Damariscotta considers temporary ban on ‘adult’ businesses to allow time to craft local rules

Posted Aug. 22, 2014, at 4:23 p.m.

DAMARISCOTTA, Maine — Prompted by an inquiry from the owner of a Waldoboro business that sells “adult” items, the Damariscotta Board of Selectmen is scrambling to pass a temporary moratorium on such businesses until the town can enact a permanent ordinance regulating them.

Damariscotta Town Manager Matt Lutkus said Friday that the discussion was prompted by conversation between Code Enforcement Officer Stanley Waltz and Rusty Hoffman, who owns Hoffman Collectables on Route 1 in Waldoboro.

Hoffman said Friday that he will close his store in Waldoboro in a week, and is interested in moving it to Damariscotta. He said he is looking at “one or two buildings right downtown, by Hannaford.”

His store sells items ranging from swords, pipes and T-shirts to “adult novelty toys,” lingerie and “bachelorette items,” he said.

On Sept. 3, selectmen will consider approving a moratorium on adult businesses, and will also consider approving a special town meeting warrant which will include a proposal to create an ordinance on adult businesses, Lutkus said.

The board would then hold a hearing and special town meeting for residents to consider the permanent ordinance on Sept. 17. The town would then have six months to determine whether to adopt an adult entertainment ordinance, Lutkus said.

“We don’t have anything pending right now, but [we] want to be proactive,” Lutkus wrote Friday in an email to the Bangor Daily News.

Hoffman said he was not aware that the town of Damariscotta was considering a moratorium or an ordinance about adult businesses, and was confused that his consideration of relocating there might have prompted such a discussion.

“I’m not really even sure I want to reopen at all,” he said by phone Friday afternoon.

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