Melbourne is considering rewriting its zoning laws and one of the items on the agenda is to rezone abortion clinics so that it would be difficult for the Aware Woman abortion clinic to relocate. The state of Florida has definite plans to widen U.S. 1 north of Aurora Road to at least Post Road. This widening will take out the Aware Woman abortion clinic. However, the date that this will happen is undetermined.
Before the Aware Woman abortion clinic tries to relocate, it is desirable to change the Melbourne City Code to recognize abortion clinics as the undesirable businesses that they are. Says Christians for Life spokesman, Meredith Raney, “To me they are more undesirable than a nuclear power plant and I don’t believe the Melbourne City code will allow a nuclear power plant.”
The State of Florida has set precedent in this area by giving abortion clinics their own separate chapter, Chapter 390, in the Florida Statutes separate from all other medical facilities. “If the State of Florida can treat them separately, then so can the cities,” reasoned Raney.
Mayor Ed Buckley indicated while attending the annual “Run for Life” in Melbourne that he is “pro-life” and might support such a measure.
Melbourne Councilman Matthew Carroll (District 2) said, “I do not believe that rezoning should be the primary way to bring about political or religious victories, nor do I feel that the city code should be a primary battleground for divisive issues. Yet by the same token, I do believe there is a need for updating the city code regarding abortion clinics, since the code presently does not recognize the special nature of these businesses and their accompanying environment.”
In a letter addressed “Dear Pro-Life Friend” sent via email, Melbourne City Councilman, Steve Beltz (District 1) wrote: “As a new City Councilman in Melbourne, Florida (home of the infamous Aware Woman clinic), I would appreciate any information on how other cities (especially in Florida) have enacted zoning, taxing, or operational regulations effecting abortion providers. Also, laws regulating (or requiring disclosure of) staff, safety, equipment, records, facilities, or insurance could be beneficial.”
If you don’t live in Melbourne, take this idea to your own city councilman or county commissioner, because if they can’t locate in Melbourne, they will try to locate somewhere else.
If you are interested in joining a citizen’s committee which will make recommendations to the City Council, contact: Steve Beltz, 1965 Player Circle N., Melbourne, FL 32935. Phone: (407) 259-0386, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pornography Outlet Under Scrutiny by City of Melbourne
Exxpressions is a pornography outlet (no one under 18 admitted) presently located in historic downtown Eau Gallie by the post office. The city has investigated Exxpressions, and will check up on them again as they prepare to move to Sarno Road on April 1 to locate near to a city park there. The issue is, are they adult entertainment or not? If they are, then they would not be allowed to operate in certain areas. Exxpressions claims that less than 10% of their business is in pornographic videos, therefore they fall outside of the adult entertainment codes. The 10% limit allows businesses like “16,000 Videos” to trade in X-rated movies without being considered “adult.”
The business, Exxpressions, is located at 720 St. Clair Street and is licensed in conjunction with the pawn shop also located at this address. When the occupational license was issued to Mr. Dana Ferrell for this business, the city explained to him the city code requirements that only allow him to have 10% of his total business to be in adult related materials (videos, books, etc.). Chapter 2.5, Section 2.5-6 explains that a retail store must do more than 10% of their total gross sales in adult paraphernalia to be considered and “adult store” and thus regulated by our adult entertainment code. Mr. Ferrell stated that he would not be doing more than 10% of his business in adult sales.
Of course, if they were chiefly a pornography outlet, they would be wise to avoid city regulations by putting a bunch of retail goods for sale in the store, and to let the books reflect less than 10% of the sales are in adult videos. The Christian Coalition is currently attempting to ascertain whether or not Exxpressions is in compliance with the 10% law.