Ward County Adopts Regulations for Sexually Oriented Businesses

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

WARD COUNTY --  In a unanimous vote on Monday morning, County Commissioners put some rules in place that determine everything from where the business can be located to who can run it.

In a thirty page document, commissioners have outlined everything from what a sexually oriented business is to when and where they can operate.

Residents had been asking for them after interest into existing regulations came about late last year.

According to County Judge Greg Holly, "We had had a public hearing a couple of weeks ago and a large number of folks participated in that hearing and spoke to the court and encouraged the court to enact regulations governing those businesses, and that's what we did this morning.

Commissioners addressed the need to regulate the efect these types of businesses could have on the area.

"What the law allows us to do is to regulate those businesses in terms to the adverse affects that they have on the community."

The new rules go as far as to determine who can apply for a license, who can operate the business and even what times it can be open.

As you travel up and down I-20 you'll see road signs like the one pointing the way to the Sandhills State Park.  One thing you won't see is a sign telling you where the closest adult hot spot is.  With these new regulations in place, County Officials hope you never will.

Holly says, "We certainly hope that doesn't happen.  We hope that enacting these regulations will be the end of this discussion in Ward County."

Judge Holly goes on to say while there is no specific interest in Ward County, if it happens, they're ready for it.

"Well certainly it's my personal desire that that type of business wouldn't come to Ward County, but we want to be prepared if they do.  I think that we are prepared at this point."