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Cottleville copies St. Peters in regulating adult businesses

Cottleville has taken a page out of the St. Peters municipal code and approved a bill designed to address issues involving adult-oriented businesses in the city.

The Cottleville Board of Aldermen approved a bill on Oct. 19 amending its city’s code regulating its adult-oriented businesses and issues involving sexual misconduct and indecent exposure. The bill is similar to one that the St. Peters Board of Aldermen approved in August.

The ordinances are pre-emptive strikes against proposals like the adult-oriented Social House II restaurant featuring wait staff covered from the waist up in body paint that opened in University City’s Delmar Loop earlier this year.

“I guess best way to say it is that we need to put this on the books so we’re not caught short like other cities have been,” St. Peters Mayor Len Pagano said then. “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 University City Council passed an emergency bill that prohibited “semi-nudity.”

Cottleville City Administrator Rich Francis said his city’s bill was very similar to what St. Peters approved.

The ordinances in both cities replace code definitions for “adult-oriented business, bookstore, video store or peep show,” “opaque covering,” “nude,” “semi-nude” and “sexual conduct.”

A key definition in the Cottleville bill is inclusion of the term “opaque covering,” which 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.” The bill prohibits the displaying portions of the female breast even if it is covered by body paint and those substances.

During discussion of the St. Peters ordinance, Julie Powers, the city’s director of planning, community and economic development, said inclusion of the fully opaque covering definition will prohibit the use of body paint. Powers said the ordinance will not prohibit children’s face painting because that doesn’t result “in a state of nudity” according to the new definition in the ordinance.

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