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City of Lincoln
Mayor's Department
Citizen Information Center Division
2000 Media Release


October 2, 2000
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Dana Roper, City Attorney, 441-7290

Mayor Signs Ordinances Regulating Public Nudity

Mayor Don Wesely today signed a public nudity ordinance and an ordinance that establishes new zoning regulations for businesses which offer live sexually-oriented entertainment. The ordinances, passed by the City Council September 26, take effect October 10.

"Regulating nudity and sexually-oriented businesses is an important quality of life issue for neighborhoods," Mayor Wesely said. "We believe these ordinances will help Lincoln avoid some of the problems other communities have seen."

The public nudity law makes it unlawful for any person in a public place or any place open to the public to appear in a state of nudity. In general terms, nudity is the showing of the human male or female genitals or the female breast with less an a fully opaque covering. The ordinance does not apply to any arts or theatrical performances, dressing rooms open to the public, mothers who are breast feeding and any person under the age of 12.

The second ordinance addresses, for the first time, sexually-oriented businesses. These are generally defined as any commercial establishment featuring live performance characterized by an emphasis on the exposure of specific anatomical areas or simulation of specified sexual activities.

The ordinance allows these businesses in the H-1, H-2, H-3, H-4, I-1, I-2 and I-3 zoning districts. The H districts are generally located mainly near the interstate highway, and the I districts are used for light and heavy industrial uses. The ordinance will have effect not only in the city, but also within three miles of the city under the City of Lincoln Zoning Authority.

The ordinance requires that a special permit issued by the City Council be obtained. In addition, separation requirements also exist under the ordinance and include a separation of at least 1,500 feet between a sexually-oriented business and a residential use, church, public elementary or high school, public park, hospital, public library, public museum, recreation area, correctional facility and residential treatment facility.

The ordinance also prohibits sexually-oriented businesses located within 1,000 feet of residential districts. The City Council may modify or waive the separation requirements when it determines there is sufficient justification for such adjustment.

The ordinance does not modify uses within the B-4 zoning district, the downtown business district. Sexually-oriented businesses will continue to be allowed by right in the B-4 zoning district as a permitted use without any separation or spacing requirements.

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