Fairfield moves to ban sexual encounter businesses

Posted at 11:25 AM, Oct 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-25 17:05:33-04

FAIRFIELD, Ohio -  Fairfield city officials say they'd rather be safe than sorry, so they’re proposing an ordinance that would prevent sexual-encounter businesses from setting up shop. 

 “We just want to be proactive and get ahead of it before we have a business that wants to come here,”  Fairfield City Manager Mark Wendling told WCPO on Wednesday.

Wendling said sexually-encounter businesses could compromise safety in the city.

 “Often times these businesses can attract vice-type operations like prostitution, sometimes illicit drug use, those sorts of things,” Wendling said. “I’m not say that always happens, but that is something that is at time associated with these types of business."

The Fairfield ban would apply to businesses with any  type of live sex acts— like the swingers club  that tried to move into West Chester last year.

West Chester won a lawsuit banning the business. That’s when surrounding communities like Liberty Township took notice and passed a ban, trustees said.

 “It gave us a little bit of time to take a look at things and take a look at what our code had in it and what we needed to do to make sure our residents’ views were heard,” said Liberty Township Trustee Christine Matacic.

“The bottom line is we are a family-oriented bedroom community and we saw no need for those types of businesses in our township,” said trustee Tom Farrell.

Fairfield’s ban would not apply to places like strip clubs and lingerie shops, Wendling said. There are already city zoning requirements that regulate those.

Wendling said Fairfield officials heard no backlash to the proposed ban at a public hearing this week. Two more hearings must be held  before the ban before can be  written into the books.

SEE Fairfield's proposed ordinance.