St. Peters officials may be making a pre-emptive strike before the paint dries, so to speak, against proposals such as the adult-oriented restaurant that opened in University City’s Delmar Loop earlier this year.
The city’s Board of Aldermen and Mayor Len Pagano discussed at a June 23 work session amending the city’s code to address issues involving indecent exposure, regulations for adult-oriented businesses in the city and keeping the premises of such businesses orderly.
A note on a memorandum from Pagano to the board states that the intent is “to protect the health, safety and general welfare and property values” of city residents.
Pagano told aldermen at the June 23 work session that the bill was prompted by the situation surrounding the opening earlier this year of Social House II, a restaurant on Delmar Boulevard that features a topless wait staff, covered from the waist up by body paint.
“I guess the best way to say it is that we need to put this on the books so were not caught short like other cities have been,” Pagano said. “I want to be ahead of the game before they think about coming here.”
The opening of Social II drew attempts to revoke the liquor license issued for the business and resulted in the University City Council passing an emergency bill that prohibited “semi-nudity.”
The new draft ordinance presented to the St. Peters board would replace present code definitions for “adult-oriented business, bookstore, video store or peep show,” “fully opaque covering,” “nude,” “semi-nude” and “sexual conduct.”
The new ordinance would define nudity to include the showing of “the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering of any part of the nipple or areola.” A “fully opaque covering” is defined as non-transparent clothing or similar object or substance.” The term does not include “body paint, body dyes, tattoos, liquid latex, whether wet or dried, or similar substances.”
Any changes in the city code will first go to the city’s planning and zoning commission for review and a recommendation to aldermen, who make the final decision on whether it becomes law. Public hearings also will be held.
With little comment, the board agreed to a motion sending the bill on to the commission for its review. The commission’s next meeting is scheduled for July 6.