Rockford Register Star
Alderman tightened zoning rules for sexually oriented groups and businesses tonight. The zoning regulations that apply for adult bookstores, video stores, escort agencies and strip clubs will now also apply to swingers clubs.
That means swingers clubs will only be allowed in areas zoned heavy industrial, and not within 1,000 feet of a church, school, park, day care facility or residential area.
The changes are nearly identical to the zoning rules Machesney Park adopted in the fall after discovering a swingers club in a machine shop on Product Drive. The club didn’t have a special-use permit and was in a light industrial zone.
The club opted to shut down when the members were asked to apply for a permit, according to Machesney Park officials.
While no such club has been found in violation of any city rules in Loves Park, the City Council wanted to be prepared, Mayor Darryl Lindberg said.
“When we heard of the one in Machesney park we said we needed to look at our ordinance,” Lindberg said. “We thought, ‘you know what, we need to tighten that language up so if (a swingers club) does happen to open up at least we’ve got some force in the ordinance.’”
Heavy industrial zones tend to be farthest away from neighborhoods and shopping centers. The city defines swingers club as any “establishment, whether public or private, where persons and/or couples engage in any specified sexual activities.” ...
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