Sex Trade Zoning Regs in Jeopardy

Some will remember the sexually-oriented club that was opened during the 1990’s in Burton’s Bridge.

The first night limos were bringing in customers.

Neighbors weren’t happy, but the McHenry County zoning ordinance left officials pretty much defenseless.

The club eventually closed.  I don’t remember the details. (Maybe a reader will fill us in.)

Now McHenry County is considering a new comprehensive zoning ordinance which is called a “Unified Development Ordinance.”

Efforts have been made to control sex shops by putting them in industrial areas only.

But, there is a problem with the ordinance that McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi pointed out in a memo on County Board members’ desks at last night’s meeting.

Written by Jana Blake Dickson, you can read it below:

Suitability of Lots for Adult Use

John Hammerand

John Hammerand

At a special county board meeting of October 1,2014, Member [John] Hammerand raised a question of whether a “grid study” had been or needed to be performed to examine the availability of parcels in the industrial zones for adult uses.The State’s Attorney’s Office has been unable to discern whether or not such a survey was ever completed.

Thus, at this time there is no way to know for sure that there is a parcel in the industrial zones that would meet the requirements of the adult use standards and be suitable for the development of an adult use establishment.

In general, a zoning ordinance cannot completely prohibit adult uses.

Where any use is prohibited whether through text or map restrictions of a zoning ordinance, a citizen wishing to engage in a use may petition the zoning authority to amend the ordinance to allow for the desired use, or may challenge the ordinance in court.

In the event that there is no parcel located in McHenry County that meets the requirements of the UDO for adult use, a person wishing to open an adult use establishment has two avenues.

  • A petition could be brought to the Zoning Board of Appeals for either a map amendment changing a particular parcel to an “I” zone to allow for the development of adult business on a specific property, or
  • a text amendment changing the requirements for the development of an adult business.

Alternatively, a suit against the County challenging the constitutionality of the ordinance could be brought.


Sex Trade Zoning Regs in Jeopardy — 5 Comments

  1. My question would be WHY is there a need for Sex Shops in McHenry County?

    and WHY do you have to FIND a special place for them?

  2. The reason there must be a possibility is that, otherwise, the Federal courts will mandate allowing them elsewhere.

  3. The entire UDO needs to be scrapped.

    It reeks of residents losing control of their land, and their lives.

    We need less govt controlling our lives not more.

    I’d like to see a list, Cal, of those on the county board who are up for reelection that favor this mess so we are informed when we vote.

    I already know of one who will not get my vote so basically he’ll hopefully serve only one term.

  4. Joe Goat-emailer has decreed the County MUST have his brainchild ordinance to ‘regulate’ the sex trade business.

    But his proposal reeks of self-interest …. not that he’d frequent such places, but that his potential clients will flock to the Great Oz: Joe Goat-emailer … who knows all, sees all and backroom deals all.

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