At Wednesday's Imperial Beach City Council meeting, councilmembers will address the city's adult-entertainment establishments by proposing a new ordinance.
City staff, according to a report from City Manager Gary Brown's office, first conceived of the new ordinance after the Sheriff's department received a complaint of prostitution and sexual activities in the Romantix Bookstore on Palm Avenue.
City employees conducted their own investigation, which revealed several business practices that were not covered in the city's municipal code, mainly the operation of the "adult arcade viewing booths."
According to the staff's report, adult arcade booths are prime spots for prostitution: "There are numerous advertisements on the Internet from people proposing sexual rendezvous at an adult entertainment arcade in the City of Imperial Beach."
Inside the Romantix Bookstore, staff found that the 14 booths had seating for more than one person, the doors could be latched from the inside, the booths did not meet ADA accessibility requirements, and all booths were positioned out of sight from employees.
In addition to the sections dealing with the adult arcade booths, the staff's investigation revealed that the store did not have adequate signage such as signs prohibiting sexual activities, loitering, and no signs prohibiting that more than one person enter the viewing booths.
City staff took the findings from the investigation and composed an ordinance. If adopted, the ordinance will make changes to the layout of the adult arcade, such as raising the floor and walls by 18 inches, to allow for inspection by law enforcement personnel, as well as requiring that adult establishments close their doors between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.
The new ordinance will be discussed at the September 22 meeting at 6 p.m. inside council chambers.