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The Spokane Valley News Herald
City of Spokane Valley, WA
Unlawful public exposure law coming

11/01/2013

By MIKE HUFFMAN
Managing Editor

 

After vowing to get to the bottom of the problem of bikini baristas who take things a bit too far, Spokane Valley legal staffers unveiled a proposed ordinance to deal with “unlawful public exposure” on Tuesday night.
Council members seemed by and large pleased with the law, which would seek to keep the baristas – or any other business that operates in the near-buff – covered in what would at least amount to two-piece swimsuits and not the pasties that have been prevalent at XXX Espresso on “Topless Tuesdays and Thursdays.”
Last month, the council listened for two hours of testimony from those displeased with the city’s perceived inaction over the coffee stand, which had set up shop a short distance away from City Hall on Sprague Avenue. Those who spoke opined on the city’s moral decay and having to shelter children via altered school-bus routes.
Getting the message – and with Election Day fast approaching – council members requested on Oct. 3 that City Attorney Cary Driskell draft an ordinance that had more teeth than the existing code. On Tuesday, Driskell offered an ordinance that would “protect the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the city of Spokane Valley.”
The law would require that clothing be “full or opaque” and securely attached over around the shoulders, neck and back. Body paint or tattoos are not considered opaque covering, nor any other substance that can be washed off, Driskell said.
The law also prohibits the exposure of “prohibited body parts” – in this case, male or female genitals or the anus, more than one-half the female breast area or, or any part of the areola or nipple of the female breast.
With that out of the way, Driskell did add that the law wouldn’t stop doctors from asking their patients to strip down.
“Obviously, we don’t want to regulate anything where medical procedures are performed,” Driskell said. He added that the law also wouldn’t apply to science or art classes or dramatic presentations such as a play.
Violators of the law would be subjected to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 90 days, or both, per instance.
Mayor Tom Towey said he is pleased with the draft ordinance.
“As a council, we recognized a problem and focused on it,” he said.
Council Member Arne Woodard said the ordinance will stop the proliferation of similar businesses from popping up.
“It applies to the conduct of all kinds of businesses, not just one,” he said.
The council will vote on the proposed ordinance at an upcoming meeting.
In other news, the council:

  • Approved the conceptual site plan for the proposed expanded Balfour Park and a potential future library site. The plan was developed after a series of public meetings.
  • Agreed to an extend an interlocal agreement with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office for the continued operation of a traffic school intended to give qualifying individuals an alternative to dealing with traffic infractions. Those completing the course will have their tickets dismissed and, by extension, not affecting their insurance rates.
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TheSpokane Valley News Herald
is the City of Spokane Valley, Washington's official Newspaper. The City Council of the City of Spokane Valley, Washington named the Spokane Valley News Herald as the city's "official" newspaper. The designation means the Spokane Valley News Herald will publish the city's legal notices on a contract basis for one year.

E-mail: vnh@onemain.com
Phone: (509) 924-2440
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