Fenton Council Limits Adult Novelty Sales

Members unanimously approve updates to city's regulations.

Storage and repair of vehicles, LED lighting and the sale of adult novelty items. At Monday's regular meeting, approved amendments to three ordinances to address these topics.

Resident Dan Roux asked whether the changes on storage and repair of vehicles would affect his hobby of building street rods.

"I can build a car from a pile of parts," Roux said.

It's governed by a different ordinance, said city planning consultant Carmine Avantini. The new amendments to Ordinance No. 660 are to prevent auto or auto body repair businesses at people’s homes — not to prohibit hobbies.

Roux’s hobby is fine, as long as the garage is enclosed and junk car parts aren't stored outside, said city attorney Stephen Schultz.

Zoning Administrator Brad Hissong said the amendments on vehicle storage and repair are to clarify the issues. Before, keeping a car with a real estate sign on it in a residential neighborhood would be a violation.

The amendments state commercial vehicles over 11,000 pounds are prohibited in residential areas, Hissong said. Pickup trucks under that are OK.

In addition, an already-existing ordinance prohibits vehicle storage in yards. They must be in enclosed buildings, he said.

A second ordinance council amended is for land uses with requirements for the sale of adult novelty items. With the economy, more retailers are looking for ways to increase sales, Avantini said. In other communities, stores have suddenly added racks of adult novelty items.

The amendment doesn't say retailers can't sell adult novelty items, if it's less than 10 percent of their total sales. If it is more than 10 percent, a different ordinance regulates it.

In the amendments to Ordinance No. 661, adult novelty items must be in a separate room of the store that's not open to the general public, Avantini said. And businesses selling adult novelties must be at least 500 feet from churches, parks, hospitals, schools, daycare and childcare centers.

Council also amended Ordinance No. 659, to update lighting standards by including regulations for LED lighting. In Fenton, there is no LED lighting the city owns, Mayor Sue Osborn said. The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has discussed using it along Silver Parkway, but the project hasn't taken place yet.

The cost of LED lighting for Silver Parkway would be paid back in energy savings in five years, Avantini said.


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