The Unified Development Ordinance–proposed future zoning rules–was again a big draw at Tuesday’s McHenry County Board meeting.
At the last meeting, the room was packed with recreational vehicle owners.
From the number of snowmobilers, one might conclude that they are well organized. Boaters were well represented as well.
There was more testimony from RV and boat owners, but what caught people’s attention most was the talk about sex-oriented establishments.
The language was included in the ordinance to make sure that those wanting to open such adult establishments would have to go through the zoning ordinance. Here’s how it begins:
ADULT USE. A BUSINESS having as a substantial or significant portion of its stock-in-trade or business activity in a USE including, but not limited to, ADULT ARCADES, ADULT BOOKSTORES OR ADULT VIDEO STORES, ADULTCABARETS, ADULTENTERTAINMENTCENTERS, ADULT HOTELS/MOTELS, ADULT MASSAGE PARLORS, ADULT MOTION PICTURE THEATERS and ADULT MINI-MOTION PICTURE THEATERS, ADULT NIGHTCLUBS, ESCORT AGENCIES, NUDE MODELING STUDIOS, RAP PARLORS, ADULT SAUNAS and SEXUAL ENCOUNTER CENTERS where explicit SEXUAL CONDUCT is depicted and/or SEXUAL ACTIVITY is explicitly or implicitly encouraged or tolerated. ADULT USE includes the following definitions:
The document then provides four pages of explicit definitions of the above categories.
Testifying were three women from the Human Trafficking Freedom Coalition of Northern Illinois. They emphasized the human suffering involved in human trafficking and pointed to deficiencies in the UDO, including lack of background checks and lack of video surveillance.
Suggestions offered follow:
Susan Whitfield has this to say, “I request that the County Board vote to delay final approval of the UDO. I and others are in the process of finding ‘best practices in zoning and regulation that minimize the unique challenges of human trafficking.”
Paul Dreiski, elected Orchard Beach Road Commissioner, said, “We strongly agree with the vision statement that John Hammerand posted online:
‘Our lifestyle is worth protecting. We Need YOUR Support to Continue our Fight to Cut Bureaucracy and Waste while Protecting the Quality of life in McHenry County”
“We at Orchard Beach Subdivision are proud to be part of McHenry County,” he continued.
“We want the subdivision to be exempted from 16.11.A Storage of commercials vehicle for residential users and 16.11.B Storage of Recreational vehicles for Residential users, because our Roads are private non-dedicated roads that we maintain.”
The human trafficking topic was featured at the February breakfast of Patriots United and a task force has been meeting since then.