In a special meeting of the city council last Friday morning, the Washington City Board passed an ordinance regulating adult entertainment businesses and an adult business permit application for May 5th.
The 25-page ordinance known as Chapter 15 describes definitions, results, classifications of sexually oriented businesses, a required permit issued by the city and conditions under which the permit is suspended and / or revoked, locations, provisions for the exhibition of explicit films, videos , or live entertainment in a viewing room, regulations for escort services, opening times and prohibition of serving alcohol.
City chairman Jim Egan stated, “We can’t deny an adult facility, but this ordinance sets out the requirements to operate.” This was confirmed by Supervisor Carole Linn, stating that they had an attorney who “Was only active in the area of municipal law and dealt with sexual affairs frequently.”
Chairman Egan declined to find out which lawyers they worked with, and when asked if the city had received an application to transfer alcohol permits at Catch 22, he said, “No comment.” In two sessions, the city gave claimed “never refused to transfer an alcohol license” and also admitted that they cannot regulate the content of signs promoting such a business.
In Washington City, there is an adult shop in the Frontier Tavern that is “grandfather” which means the ordinance would not apply to them. If Catch 22 had entertainment for adults before May 5, they would be “grandfather” too.
Egan said if this goes to court “it will be expensive”. Chapter 15 is published in full on the city’s website. Inquiries about who would enforce the ordinance went unanswered as the city lacks a police officer and Vilas County Sheriff Joe Fath said he did not enforce city ordinances.