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City Ordinance Restricting Sex Stores to Industrial Area Upheld
Description Appeals court upheld city zoning ordinance designed to prevent reductions in property values and increases in crime and disease by restricting sexually oriented businesses to locate in industrial area. The regulation is sufficiently narrowly tailored that it does not violate free speech rights.
Topic Real and Personal Property
Key Words Zoning, Constitutionality
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts City of Aurora, Colorado, enacted a zoning ordinance regulating all sexually-oriented businesses, forcing them to locate in an industrial areas. An adult novelty, magazine, and video store sued to enjoin the regulation as an unconstitutional infringement of free speech. District court struck down the ordinance. City appealed.
Court of Appeals Decision Reversed. Ordinance is valid because it is content-neutral for purposes of First Amendment free speech protection. Its purpose was to regulate the harmful secondary effects of such businesses. The ordinance was narrowly tailored to serve significant governmental interests, such as protecting property values, reducing crime, and reducing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. The ordinance left open alternative channels of communication since eleven percent of the city was zoned industrial.
Citation Z.J. Gifts D-2, L.L.C. v. City of Aurora, 136 F.3d 683 (10th Cir., 1998)

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