Will sex shops discover the City of Discovery? - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Will sex shops discover the City of Discovery?


OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Where should sexually oriented adult entertainment open in Ocean Springs? That will be debated tonight by the Ocean Springs Board of Aldermen.

The laws in Ocean Springs have never addressed the issue of where sexually oriented businesses should operate. Tonight that may change. Aldermen will consider an ordinance that allows adult arcades, adult bookstores, and adult video shops in an I-2 zone.

The resolution up for debate says, "Change in times and circumstances necessitate that such ordinance be now amended further in order to protect and promote the general health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Ocean Springs." It was written prior to a June 8, 2010 public hearing on the issue.

Where's I-2? According to city leaders, it's sprinkled all over the city. We're told a restaurant on Highway 90 across from Walmart is in an I-2 zone.  So is an asphalt plant, and an optics shop.  However, restrictions in the ordinance prevent a sexually oriented business from opening up within 300 feet of a church, a school, a daycare center, a residential district, a city park, a lounge or another sex shop.

When we asked Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran about the sex shop ordinance, she sent up this statement. "It is neither the intent of the ordinance to prohibit nor condone the establishment of these businesses in the city limits, but rather to present clear and concise regulations for their operation. The City recognizes the business owners' constitutional right to operate."

The debate over adult businesses in Ocean Springs begins at 6:00. We'll be there, and tell you what's said on WLOX and WLOX.com

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