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Steamy ladies, or steaming piles?

Back in the 1970’s, “adult entertainment” was all the rage in Massachusetts. The state supreme court ruled that unless cities and towns zoned specific areas for adult entertainment, strip clubs and sex shops could open anywhere they wanted. This prompted a flurry of zoning changes, and some rather inspired creativity. The court later expanded on it’s ruling to say that adult entertainment zones had to be actual potential business areas after a few towns zoned places like cliff edges and the bottoms of lakes and ponds as “adult entertainment” zones.

North Andover, a moderately wealthy suburb between the cities of Lawrence and Haverhill, avoided the “lake” issue by setting it’s adult zone right next to the land fill.

Fast-forward nearly 30 years. A local family happens to own a container business in North Andover and a strip club about 30 miles away in Tyngsboro. When the strip club gets closed down, the family decides to renovate their container business. They offer the town a choice for their property: a trash transfer station or New England’s biggest strip club.

Frantic opponents rush to the zoning maps, and find out that the family set up it’s container business right across the street from the old landfill, right smack dab in the middle of the “adult entertainment” zone.

So now the town is fighting over which of two equally-unwelcome alternatives they want to have – a 428-seat strip club, or a 650-ton-a-day trash transfer station.

Me, I’m gonna get the popcorn, sit back, watch, and laugh.



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Comments (1)

You know, the "red light di... (Below threshold)

You know, the "red light districts" that existed until all the blue-noses decided they were evil and needed to be abolished allowed us to avoid all of this controversy over the "sex for money" business. The mixture of puritanism and unrestricted capitalism that we have in our culture ends up causing some very strange dilemmas... And some fine entertainment if you can enjoy the absurdities of life.






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