Officials say dancers come into city hall on a daily basis to get licensed to work at the town's two strip clubs.
In the past, the city could deny a license for health and safety violations, or a criminal conviction for something like prostitution. But, a recent ruling by the Iowa Supreme Court takes that power away from every city in the state.
The court says such local laws limit the rights of citizens, and that only the state has jurisdiction over nude dancing.
Cities are also barred from a blanket ban on such establishments, but they can use their zoning power to determine where future businesses can go. Bob Scott, Mayor:"Keep pushing it, pushing those types of business that you would find not to be the type you want in a more commercial residential neighborhood to a more industrial type area."
Even though the city's hands are tied, some residents urged the council to reconsider a moratorium on enforcing the local ordinance. Aaron Rochester, Former Council Member:"Adult industry type businesses bring a lot of crime, domestic abuse. As a citizen of the city of Sioux City I don't want to pay more in property taxes, I don't want more crime in my city."
The Iowa League of Cities plans to lobby the state legislature to clarify the court's ruling. In the meantime, one city attorney says if Sioux City continues to enforce their licensing rules it will open itself up to a class action lawsuit.
The lawsuit states the commission violated state law in making its decision, and destroyed the economic value of the Belle's license when they selected Sioux City Entertainment.More >>
The lawsuit states the commission violated state law in making its decision, and destroyed the economic value of the Belle's license when they selected Sioux City Entertainment to develop the land-based casino in Woodbury County.More >>
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