NATURIST ACTION COMMITTEE
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DATE: October 20, 2014
SUBJECT: Clay County, Florida: proposed anti-nudity ordinance
TO: Florida naturists and other concerned citizens
• Proposed Clay County ordinances drew the ire of local residents at October 14 meeting.
• Another meeting is scheduled for October 28. NAC urges
Florida residents to attend and speak.
• NAC asks you to continue writing to Clay County Commissioners in opposition to proposed anti-nudity ordinance.
More information at http://naturistaction.org/clayupdate
This is an Update from the Naturist Action Committee (NAC). A week ago, NAC asked Florida naturists to take specific action opposing a proposed
anti-nudity ordinance in Clay County, Florida. NAC thanks you for your response!
Since that time, the Clay County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) has met to consider the issue and has allowed limited public comment.
Another consideration is scheduled for October 28, 2014, at which time the BCC may vote on adopting the proposed anti-nudity ordinance and other ordinances in same package. NAC asks for your continued action.
The proposed ordinance prohibiting public nudity throughout the county is
part of a suite of new local laws being touted as necessary for "adult business regulation." The anti-nudity measure stands alone and would prohibit nudity generally, while the accompanying regulatory ordinance would
specifically allow nudity in permitted commercial adult businesses.
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE BCC MEETING OF OCTOBER 14?
Outside attorney Michael Kahn spoke to the board, representing his package of ordinances as a "bulletproof" way of keeping so-called "adult" businesses out of
Clay County. Kahn, who charges $300 per hour, had initially told the Commissioners that his overall fee would fall in the range of $17,000 to $20,000. The current running total is said to be approximately $60,000.
was allowed to speak for as long as he wished, which turned out to be 27 minutes. However, each citizen comment was limited to 3 minutes. Many speakers were cut short by the timekeeper. But there were numerous comments from the
public, and the meeting ran long. Overall, 40 individuals addressed the BCC on some aspect of the ordinance package. Of those, 39 were opposed to it.
The largest single area of opposition involved the sites targeted for
locating the very businesses Mr. Kahn has said would be kept out of the county, anyway, by his "bulletproof" regulations. That same concern had also occupied much of the public comment in the County Planning
Commission's meeting of October 7. The extent to which Clay County residents and property owners don't trust Kahn's promise can be measured by their concern for where adult businesses will be allowed to locate when the
bulletproof shield fails.
The county's existing ordinance excludes adult businesses altogether. Outside attorney Kahn has told county lawmakers that the existing ordinance is likely to be found unconstitutional, if it's
The speakers at the October 14 meeting included a cohort who identified themselves as nudist or naturist. Some among the local speakers suggested that a study group should be formed to consider the matter,
and that the group should include property owners, local clerics and naturists. A majority of the locals asked that the rush to approve the new ordinance be slowed down, or that the ordinances themselves be removed from
WHAT IS NAC ASKING YOU TO DO?
If you are a
Florida resident, and especially if you're a resident of Clay County, NAC is asking you to do the following TWO THINGS:
immediately contact the members of the board of county commissioners by e-mail, opposing the proposed anti-nudity ordinance.
attend the remaining meeting of the Clay County Commissioners on October 28. Read below for details. During the public comment period, you will be given a brief opportunity to speak against the proposed ordinance, and NAC asks that you do so.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE FOR THOSE WHO WRITE OR SPEAK
NAC reminds you that when
we correspond with elected and appointed officials, we are almost always asking them to do something to help us - or to refrain from from doing something that might hurt. Please do not let your spoken or written remarks become
scolding or accusatory in their tone. That's a quick way to undo much of what's persuasive in your own comments and in the comments of other naturists.
WRITE TO THESE OFFICIALS
NAC is reaching out to naturists throughout Florida, because this proposed ordinance has a
broad effect. Your comments will carry the most weight if you are a resident of Clay County.
Send your comments to the Board of Commissioners for Clay County, as a group:
Or, if you have the
time, NAC recommends that you address your comments to each County Commissioner, individually:
For more information concerning the officials associated with these e-mail addresses, see the NAC web site: www.naturistaction.org/clayupdate
WHO SHOULD WRITE?
The Naturist Action Committee is addressing this NAC Action Alert to Florida residents. Clay County residents will have the greatest impact
in this matter. If you are from outside Florida, your input to Clay County lawmakers is likely to be discounted. If you live elsewhere, but are a frequent visitor to Clay County, or have family members there, or do business
there, then please write.
WHAT SHOULD YOU SAY?
When you're writing or
speaking, be polite and concise. If you are a resident of Clay County or have connections there, you should mention that fact. If you are a Clay County resident, please say so prominently and give your residential address.
Regardless, identify yourself by name. Anonymous comments are typically ignored.
Here are some simple points you may wish to make:
The regulatory element of the ordinances establishes the conditions under which nudity may be a part of commercial adult entertainment businesses. The locational element says where those businesses may be located. But the anti-nudity element forbids public nudity elsewhere. In Clay County, one would be able to be nude (conditionally) as a performer in a strip club, but clothing-optional beaches and parks would be outlawed, as would naturist resorts. This is not the sort of "content-neutral" ordinance that has passed muster with the U.S. Supreme Court.
The proposed anti-nudity ordinance is based on the assumption that nudity, by itself, causes "negative secondary effects." If that were so, property values near existing naturist and nudist resorts would be diminished. But they're not, a fact that's ignored by the so-called "studies" that are cited by the proposed ordinance. Some of those "studies" are nothing more than than the informal opinions of real estate agents who were asked, "What might happen if ..."
3. The proposed ordinance specifically discriminates against women by the inclusion of gender-specific language.
The package of ordinances, including the proposed anti-nudity ordinance, are clearly not ready for prime time. They should be referred to a committee for more thoughtful consideration.
Clay County has a history of having been a destination for tourists and vacationers. Floridians understand the value of this sort of revenue, but Clay County has assigned itself the role of a bedroom community for Jacksonville. At a time in which clothing-optional beaches (like Haulover in Miami-Dade) and naturist resorts (throughout Florida) are bringing in large sums of low-impact non-polluting revenue to their respective communities, the proposed Clay County anti-nudity ordinance would cut off the county from such sources of revenue.
The proposed anti-nudity ordinance imports the outdated 345-word definition of "buttocks" from neighboring St. Johns County. The proposed ordinance would criminalize large numbers of women's swimsuit bottoms, including those sold in Clay County shops.
PLEASE COPY NAC ON YOUR CORRESPONDENCE
You can help the effort by letting
us know what you've said. Please send copies of your correspondence to NAC. E-mail works best.
ATTEND THE CLAY COUNTY COMMISSIONERS MEETING
When: Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 5:00 PM
Where: BCC meeting room
4th floor of the Clay County Administration Building
477 Houston Street, Green Cove Springs, Florida 32043
For talking points, see the suggested writing points, above.
NAC continues working on this matter in coordination with South Florida Free Beaches and with the American Association for Nude Recreation.
You can find additional information, including:
- this NAC Update http://naturistaction.org/clayupdate
- the NAC Action Alert of Oct. 11 http://naturistaction.org/clay
or by visiting the NAC web site www.naturistaction.org and clicking on ALERTS.
On the NAC Update page for Clay County, you'll find a link to the complete text of each of the proposed ordinances.
PLEASE HELP NAC CONTINUE HELPING NATURISTS!
NAC relies entirely on the voluntary financial support of
concerned naturists like YOU. Won't you please send a generous donation to NAC?
PO Box 132
Oshkosh, WI 54903
Or call toll free (800) 886-7230 (8AM-4PM,
Central Time, weekdays) to donate by phone using your MasterCard, Visa or Discover Card. Or use your credit card to make a convenient online donation:
Thank you for choosing once again to make a difference.
Naturist Action Committee
Naturist Action Committee (NAC) - PO Box 132, Oshkosh, WI 54903
Executive Dir. Bob Morton - firstname.lastname@example.org
Online Rep. Dennis Kirkpatrick - email@example.com
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