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supreme court decision on web businesses

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,890
Points
26
i found this to be a very bad decision on the part of the supreme court.

In florida, an adult website offered live video feeds of college girls living in a dorm doing everything from homework to bathing. They, permitted themselves to be broadcasted on the web 24/7 for profit. the city took the business to court on the basis that the adult business was being conducted in a zoning district that does not allow them. The supreme court decided since the business is cyber in nature and not under local zoning rules. http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/zd/20020226/tc_zd/5103755&cid=73

How do you feel about this decision. I am very upset with this decision. They are 'taping' themselves and allowing the video of them to be sold for profit. the production of the video feed is occuring in a district that does not allow for adult businessess. It doesn't matter to me where the video is sold or where a montary transaction occurs, this is a zoning violation
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
At first blush, I see no right to prohibit the activity. How is this different from a printer who may publish pornographic material, a photographer who may shoot nude models, or even a video store that may rent copies of an R-rated movie?

Unlike a strip club, where the customers must come to the location (and may arguably create undesirable activity in the vicinity), this appears to be a site where the product is merely created for export.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Hmmm

Ya know, after a brief review (no pun intended) I think our zoning code actually permits it as a home occupation (incidental to the principal use, no article is sold except as is produced on premise).
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,890
Points
26
Michael Stumpf wrote:
At first blush, I see no right to prohibit the activity. How is this different from a printer who may publish pornographic material, a photographer who may shoot nude models, or even a video store that may rent copies of an R-rated movie?

Unlike a strip club, where the customers must come to the location (and may arguably create undesirable activity in the vicinity), this appears to be a site where the product is merely created for export.
can a printer locate in a home or apartment in a residential area? can a photographer? video store?

according to our ordinance, no. a printer is only allowed in industrial districts, video production is only allowed in commercial areas, photographer, again commerical, as is video store.

Assuming something like this occured in my town, it couldn't. The home occupation code limits the number of employees of a home occupation to 2 people.

my beef is with the use being a commerical one in a residential area.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
If the objection to the activity is as a home based business, and not one of it being an adult business, there is perhaps a better claim. Yet home based business ordinances are often based on performance criteria - customers, employees, deliveries, noise, odors, etc. I think this is a use that would be permitted under many of the ordinances I have seen.
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,890
Points
26
now that i think about it.... maybe that is why they lost. maybe they attacked it from the wrong angle, or the ordinance just didn't have it addressed.

so, under most ordinance, would you say that adult video production and adult photo production would be permissable in residential areas with a home occupation permit?
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
How about simple a simple web business.

If I set up a server in my office and host a few web sites for fun and profit - how is that related to land use? You could never tell I was conducting that business from my home -NEVER

I have a medical salesman that lives next to me. He has samples in his basment. You would never know he was operating out of there. In fact because he is on the road so much the traffic on our street is slightly less than if he had a 8-5 job. If it doesn't cause an external effect let's leave it alone.

My city wants a zoning cert and business license for a home based web business. A business that will be conducted without anyone noticing - No customers will come to my house. No product will ship. No fould odors other than those already emmited. Just electrons streaming back and forth. Hell, they should pay me becasue I am so low impact. Where be my money?
 
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Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
And what about MTV's Real World?

Is it a residence? Is it a business? The principal use is arguably residential. The filming is ancillary...
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,890
Points
26
Most home occupations

most of them don't cause a problem, most of them cause ZERO traffic, most of them, you would never ever know they were there. But it's an ordinance, if you conduct a business from your home, you must get a permit from the city.

I had someone call and complain that their neighbor was a Avon lady. She didn't have a permit, i had to make her get one. She wasn't selling from her home, she only got a couple deliveries a month. No more than a normal household.

A couple bad seeds caused a big problem, now home occupations have to be scruntinized, at least here anyway.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
Do you study for your AICP at home?

Does the APA magazine come to your home? Have you ever taken work home? Do I have a right to pry into your home life? Only if you are a capitalist!

That is why people (sometimes rightfully so) hate planners as a profession.
If the business has zero impact - why not leave them alone...or is the problem that we are not clever enough to not get burned if we allow for an exemption in these cases.

My neighbor has a Harley Davidson motorcycle. That asshole is a billion times more of an impact on the neighborhood that me making a few web pages at home in the evening.

Dan- Do you have the proper papers for Cyburbia?

Guten Tag, Mein Herr: Show me your papers!

Ales Klar, Kommisar?
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Woah El Guapo!

As a conservative, a web publisher, AND a proud Harley Owner, I both concur and disagree. Keep your stinkin' government hands off my personal property, but LOUD PIPES SAVE LIVES!

:)
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,890
Points
26
Re: Do you study for your AICP at home?

i guess there are two ways to look at it... this morning i looked at it word for word and concluded home occupations need to be regulated. Must have been a rough morning. i re-read the drivel i posted early today and now am shaking my head. The business would be legitamite and legal. No one would know any better if it wasn't brought into the public eye. I would probably ask them to get the home occupation permit and be done with it, if i was the planner working on this. Those business that have outward effects on the QOL of the area should be restricted.

out of sight, out of mind.

People don't hate planners cause were capitalist, were communist. I know.. i've been told a hundred times.

People always want the double standard. Stop my nieghbor from building a garage so close to my property line, but i'll be dammed if you tell me i can't do it.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
Mr. Pipes

Why should I have to enjoy YOUR hobby from four blocks away or suffer hearing loss as you accelerate away from the intersection so loudly that infants begin to cry in homes with the windows shut?

It is an imposition of your will on others and it is a hositle act. Nothing else.

They make those things quiet when they leave the factory. And if you are worried about saving lives why aren't you riding in a Volvo?

Bturk, in case you can't tell this is a hot button of mine. I know a few HD owners that are wonderful people. But my neighbor needs a re-education in the wost way.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Just playin' Devil's advocate

My HOG has the factory pipes. She's still loud enough to keep grandma from merging into me on the highway. But why is that hostile? I do agree that *some* bikes are obnoxious, but not all. Please accept my invite to Milwaukee for the Harley Davidson 100th Anniversary rally.

As for the real thread here, don't worry boiker, this forum is great to talk through these kinds of issues!

And for the record, my giant SUV is the definition safe (for me but not you Ford Escort drivers)!
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,890
Points
26
Re: Just playin' Devil's advocate

As for the real thread here, don't worry boiker, this forum is great to talk through these kinds of issues!

not worried at all. discussion usually clears the air.

But on the other discussion here. If you didn't drive that big SUV, i'd be more safe in my lil' sunfire. Also, there'd be more fuel available. And gas prices would be lower, and i could increase my standard of living because i won't be spending as much on gas, which would improve my neighborhood more, which would lessen crime, which would imrpove the city, which would increase tax revenue, which would further improve the city, which would......


it's all your fault :)
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
I'm calming down now...

Ok, My ears are starting to return from bright red to pasty white again. Thanks for letting me vent!
 

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
Messages
3,066
Points
30
I have always had a problem with the methods we control home occupations. It is really a matter of the intensity of the use and how it impacts the neighborhood. And neighborhoods are different...in an area of 10 acre minimum lots, who is hurt from the HO being in an outbuilding?

Who is impacted from a household (even if it comprises five 22 year old females) with video set-ups? Is there any excess noise, traffic, vibration (well, let's not go there), or other neighborhood disturbance?

Most adult use ordinances are not written to cover cyber-space transactions. Usually in the intent statements include allusions to the neighborhood crime and health problems. Tough to justify when the only products leaving the place are electrons.

A friend of mine makes a living woodworking out of his garage. The only traffic is when he gets a keg once a month. There is no more woodworking noise than a hobbyist could legally generate. There are no neighborhood complaints. But by the code, I should shut him down because he makes money.
 

Jen

Cyburbian
Messages
1,704
Points
25
bturk wrote
.....but LOUD PIPES SAVE LIVES
So do defensive driving skills, helmets, and good brakes. Who is gonna hear your rumbling phat boy on a hot day, windows up with AC and radio blaring?
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,692
Points
57
Re: Do you study for your AICP at home?

El Guapo wrote:
Dan- Do you have the proper papers for Cyburbia?
Cyburbia's server(s) are ...

1) In a closet at Hayes Hall on the SUNY/Buffalo campus, and
2) In a telcom hotel somewhere in southern California.

Cyburbia's not a business ... yet, or possibly "ever." Even if it was, there's be no problem getting it registered, subject to the City of Ocoee's home business requirements.

Now, the big issue at hand ... are webcams for profit "adult businesses?" I don't know, really, because it seems so far-fetched. Sure, the impact of the use is nil, but consider that the impact of a mortuary is lower than that of a church or community center, and visually most of 'em look like houses. However, you don't see them in many residential districts. Mortuaries, funeral homes and the like are strictly regulated in most zoning regulations, because of the "creepiness" factor. There's no real impact from a Jennicam or similar uses, but does the neighbor's percecption of "ewwwww!" mean anything?

Here's something to consider, too ...

1) Your next door neighbor ... let's assume a female ... has a different man over at her house every night. She's a barfly with loose morals, but that's about it. Sexual contact is consentual, with no financial renumeration on either party's part, so technically she's not breaking any laws.

2) Your next door neighbor ... let's assume a female ... has a different man over at her house every night. She's a dominitrix, and her "bottoms" pay her $500 for a few hours of humiliation. There's no sexual contact, so notwithstanding zoning, she's not breaking any laws.

You're a zoning administrator. What do you do?
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
You're a Zoning Administator. What do you do?

Dan Tasman wrote:
Your next door neighbor ... let's assume a female ... has a different man over at her house every night. She's a dominitrix, and her "bottoms" pay her $500 for a few hours of humiliation. There's no sexual contact, so notwithstanding zoning, she's not breaking any laws. You're a zoning administrator. What do you do?
Get mom to loan me $500.
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
5,398
Points
32
No, no, no....

You don't need the $500. You hide your AICP Code of Ethics under something and you stop by and make a deal....geez you guys don't know how to use your power....
 
Messages
11
Points
1
We've been dealing with this lately. First, we issued a business license to a female dominatrix. She's got a web page advertising her services (escort, domination, no topless, no sex) and used panties from Japan. I did double-check with the City Attorney on whether we had any planning issues. We concluded that so long as no clients came to the house, and the underwear is all mail order, it's not a zoning violation. Yeah, maybe we're missing out on some sales tax from the panties, but it can't be significant.

Last week we issued a business license for a "telephone entertainment" business. Judging by the name, I assume it's erotic.

Oh, and one other thought. At least in our jurisdiction, business licenses are a tax, and not a permit. We can't refuse to issue a business license, even if the business is illegal. We can pass the information on to code enforcement, though.
 
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