By John Toole
---- — WINDHAM – Town planners will hold a hearing next week on zoning language intended to limit sexually oriented businesses.
The issue came up as planners reviewed ordinances this fall in preparation for Town Meeting.
"The concern was that this unintended use was allowed, based on the wording of the zoning ordinance, in the gateway district and other districts," community planner Elizabeth Wood said in a memo to the board concerning the upcoming hearing.
Planning staff, at the board's request, consulted town attorney Bernard Campbell about language "to prevent unintended retail uses that are sexually oriented in nature," Wood said.
The language recommended by Campbell says sexually oriented businesses shall not be considered a retail sales use and would only be permitted where specifically allowed.
Windham does have a video store on Rockingham Road, XXXposed, that promotes on its website an adult trade in videos, toys and accessories.
During a work session last month, community development director Laura Scott told the board the use is only permitted in the town's commercial 'A' zone. XXXposed is in that zone.
The hearing is scheduled for Dec. 12. The board usually meets at 7 p.m. in the Community Development offices, 3 North Lowell Road, unless otherwise announced.
The board also plans to discuss zoning map amendments and the watershed protection ordinance at the meeting.
This week the board is discussing the village center district.
The meeting will be at 7 p.m. tomorrow at the Community Development offices.
The board is expected to discuss open space regulations Dec. 21.
Town Meeting is March 13.