Regulating Adult Entertainment Business: Zoning and First Amendment Limitations

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will provide local government counsel with a review of why, when, what and whom to license for adult business; licensing application content and review criteria; general physical design standards; and operating standards. The panel will discuss approaches to stay within First Amendment limitations.


In regulating land uses, local governments must balance rights protected under the First Amendment with citizen concerns about locally unwanted land uses. This is the case in regulating sexually oriented businesses through zoning laws that impose location and use limitations.

The law in this area is far from clear, and there are numerous pitfalls local governments need to avoid when adopting zoning and licensing ordinances regulating sexually oriented businesses.

Counsel must understand the complex issues involving land use controls and the First Amendment. You must be aware of all legal, regulatory and administrative issues surrounding the regulation of sexually oriented establishments and regulatory elements that must be present to pass constitutional muster.

Listen as our panel of land use professionals addresses why, when, what and whom to license; the licensing application content and review criteria; general physical design standards; and the operating standards for all licensed businesses.



  1. Why topic is important
  2. Types of sexually oriented businesses
  3. Legal aspects and relevant court cases underlying regulation of sexually oriented businesses
  4. Secondary effects of sexually oriented businesses
  5. Regulatory and administrative strategies surrounding successful regulation of sexually oriented businesses


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • How far can municipalities go in regulating adult businesses?
  • Where might municipalities exclude adult businesses?
  • What are the risks of overregulating such businesses?
  • What regulatory elements are needed to uphold a zoning or licensing ordinance focused on adult entertainment?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


Eric D. Kelly
Eric D. Kelly


He is a Professor of Urban Planning at Ball State University and VP of Duncan Associates. He is a frequent...  |  Read More

Connie B. Cooper
Connie B. Cooper

Cooper Consulting Company

She has extensive experience in planning and community development.  She co-authored the PAS report,...  |  Read More

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