Rep. Sherrer's bill to limit 'adult cabarets' (H.B. 1607) survives close votes
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Published: 16-Mar-2015

A restriction proposed in House Bill 1607 is too late to benefit the residents of Inola and Chouteau (where recent incidents have been in the news), but it might prevent a "strip" club from opening in some other rural area of Oklahoma.

H.B. 1607 would forbid any "adult cabaret" in an unincorporated area not subject to county-wide zoning, if the establishment is to be located within 2,000 feet of:

* any building "primarily and regularly used for worship services and religious activities"

* land used for residential purposes

*any public highway

The bill defines "adult cabaret" to mean a nightclub, bar, restaurant or similar establishment in which "persons appear in a state of nudity in the performance of their duties."

H.B. 1607 is entitled the Oklahoma Highway, Right of Way, and Adjoining Property Safety, Protection and Beautification Act. 

Rep. Ben Sherrer, D-Chouteau, is the principal author, and Sen. Randy Bass, D-Lawton, is the Senate sponsor.

The measure was prompted by the construction of an all-nude strip club that opened recently on the Mayes County side of the Mayes/Rogers county line, near one of Oklahoma's largest Amish communities. 

The site is just east of Stone Creek Store off U.S. 412 and lies in an unincorporated area that has no planning or zoning restrictions.

"In the event Mayes County commissioners opt to enact a countywide zoning law, reasonable land-use restrictions addressing the operation of a business that features nude or partially nude dancing could be crafted," Sherrer said. 

But it is unlikely that an absolute prohibition would pass muster under the U.S. Constitution.

The state House of Representatives initially rejected the bill on a 44-48 vote March 11, but passed it, 53-37, on reconsideration later that night.

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