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Archive for Wednesday, August 4, 1993

NUDITY RESTRICTIONS PASS MINUS PLANNED TEEN BAN

August 4, 1993

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A North Lawrence juice bar will face city restrictions next month but still will be able to allow 18-year-olds inside to watch 18-year-olds dance naked.

During Tuesday's weekly meeting, Lawrence city commissioners passed an ordinance regulating sexually oriented businesses.

The ordinance includes restrictions on stage heights, tip boxes and business locations. Also, police background checks must be conducted on entertainers and employees.

But the ordinance does not include any new age restrictions for Lawrence's only nude-dancing club. Juicers, 913 N. Second, opened in April and features nude dancing. The club is open to patrons 18 and older.

Commissioners originally had indicated support for placing age limits of 21 on customers and entertainers.

"I think it's as aggressive an ordinance as the law allows," said David Corliss, assistant to the city manager. "We think this is as aggressive as the law allows us to be."

The city already bans nudity in businesses that serve alcohol. Juicers serves only soft drinks, fruit juices and water.

Corliss, a lawyer, said the commission could change the ordinance anytime it wanted, to include stricter age limits as nudity-related cases move through the state and federal court systems.

"Juice bars are a relatively new phenomenon, so the law's trying to catch up," Corliss said. "As we learn more, we might be able to do more."

Jonathan Kincaid, who gathered more than 1,000 signatures on a petition asking for a ban on nude entertainment, said he supported the ordinance, even though it still allowed teens into the bar.

He urged commissioners to keep track of other court cases and prepare for strengthening age restrictions.

"I personally think that anybody under 21 shouldn't be in the bar," he said. "That's a personal opinion."

Ron Pope, a Topeka attorney representing Juicers owner Jeff Wallace, said he wanted to express his "heartfelt appreciation and admiration" to the commission and staff for tackling such a difficult issue.

The ordinance goes into effect once published in the Journal-World. Juicers then would have 30 days to comply with the restrictions.

Here's what else happened during Tuesday's meeting:

@sc7.5: On the consent agenda, commissioners approved:

-- Minutes from various city boards and commissions.

-- Payment of city bills: $955,425.95 to 272 vendors.

-- A drinking-establishment license for the Wagon Wheel Cafe, 507 W. 14th; and a cereal malt beverage license for Harbour Lites, 1031 Mass.

-- Referring to staff a letter from Chuck Clark, Emporia, requesting drainage improvements around his property at 3326 W. Eighth. Clark's attorney, Dale Bell, is asking that a benefit district be formed to finance the improvements.

-- The final plat of Chip's Addition, a replat of lots 1 and 2 in the Ridge Mount Addition. The two-lot planned commercial development would include a deli/food market and three triplexes on 1.5 acres at the southeast corner of North Iowa Street and Riverridge Road.

-- The final plat of O'Reilly Subdivision, a one-lot commercial subdivision on 0.52 acre between North Second and Third streets, north of North Street. A site plan for the project also will be considered.

-- A resolution declaring 509 N. Seventh environmentally blighted, and giving the property owner 20 days to fix the situation.

-- Authorizing Mayor John Nalbandian to release Russell H. and Rosie J. Bowen from a mortgage.

-- Forwarding Pinnacle Inc.'s annexation request for 10 acres south of West Sixth Street, east of Eldridge Street, to the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission.

-- Site plans for Fred's Tune-Up Garage, 203 Perry, and a research office building for Midwest Superconductivity in the 1300 block of Wakarusa Drive.

Commissioners removed the following items from the consent agenda for further discussion:

-- The final plat of Prairie Park Addition No. 1, a single-family residential plat of 121 lots and 33.6 acres southeast of the intersection of East 27th Street and Kensington Road. The area is bounded to the west by the new southeast school site and on the east by County Road 1600E, also known as the O'Connell Youth Ranch Road. Commissioners approved easements and dedications on the plat, but asked staff to prepare a report addressing traffic, drainage and park development -- issues neighbors raised in a letter to Nalbandian.

-- A resolution ordering the paving of an alley in the 1700 block between Tennessee and Ohio streets. Commissioner Doug Compton abstained from the vote because he owns property bordering the alley.

On the regular agenda, commissioners:

-- Received an application for $1.5 million in industrial revenue bonds and a 10-year, 50 percent tax abatement from Carrousel Printwear, 2600 Iowa. Commissioners forwarded the request to an administrative review committee, which Commissioner Bob Moody asked to consider the "competitive climate" of screen printing businesses in Lawrence. The 4-year-old company sells imprinted sportswear and develops printing equipment. Rod Bremby, assistant city manager, said Carrousel didn't represent a "significant conflict" to other screen-printing companies, because much of its business is exported outside Lawrence. The company wants to expand into the Oread West Research Park.

-- Heard Chief Ron Olin's presentation of the Lawrence Police Department's 1992 Annual Report. Olin said that while the addition of 39 new police officers since 1990 has boosted police efforts in neighborhoods, it also has presented other problems. For one, most officers coming in contact with citizens have less than four years of experience, he said, and by the end of the year another 10 percent of the force could be new. Many have skewed views of police work, he said. "Certainly, things are not done in the way they are on television," Olin said. "That's a big departure for some police recruits, and, in some cases, they do not react well to that change."Olin did not give specific examples of problems. The department's bike patrols also are being expanded, by moving cycling officers into "patrol response" roles in neighborhoods, instead of the more traditional public relations-oriented duties downtown. Copies of the annual report, the department's first, will be available at the Lawrence Public Library, Olin said.

-- Received a letter from citizens on West 10th Street, Christie Court and Elizabeth Court regarding storm water drainage complaints. Residents of 33 homes signed the letter, complaining about "significant" drainage problems created by developing homes along Joseph Drive, Elizabeth Court and Christie Court. "Lack of adequate storm drainage is creating property damage and financial loss and is a potential health hazard," the residents said in the letter sent to City Manager Mike Wildgen on July 22. Gary Hayes, acting as a spokesman for the group, said the development represented poor planning. He asked the city to consider moving above-ground drainage channels into below-ground pipes. Nalbandian said the area would get a look through the city's planned storm water management study, set for next year. The study will identify drainage problems citywide, he said, and estimate costs for repairs. In the meantime, he said, the city will send a letter to nearby developers, encouraging them to keep drainage issues in mind when building new homes -- even though the city now has no power to regulate drainage. "If I was a builder in there, I don't know what I would do to try and help the situation," said George Williams, the city's public works director.

-- Conducted public hearings and approved two sidewalk-construction projects: along the south side of 27th Street, from Iowa to the Naismith Bridge; and along the east side of Alabama Street, from 23rd to 27th streets. The sidewalk on Alabama will be 4 feet wide instead of the usual 5 feet, to reduce the amount of land taken from front yards of homes.

-- Approved a $102,123 contract with Johnson, Brickell, Mulcahy and Associates Inc., a Kansas City, Mo., engineering firm, for preparation of an environmental impact statement for the proposed Eastern Parkway. The statement will include environmental studies of the parkway's effects, particularly on air quality and noise. "That's a lot of money," Nalbandian said, "but I don't see any alternative." The parkway is planned to stretch for three miles between the intersection of Seventh and New York streets to an intersection at Noria Road, north of K-10 and the planned South Lawrence Trafficway.

-- Agreed to apply for state financing for three road projects: widening North Second Street to four lanes between Lincoln and North Third streets; resurfacing Iowa Street between Yale Road and 21st Street; and building bike paths along the planned South Lawrence Trafficway between Clinton Parkway and the Kansas Turnpike, between the eastern end of the South Lawrence Trafficway to Douglas County Road 13 and along the Yankee Tank Creek from 15th Street to Clinton Parkway. Deadline for applications is Sept. 1.

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