The purpose of this article shall be to set forth the regulatory and licensing requirements for adult establishments located within the City of Marion. Adult establishments, because of their very nature, are recognized as having serious objectionable operational characteristics. Studies and experiences that are relevant to North Carolina have shown that lower property values and increased crime rates tend to accompany and are brought about by adult establishments. The city council finds that regulation of these uses is necessary to ensure that these adverse secondary effects do not contribute to the blighting of surrounding neighborhoods and to regulate acts, omissions or conditions detrimental to the health, safety or welfare and the peace and dignity of the city. Regulation to achieve these purposes can be accomplished by the procedures set forth hereinafter.
The provisions of this article have neither the purpose nor effect of imposing a limitation or restriction on the content of any communicative materials, including sexually oriented materials. Similarly, it is not the intent nor effect of this article to restrict or deny access by adults to sexually oriented materials protected by the First Amendment, or to deny access by the distributors and exhibitors of sexually, oriented entertainment to their intended market. This article represents a balancing of the legitimate ends of the community by imposing an incidental, content neutral place, time and manner regulation of sexually oriented businesses, without limiting alternative avenues of communication and at the same time, requiring the business to carry its share of financing administrative and enforcement activities.
of 7-18-00, § 1)