Calhoun City Council Members and county commissioners adopted identical ordinances in recent weeks.
Calhoun Mayor Jimmy Palmer said it has been “a number of years since we … put the first one in place.” It’s simply time to update the rules, he said.
The county’s ordinance had not been updated since 1993, according to County Attorney Suzanne Hutchinson. The passage of the Unified Land Development Code last year led county officials to look at all land use ordinances, she said.
“This is a continuation of that process,” she said.
She also said establishing similar ordinances for the county and for Calhoun was a goal.
“It was important for there to be … an ordinance that was compatible with the City of Calhoun” so that applicants would be “similarly treated” by both entities, she said.
Last week, Resaca Mayor Sammie Allen said city council members were planning to examine the ordinance during their Tuesday, Nov. 10, meeting. He said during the interview the city did not currently have an adult entertainment ordinance in place.
City Administrator Eddie Peterson said several changes in the new ordinance “bring the old ordinance into constitutional compliance based on several court cases over the past four or five years.”
According to the new ordinance, the government entity enforcing it cannot hold an application longer than 30 days before answering the applicant.
The city was charging these businesses a $5,000 nonrefundable fee, he said, along with an annual renewal fee of $5,000.
“This was so far outside of any other type of fee we charged that it might have been determined beyond reasonable,” Peterson explained. The amount has been condensed to an annual $500 fee “which represents the amount of time the administration spends on background and other information requirements,” he said.
Another major change involves distance requirements. Businesses participating in adult enter-tainment sales must now be at least 1,200 feet from residential zones, 1,200 feet from churches, schools, public parks and daycare facilities, he said. This distance is up from the 1,000 feet specified in the last ordinance.
According to the new ordinance, adult entertainment businesses must also be at least 600 feet from establishments that sell alcoholic beverages, Peterson stated.
Adult entertainment establishments are also now limited to properties zoned C-2, he said.