Millville Bans Adult Entertainment Businesses in Town - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Millville Bans Adult Entertainment Businesses in Town

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MILLVILLE, Del.- The Millville's Town Council this week unanimously agreed to ban adult entertainment businesses from operating within town limits to promote a more business friendly climate.

In this quaint town in southeastern Sussex County, you can find mom and pop barber shops, father and son towing businesses and family-friendly restaurants.

But if you're looking for an R-rated experience, you'll have to look farther than the town touting the motto, "a beautiful way of life."

Adult stores, massage parlors and taprooms have been banned from operating within town limits, according to the town council's unanimous decision at an Aug. 11 meeting.

Some nearby residents like the idea, including Julia Class who's lived in the area for more than 30 years.

"If it doesn't already pertain to businesses that are existing in the area, who've worked so hard to get where they come to, I think it's a good idea," said Class.

Frank Bascio has owned the Golden Scissors barbershop for 25 years.  While adult novelty stores and massage parlors aren't a good look for a town like Millville, Bascio says taprooms aren't as bad.

"[Taprooms are] less of a threat than the adult bookstores and things like that, in my personal opinion," said Bascio.

Taprooms, according to Delaware's state code, are bars where the sale of alcohol is the primary product and the sale of food is secondary.

A "massage parlor" is an establishment specializing in massages, but its meaning has evolved to mean a front for prostitution.

The council's decision to ban massage parlors may stem from a recent prostitution sting targeting two massage parlors in Rehoboth Beach late last year.

Delaware State Police made multiple arrests related to prostitution at Top Quality Spa and Relaxed Spa in Rehoboth on Dec. 9, 2014. Business records and prostitution paraphernalia were seized from both businesses after undercover agents were offered sex acts in exchange for cash.

Class says areas including Salisbury and Ocean City are more appropriate for certain adult businesses.

"I know the issues have gone on in Salisbury," said Class, "I don't think a Red Light District needs to be in a small beach town."

Millville town officials say the adult business ban is to promote a more business friendly environment since the fall 2016 completion of Route 26 may bring in more businesses.

Other changes to Millville's zoning code include setback rules, parking restrictions, permitted use and commercial lot sizes. 

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