City of Laval to rein in strip clubs, sex shops, massage parlours
The city of Laval is taking strict measures to limit strip clubs, sex shops and massage parlours.
City council adopted amendments to bylaw L-2000 on Tuesday night which will move any new ‘erotic establishments’ into one specific industrial zone in Laval, among other measures.
Sandra Desmeules of the city's executive committee said the bylaw will affect anything involving sexual and erotic activity.
"Strip clubs, erotic cinemas, swinger's clubs, sex-shop-style stores, so it's quite a range of erotic establishments," said Desmeules.
City officials say the goal of the amendments is to counter the sexual exploitation of minors.
The city will suspend any permits to buildings or businesses that do not comply with regulations, and current businesses will have to re-apply for a permit.
Though current businesses will be permitted to remain where they are thanks to a grandfather clause, new businesses will be required to locate their business within the specific zone. Before the amendment, strip clubs and the like were permitted in 14 zones throughout the city.
The city is also imposing a cap, and will allow a maximum of five sex-related businesses that area. There are currently two such establishments in that zone, leaving room for three newcomers.
Laval spokesperson Nadine Lussier said there were 40 massage parlours that reapplied for a permit at the end of 2017, 19 were denied because they were found to provide services of a sexual nature.
“That’s half of erotic businesses that we managed to get rid of,” said Desmeules.
The amendments also include:
- Prohibiting erotic establishments throughout Laval, except within the new industrial zone bounded on the south by Highway 440, to the north by Berlier St., on the west by Highway 15 and on the east by Industriel Blvd.
- No more than five erotic establishments will be permitted within any 250-square-metre area
- Schools, daycares, rooming houses and other similar establishments will not be permitted within 30 metres of an erotic establishment
- Signs and billboards advertising the location of the ‘erotic zone’ will be prohibited
"We are delighted by the new proposed provisions that will allow us to more rigorously supervise this type of activity in our region, especially in a single industrial sector. The people of Laval will be pleased to see that we are taking a big step today with a vision for the future of regulating this type of establishment on our territory," said Laval Mayor Marc Demers in a statement.
The sector was chosen by the city because it is entirely industrial and does not contain any apartments, homes or schools.
Don’t expect it to turn into a red light district, however: because only five businesses are permitted in the zone – and two of the spots are already taken by a sex shop and massage parlour – there remains only room for three more establishments.
The city also said it has increased its police budget to fight sexual exploitation.