June 18, 2018
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Lincoln: What defines ‘special amusement’?

By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff

LINCOLN, Maine — Town Councilor Thora House doesn’t want an adult entertainment center on Main Street.

That’s why the planning board tonight will discuss and possibly reword the town’s special amusement permit to specify what businesses are allowed to offer, she and council chairman Steve Clay said Sunday.

“They might specify what is not ‘special amusement,’” Clay said Sunday. “It came up because every year we give special amusement permit renewals to [town businesses] and Thora was concerned that there was nothing in the ordinance that prohibited anything.”

Peter Phinney, the board’s chairman, did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment Sunday.

At House’s request, the council referred the matter to the board at the council’s meeting earlier this month, Clay said.

Lincoln has no adult entertainment centers, such as businesses that feature exotic dancers or sexual paraphernalia. Nor were Clay and House aware of any such businesses with plans to open in Lincoln. Some town convenience stores sell adult magazines.

Businesses must apply for special amusement permits in order to offer karaoke, live music and jukeboxes, among other things, House said. She has voted against the last two special amusement permits the council approved because she believed the ordinance lacked definition.

House is not necessarily against adult entertainment centers such as strip clubs in town, she said, but would want them at least placed in discreet locations — definitely not on Main Street.

She asked that the board consider rewriting the ordinance to reflect three entertainment levels. Jukeboxes and G-rated entertainment would be first; then more restrictive live and more adult-oriented entertainment, such as comedians who use adult language; and adult, or X-rated, entertainment, she said.

“When somebody comes to me for an entertainment license, I want to know what that means,” House said. As it stands, “There is nothing there; they can do whatever they want.”

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