Constitutional Law Keyed to Stone
Young v. American Mini-Theatres
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Zoning ordinances adopted by the city of Detroit require that adult theatres be dispersed. Specifically, an adult theatre may not be located within 1,000 feet of any two other “regulated uses” or within 500 feet of a residential area. A theater is classified as “adult” if it is used to present “material distinguished or characterized by an emphasis on matter depicting, describing or relating to Specified Sexual Activities or Specified Anatomical Areas.” These ordinances were amendments to an “Anti-Skid Row Ordinance” which had been adopted 10 years earlier. In the opinion of urban planners and real estate experts who supported the ordinances, the location of several “regulated uses” in the same neighborhood tends to attract an undesirable quantity and quality of transients, adversely affects property values, causes an increase in crime, especially prostitution and encourages residents and businesses to move elsewhere. The Respondents, Young and another individual (Respondents) , two operators of adult motion picture theaters, sought a declaratory judgment that the ordinances were unconstitutional and an injunction against their enforcement. The Court of Appeals held the ordinances unconstitutional.
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