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Victoria County dogs and sex shops see new regulations

By Melissa Crowe
July 30, 2012 at 2:30 a.m.
Updated July 31, 2012 at 2:31 a.m.


MORE ACTION

• Accepted $90,000 grant award from the Local Border Security Program

• Approved Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness grant contract extension through Sept. 30

• Approved $4,000 request from Lone Tree Community Volunteer Fire Department to purchase a used brush truck.

ORDINANCE HIGH POINTS

DANGEROUS DOG ORDINANCE

• Defines what makes a dog dangerous, regardless of breed

• Owners must make their dangerous dog wear a red, county-issued "dangerous dog" collar tag; keep their animal confined in a 6-foot-tall, locked fenced area clearly marked as containing a dangerous dog; restrained on a leash and muzzle when it is not in its fence; have a microchip implanted and insured for at least $100,000.

SEXUALLY ORIENTED BUSINESS ORDINANCE

• Separates businesses into three categories that determine its location to "sensitive use areas"

• Limits the location and hours of operation

• Defines how much space products can take in a store. If more than 40 percent of store space is taken by adult items, it qualifies as a sexually oriented business.

After months of discussion and revising, Victoria County Commissioners approved two ordinances Monday that regulate dangerous dogs and sexually oriented businesses.

Both ordinances affect only unincorporated areas of the county.

Commissioners decided earlier this month to combine all the county's animal and rabies ordinances in one document.

County Judge Don Pozzi said because they will now only be working with one ordinance, it "makes things a lot simpler."

Victoria City-County Health Department will enforce the dog ordinance while Victoria County Sheriff's Office will enforce the business ordinance.

"This calendar year, there have been several unfortunate incidences, and some very tragic involving animals in Victoria County," Pozzi said.

He said he looks at the ordinance as a "protective pet ordinance."

"These animals need to be cared for, it doesn't matter whether they weigh 2 pounds or 150 pounds," Pozzi said. "We have that responsibility if we are going to own animals."

Sheriff's office Chief Deputy Terry Simons said only one business in the county needs to be checked to see if it complies with the sexually oriented business ordinance.

The business ordinance would require those with sexually oriented designations to obtain a $500 annual operating license. It also limits the location and hours of operation.

If it does not, the owner will have one year to come into compliance, he said.

"It'll keep an influx of sexually oriented businesses from building out in the county," Simons said.

In the past, there had been talks about topless clubs setting up shop in Victoria County, he said.

"Places that don't regulate get inundated," Simons said.

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