City Council keeps restrictions in place for sexually oriented businesses

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A fight over an ordinance involving nudity in strip clubs and the city of Fort Wayne has come to an end, at least for now.

On, Tuesday night Fort Wayne City Council failed to pass a partial repeal of an ordinance that affects sexually oriented businesses. The vote failed by a 4:5 margin. Jason Arp, Michelle Chambers, Sharon Tucker and Glynn Hines voted “yes,” while Tom Didier, Tom Freistroffer, Paul Ensley, Russ Jehl, and Geoff Paddock voted “no.”

The Sexually Oriented Business Ordinance passed back in 2019 and added restrictions such as: no employee, or any other person shall be in the state of nudity while in an establishment, that no employee should appear semi-nude in a sexually oriented business, and workers must remain six feet away from patrons.

Councilman Jason Arp (R-4th District) drafted the ordinance to repeal some of the restrictions.

In a presentation to City Council, Fort Wayne Police Captain Kevin Hunter argues the ordinance has not put a drain on resources. He added that the ordinance regulates conduct and environments that could otherwise lead to crime like prostitution, human trafficking and drug use.

Female dancers also spoke up at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, asking for a “safe zone” within the club.

Tuesday night’s vote means the ordinance will remain as written.

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