A law that would put the brakes on new strip clubs in one area of the San Fernando Valley was approved yesterday by the city's Planning and Land Use Management Committee. The full City Council could vote on it as early as next week.
Councilwoman Nury Martinez introduced the ordinance, which would ban all new strip clubs and other, new "adult oriented" businesses for at least 45 days and possibly for two years, her spokeswoman told us.
In a word, hookers.
Martinez thinks that "adult-oriented land uses such as strip clubs, topless bars, massage parlors, dancehalls, and liquor stores" don't help the prostitution problem along Sepulveda Boulevard, from about Roscoe Boulevard on the north to about Oxnard Street on the south (but mostly toward Roscoe), in Van Nuys.
Her communications director, Linda Serrato-Ybarra, alleges that these kinds of businesses can have a certain synergy with street crime. For example, she told us, pimps are known to use a certain liquor store on Sepulveda as their base while women are working what criminals have called "the stroll."
"A lot of pimps use liquor stores as their command posts," Serrato-Ybarra said.
And while cops have cracked down on pimping, prostitution and johns in the area, the councilwoman thinks it's about time that the city start to "preserve the quality of life" for residents in her area by reshaping its retail scenery, her proposal suggests.
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The "interim control ordinance" would put a stop to new strip club and adult-oriented businesses for 45 days. If that goes will, Serrato-Ybarra says, then it would be extended for a year. If that goes well, it could see an additional year.
The office hasn't yet seen any push back from adult businesses, she said.
But even if this is approved, there are plenty of lap-dance emporiums, liquor stores and massage parlors that already have their doors open in the area.