LAKE FOREST – For at least 45 days, the city will not grant licenses or permits to open adult businesses.
City Council on Tuesday established a temporary moratorium on adult businesses while it evaluates if and where these businesses could be located in the eastern part of the city, following a recent rezoning of about 800 acres of land – once under the flight path of the El Toro MCAS – from business-park to residential and commercial.
“With 3,000-plus homes coming into the Opportunity Study area, we thought it was important to look at this more directly,” City Attorney Scott Smith said. “The general plan amendment was a broad brush of reclassification of land uses. Landowners and builders are now coming to us with specific plans and strategies. We want to look at the perimeters of these neighborhoods as regard to adult uses.”
The original ordinance, adopted in 2004, ensures the city could, among other things, enforce appropriate separation between adult bookstores and strip clubs and schools, religious institutions, nurseries, day care centers and public or private parks, Smith said.
Now with the moratorium in place, city staff will evaluate sites within the 800 acres under the existing ordinance. The ordinance currently requires spacing by 1,000 feet or a major arterial. The arterials surrounding the rezoned land include Alton Parkway and Portola Parkway.
“We’ll consider if there are any unfortunate adjacencies,” Smith said.
State law allows the city to adopt an urgency ordinance to stop issuing permits if evaluation is needed to update zoning laws.
Following the council’s decision, the city will temporarily prohibit any permits, variances, building permits or licenses for adult businesses for 45 days. If necessary, that time could be extended, Smith said.
Captain’s Cabaret & Lounge, at Lake Forest Drive and Rockfield Boulevard, is now the only adult use business in the city.