EDITORIAL: An issue that resonates

EDITORIAL: An issue that resonates

Efforts to govern "adult entertainment" in White Rock come at an odd time

Stripped to its core, White Rock civic leaders’ efforts to govern so-called “adult entertainment” inside city limits was in response to a single, seemingly unwelcome though well-attended “ladies night” late last year.

That was the message delivered in council chambers this week as about 50 residents attended a public hearing scheduled so that council could proceed with new bylaws that leaders say will dissuade “adult entertainment” venues.

Attendees expressed concern that the new rules – limiting allowable sites for such businesses to specific locations in uptown White Rock – would actually attract them instead.

Responded Mayor Wayne Baldwin: “This is not an attempt on the part of council to turn White Rock into a den of iniquity (but) to get a grip on the issue and not let it slip by.”

To enhance that point, city staff made it clear prior to the hearing that there are no “adult-entertainment” applications for such venues pending.

Had there been, it would certainly not be the city’s first hosting of strippers, irrespective of December’s “ladies night,” which got rerouted from a restaurant to a private residence following communications between the city and the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch.

For decades White Rock’s Ocean Beach Hotel was home to ‘exotic dancing.’ But like its closest ‘strip-club’ neighbour, the Tudor Inn near the Pacific Highway border crossing in South Surrey – and so many others across Metro Vancouver – the business has since changed hands and re-opened as a regular restaurant/bar.

In fact, given this broad change to the business world – and the rise of “adult entertainment” on the worldwide web in recent years – it seems odd that leaders in a small town like White Rock would worry that purveyors and surveyors of “adult entertainment” are on there way here.

However, if preventing such enterprises from making an appearance in White Rock is what their residents want – and that seemed to be the only view expressed at Monday’s public hearing – perhaps city leaders acting now have found an issue that will resonate with voters in 2018.

Peace Arch News