Several adult businesses skip meeting with DuPage County panel
Given the opportunity to address possible regulations that could be imposed on them, the owners of several adult businesses were no-shows Tuesday at a DuPage County Board committee meeting.
The committee has heard testimony since January from residents, school officials, social service providers, health officials and law enforcement officers about the "negative secondary effects" of adult businesses.
But before they recommend regulations aimed at reducing those effects, panel members wanted to hear from the owners, managers and employees of adult businesses operating in unincorporated areas of DuPage.
The only adult business owners who did speak to the committee operate a store in incorporated Roselle. Their business, Exotic Adult Books and Videos, already is regulated by the village and wouldn't be affected by what the county is considering.
As for the adult business owners who didn't attend, county board member Julie Renehan said every effort was made to let them know what DuPage is working on.
"We would have liked to have heard from them," said Renehan, the Hinsdale Democrat who heads the committee. "We're disappointed. But it's understandable that maybe they did not feel comfortable speaking at this time."
County officials had hoped to hear from Zebulon Adult Boutique near Roselle, Hot Shots Photography Studio near Wheaton and a third establishment near Roselle.
An attorney representing Zebulon Enterprises indicated he couldn't attend Tuesday's meeting for medical reasons. He requested additional time to respond.
Renehan said if Zebulon or any of the other businesses want to come in two weeks, the panel will take more testimony. But she said the committee needs to start its discussion about possible solutions.
"We need to be responsive to residents," Renehan said.
She said it's been a year since residents started raising concerns about several businesses, including Hot Shots.
The list of options the committee will consider includes creating an adult business license, implementing a licensing program for all businesses, and requiring an occupancy permit any time a nonresidential building changes ownership or gets a new tenant.
Officials say they hope to have a recommendation for the full county board to consider in May.
Meanwhile, the state's attorney's office is suing Hot Shots. The lawsuit claims Hot Shots is an adult business, not a photography studio, and shouldn't be allowed to operate at its current location.