John Kincaid says 1,221 signatures should send a clear message to Lawrence city commissioners:
Ban nude dancing.
"I think it's extremely clear," said Kincaid, a local food-service distributor who organized a petition drive two weeks ago. "We feel that the commission ought to ban nudity, and not just hand out health cards."
Kincaid, 2515 Belle Haven, presented commissioners with a petition asking the city to ban nudity in "sexually oriented" businesses, such as Juicers bar in North Lawrence, which opened last month and features nude dancing.
Commissioners have asked city staff to develop two possible ordinances: one to ban nudity in businesses altogether, and another to place "heavy" restrictions on such businesses' operations.
Kincaid and a dozen supporters brought their signatures and comments to city hall, a week before the ordinances could be up for consideration.
"There are a lot of concerned people," Commissioner Doug Compton said after the meeting. "This just reiterates the calls and letters I've received."
Kincaid said most of the signatures came from about 50 petitions distributed at local churches.
Jim O'Keefe, 1407 W. 7th, No. 10, said he moved his family of five children to Lawrence from Biloxi, Miss., to avoid the proliferation of open casinos and "prostitution in the streets" of Biloxi.
Juicers could lead Lawrence down the wrong road, he said.
"This literally opens up the door for every vile thing," O'Keefe said. "The money's flowing, the prostitution's growing. ... You let one in, it starts growing."
Jeff Wallace, who owns Juicers, has collected letters supporting nude dancing as a form of "artistic expression" protected by the U.S. Constitution. Last week, 62 people had signed letters, which also will be forwarded to the commission.