City approves adult services zoning changes
Saskatoon’s adult services licensing bylaw has overcome a major hurdle after
city council approved zoning changes that define where non-therapeutic
massage parlours and escort agencies can operate.
The controversial bylaw, which was unanimously approved by council in March, came into effect on July 1, but was postponed until a public hearing on Wednesday which addressed where adult services are allowed to locate.
According to the new zoning rules, illicit massage parlours and other in-call adult service agencies will be pushed to light and heavy industrial areas in the city, with a 160-meter buffer zone between each other to avoid “clustering.”
The businesses will also not be
allowed to set up shop within a one-block distance of parks, schools, homes and
The one-block cushion will limit the number of options for adult services to a few blocks, said Saskatoon’s planning and development manager Alan Wallace.
“The buffer creates some location options,” he said, referring to a number of smaller industrial areas in the city such as King George and Sutherland, without “squeezing” them out and risking non-compliance.
Wallace said if the buffer zone, for example, was increased to 500 metres – the distance enforced in Calgary – many adult service agencies would be forced to operate exclusively in the north industrial area.
“Therefore, we think a 160-meter separation is adequate while maintaining a suitable range of locations without restricting adult services to one area of the city,” he said.
The zoning proposal received support from local community members, including the president of the Saskatchewan chapter of REAL Women of Canada, a pro-family advocacy organization.
“We support in principle the [bylaw] to regulate zoning for adult service agencies,” said Cecilia Forsyth.
She emphasized, however, that in order for the zoning bylaw to be effective, it’s “absolutely crucial” that police maintain a constant presence in these areas.
“This will hopefully prevent these locations from becoming a honeypot for
To acquire a license under the new bylaw, an individual will be asked to supply government-issued photo identification showing that they’re over the age of 18, provide proof of citizenship or residency, and undergo a criminal check.
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