Adult entertainment venues could see tighter regulations

Robert Wilfong with the Horry County Planning Commission says the problem with current laws that regulate adult entertainment venues in the county is that they're so outdated, they're practically unenforceable.

But that could change if a new ordinance discussed at the Horry County Planning Commission workshop Thursday is passed.

As the ordinance reads, adult entertainment venues should be separated by at least 1,500 feet from "sensitive land" like churches, parks, and schools. This is to protect the public from any adverse affects these venues may cause, such as public indecency, obscenity and drug trafficking.

Adult entertainment venues would also have to be a minimum of 750 feet away from each other.

The stricter regulations would apply to adult entertainment venues currently in operation, as well as any adult entertainment venues looking to locate to the county in the future.

Wilfong said these regulations would be for the good of the community.

"It allows us an opportunity to provide the businesses which have a right to be here, and at the same time, protects the public from some of the less desirable things that they may perceive," Wilfong said.

Right now, the definition of what classifies a business as an "adult entertainment establishment" is murky. But under new law, it would include any business that gets at least 35 percent of its profits from the sale of pornographic items, as well as any bar or nightclub were partial nudity is seen.

There will be a public hearing on the ordinance Thursday, June 6. After public hearing, the ordinance will move on to county council for a vote.