Unable to ban nude dancing in Ogden outright, the City Council has given the go-ahead to city planners to draft zoning restrictions designed to strip flesh show purveyors of potential business sites.
City Council members learned from their staff that zoning can be used to keep nude dancing not only out of downtown Ogden, but away from schools, churches, parks, libraries, malls and residential areas."Keep going," Councilman Robert De Boer said as planner Greg Montgomery displayed the fourth map overlay of areas from which a nude dancing club can be excluded.
"This might accomplish just what we want to do after all," Councilman Darrell Saunders added.
The council gave preliminary approval to the zoning restrictions that would isolate the nude entertainment industry to 1,168 acres of the 19,000-acre city.
Earlier Thursday, De Boer and Saunders pressed Assistant City Attorney Andrea Lockwood about possibly banning nude dancing and defending the ban all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Joy Beech, head of the anti-pornography group Families Alert, said the National Obscenity Law Center advised her a successful defense of a ban would only cost the city $2,000.
But Lockwood discouraged that approach, noting that the high court already has upheld nudity as constitutionally protected in controlled situations.
Losing a bid to defend a nude-dancing ban in the courts could cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage awards and legal fees, she added.
Instead, Lockwood is developing an ordinance to regulate nude dancing. The law is tentatively set for public hearing May 10.
"Dancing nude is lewd. I don't care what you say," De Boer said. "I want it (the ordinance) right there, right to the maximum. If it makes it obnoxious for them to operate, that's where I want it."