Question

Voyeur Dorm operates an Internet-based website that provides a 24-hour-a-day Internet transmission portraying the lives of the residents of 2312 West Farwell Drive, Tampa, Florida. Throughout its existence, Voyeur Dorm has employed 25 to 30 different women, most of whom entered into a contract that specifies, among other things, that they are "employees," on a "stage and filming location," with "no reasonable expectation of privacy," for "entertainment purposes." Subscribers to voyeurdorm.com pay a subscription fee of $34.95 a month to watch the women employed at the premises and pay an added fee of $16.00 per month to "chat" with the women. At a zoning hearing, Voyeur Dorm's counsel conceded that five women live in the house, that there are cameras in the corners of all the rooms of the house, that for a fee a person can join a membership to a website wherein a member can view the women 24 hours a day, seven days a week, that a member, at times, can see someone disrobed, that the women receive free room and board, and that the women are paid as part of a business enterprise. From August 1998 to June 2000, Voyeur Dorm generated subscriptions and sales totaling $3,166,551.35. Section 27-523 of Tampa's City Code defines adult entertainment establishments as: any premises . . . on which is offered to members of the public or any person, for a consideration, entertainment featuring or in any way including specified sexual activities . . . or entertainment featuring the displaying or depicting of specified anatomical areas . . .; "entertainment" as used in this definition shall include, but not be limited to, books, magazines, films, newspapers, photographs, paintings, drawings, sketches or other publications or graphic media, filmed or live plays, dances or other performances either by single individuals or groups, distinguished by their display or depiction of specified anatomical areas or specified sexual activities.
The City of Tampa argues that Voyeur Dorm is an adult use business pursuant to the express and unambiguous language of section 27-523 and, as such, cannot operate in a residential neighborhood. Is the city correct?



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  • CreatedJuly 16, 2014
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