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Michigan County Pushes for Adult Zoning Changes
By: Eddie Adams (Courtesy of
Posted: 2/20/2007

Petosky, Mich. – Emmet County’s current ordinance for adult businesses may get stricter as the Planning Commission held the first of three public meetings on Monday for proposed zoning changes.

According to the Petoskey News-Review, the county began the process of updating its adult business ordinance after a federal judge approved a settlement between Emmet County and the owners of Xpectations, an adult store that now operates in a previously restricted area. The store filed suit against the county last year, arguing that zoning provisions violated its constitutional rights.

Emmet County is using a team of officials to argue for stricter zoning laws, including attorney Scott Bergthold, Kathleen Abbott, the county’s legal counsel, and Brentt Michalek, the county’s zoning administrator.

According to the News-Review, Bergthold, who has won several landmark cases in the field, pointed out that federal courts have held that adult businesses need not be in "sensitive land-use areas," but are more appropriate to "high intensity districts" such as industrial and business zones.

"You can’t just say ‘No’ to anywhere," Bergthold said at the meeting. "The zone that would allow an adult business has to be reasonably part of the real estate market, where someone might put a business on a parcel."

Another public hearing on the subject will be held on March 1.


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