeting, the council had already passed a prohibition on public nudity, which will require dancers to wear g-strings and pasties when they perform.

All of the regulations went into effect after Tuesday's meeting.

Now that the council has passed the ordinances, it appears the debate will move from City Hall to the courthouse. The day before the meeting, Mermaids owner Kostas Manolakakis and his attorney submitted letters to the city asking that the ordinances be postponed a month while they gathered evidence to challenge them.

Manolakakis also asked that his business be exempt from the new ordinances, since Mermaids was in place before they were passed. He said the club is currently making a substantial profit, but would be driven out of business by the new laws.

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