Pandora's Boxxx, Amherst's only adult bookstore, has one year to leave its popular Niagara Falls Boulevard location under an ordinance the Town Board adopted Monday night regulating all types of adult entertainment.
The ordinance won unanimous board support and was applauded by a member of the audience, who called the law a victory for "independence over indecency."
"My hat's off to you. God bless America," said Joseph D. Stratt of Cobblestone Lane.
Under the new law, adult entertainment businesses -- including bookstores, movie theaters and massages parlors -- are permitted only in general industrial areas and must be at least 1,000 feet from churches or day care centers, and at least 500 feet from residential areas.
The law also gives existing adult businesses one year to move into an approved zone.
The zoning restrictions limit the businesses to only two or three locations, but with the other restrictions, the only place such businesses are likely to locate is near Youngs Road and the Thruway, said Town Attorney Philip Thielman.
If Pandora's Boxxx, the only adult business currently operating in Amherst, decides to remain in the town, it is expected to relocate from its current location on Niagara Falls Boulevard to the Youngs Road area, said Town Board Member William L. Kindel.
Kindel said he's already heard from residents living within a mile or two of the Youngs Road/Thruway area who don't want the adult bookstore to relocate there.
But, Kindel said, the property is not easily accessible to children or young teen-agers, since there are no sidewalks in the area and it is only accessible by car.
"It is in the middle of nowhere," he said.
Municipalities are prohibited from banning adult businesses but can attempt to keep them away from residential areas, as this ordinance attempts to do, Thielman said.
Amherst officials began developing a law regulating adult businesses after Pandora's Boxxx opened several years ago.
The business maintains that it has been successful at self-policing and keeping young people out of the store. But nearby residents opposed its operation.
In other business Monday night, the board:
Approved by a 4-3 vote a controversial rezoning permitting two office buildings and a hotel at a former building supply business at 4100 Sheridan Drive, east of Harlem Road.
Supervisor Susan J. Grelick, as well as board members Margaret Santillo and Michael McGuire, voted against the rezoning. Area residents argued that the rezoning would bring additional traffic to the area and generally affect their quality of life. But environmental studies indicated that the project will not have a negative impact, its supporters said.
Set a public hearing for July 21 on a proposed four-rink ice skating arena at the Audubon Recreation Center, near Millersport Highway and Maple Road. The arena, which could cost up to $16 million, would be financed through the Amherst Industrial Development Agency. Some Town Board members have recently questioned the wisdom of funding the project through the IDA, rather the town.
Set a public hearing for July 21 on a proposal to beef up the town's ethics code. The code currently imposes a fine of up to $10,000 for failing to meet disclosure requirements. The new law imposes fines of up to $10,000 for other violations.