Hall County Commissioners passed an amendment Wednesday that will set licensing and zoning regulations for adult establishments.
The county had placed a moratorium on adult establishments in 2014, but that is set to expire on May 27 of this year. Deputy County Attorney William Linkous said county officials wanted to make sure the code was up to date before the moratorium expired.
"The area of adult entertainment law is very quickly changing and so we took a look at the ordinance to make sure it was up to date and decided that it needed a revision," Linkous said after Wednesday's meeting.
Documents provided by the county define adult establishments as any bookstore, shop or "motion picture theatre" which is characterized by the sexual content of its products. Linkous said the county is not able to ban such businesses, but wants to prevent any negative secondary affects they may cause.
"You're not allowed to tell adult businesses they can't come in, particularly those with first amendment protection," Linkous said. "We have no intention of banning them or barring them, we just want to make sure that they don't harm the citizens."
The licensing amendment puts some restrictions on adult establishments, including not allowing them to be open between midnight at 6:00 a.m., requiring signage and outdoor lighting and monitoring to prevent loitering and not allowing alcohol.
The amendment was approved as part of the county commission's Wednesday consent agenda.