When First Amendment Principles and Local Zoning Regulations Collide
Brody, Steven I.
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This article examines the conflict between municipal restrictions on adult uses and the fundamental right to freedom of speech. Mr. Brody reviews the Supreme Court tests for resolving the conflict and concludes that most zoning regulations affecting adult uses will be examined under the O'Brien/Heffron tests: (1) the ordinance must provide a sufficient factual basis to support a finding of substantial or important governmental interest; (2) the ordinance's definitions of adult uses and restrictions must be narrowly tailored to affect only those businesses which the ordinance intends to regulate; and (3) the ordinance must provide reasonable alternative channels of communication for the dissemination of the affected expression protected under the First Amendment. The author offers practical suggestions for avoiding the collision between zoning of adult uses and First Amendment freedoms.