Local dancers and adult entertainment supporters might get their wish — a repeal of restrictions on strip clubs and related establishments by Fort Wayne City Council in 2017.
Councilman Jason Arp, R-4th, has written an ordinance that would partially repeal the 2017 ordinance that states sexually oriented businesses cannot be open from midnight to 7 a.m. daily. It also states that employees cannot appear semi-nude unless separated from patrons by 6 feet, on a stage at least 18 inches off the floor and in a room no less than 600 square feet.
Local residents involved in the adult entertainment business have spoken at City Council meetings with complaints that the ordinance hurts employees, both financially and by putting them more at risk with patrons unhappy with the required distance.
Arp’s ordinance repeals all of the 2017 ordinance with the exception of the first two chapters, which are filled with definitions. Megan Flohr, City Council administrator, said removing the definitions would create problems within the city’s zoning code regarding sexually oriented businesses.
City Council approved the proposed ordinance’s introduction Tuesday with Councilman Tom Didier, R-3rd, voting in opposition. Councilmembers Sharon Tucker, D-6th, Glynn Hines, D-at large, and Arp were absent.
The possible repeal is expected to be discussed at City Council’s next meeting Dec. 7.