(Albany NY) As crimes associated with the seedy topless bars and porn shops in Brooklyn continue to accumulate, Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, (Brooklyn), is refusing to give up on his legislation A. 2196. This legislation would prohibit X-rated businesses from operating within a one-mile radius of residences, schools, play grounds, senior centers and places of worship. Businesses affected would include adult book and video stores and topless bars.
“The time has come for this bill to be brought out of the Economic Development Committee and brought before the Assembly for a vote,” stated Ortiz. A recent article in the New York Times entitled “The Nine Lives of a Topless Bar: Complaints Hit a Wall of Law” draws attention to the need for change and provides further justification for the passage of Ortiz’s legislation. As reported, topless bars in his district have been documented as centers for narcotics trades, prostitution, rapes and assaults.
“Families deserve a safe place to raise their children, and a safe neighborhood to call home. X-rated businesses are a sleazy and despicable industry that degrades our neighborhoods and taints the quality of life in surrounding areas,” stated Ortiz. “These businesses need to be removed before they further destroy our neighborhoods that generations of New Yorkers have worked hard to build.”
The current law allows video stores to have 40 percent of their video collection as pornographic titles; under Ortiz’s bill that amount would be reduced to 20 percent. Ortiz’s legislation will also close loopholes in New York City’s zoning laws which currently have a restriction of 500 feet from residences, schools, and places of worship. “This legislation is necessary to ensure that our neighborhoods provide a safe and wholesome environment for our children. Since I first introduced this bill in 2001, its passage has been long overdue,” said Ortiz.