Why is the city of Springfield, Illinois, using taxpayer resources to fight some people's morality war? A war the city can ill afford to fight. A war that shouldn't be won.
The city council has created a situation whereby a business that was operating legitimately within the bounds of the city has been deemed to be illegal.
Our town has a Deja Vu. Woo hoo!
Last year sometime, the city enacted a "rule" which effectively makes it illegal for Deja Vu to operate at its present location. It's definitely worth noting that this particular Vu has been operating at the same location for 22 years. The Vu is literally on the outskirts of town. As in on the edge of the city limits. However, the area immediately to the west and south of the Vu is a residential area. Deeper into that area, by several blocks, are a couple of churches, one of which has a grade school. There's also a public grade school around the corner and up the street about a half mile or so. The area to the north of the Vu is commercial.
Basically, the city wrote a series of zoning code changes which includes a rule that adult related business be at least one thousand feet away from homes, schools, churches, libraries, and other public facilities. The new zoning rule also states that existing adult-related businesses that violate the rule will have to move within two years. This was all done under the guidelines of the so-called "Scenic Springfield" plan. Which is another joke, in and of itself. But that's another story for another day.
The Vu is housed in the old Frisina Movie Theater building. No one disputes that the Vu has taken good care of the building and the yard surrounding the building. They've erected iron fencing around the entire property, approximately 10 feet high.
Apparently, some of the neighbors have accused the Vu of "poisoning" their neighborhood. They are now asking the city to enforce its rule that such business move. First of all, it hasn't been two years.
Some local preachers have jumped on the anti-Vu bandwagon. One of those preacher's church is located on the other side of downtown, many miles from the Vu. He's pitching his brand of fire and brimstone and fear.
I think this whole thing is a waste of time, effort and money. I think the Vu can take the city to court and get the rule thrown out.
I'm not advocating for the Vu. I'm not advocating against the Vu. If you don't like a business, or if you don't like what a business does, then don't patronize it.
Their sign, which is on a busy nearby street, advertises 100 beautiful girls ... and three ugly ones. I can see why some people might find that offensive. But, get over it! Some people find many things offensive. Probably, everyone finds something offensive. But, we're not lobbying to run whatever it is that's offensive out of town? Or are we?
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© Marie Carnes 2002.
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