Incorporation will afford Edgemont several options in zoning and planning, one of which is the regulation of adult bookstores and related businesses. Given First Amendment limitations, municipalities may not outlaw them altogether. From our research, there are predominantly three options:
- Designate a specified area for such businesses. This is what the unincorporated Town of Greenburgh has done in section 285-36(R) of its zoning law.
- Do not designate a specified area, yet require a special permit. This is the approach taken by the Greenburgh villages of Ardsley, Hastings, Dobbs Ferry, Elmsford, and Irvington, each of which have adopted provisions specifically to "prevent a concentration of these uses in any one area and to specifically reduce their potential accessibility to children."
- Do not address the matter directly (Village of Scarsdale), which nonetheless has no such establishments within its borders.
The result is that only one such business in all of Greenburgh and Scarsdale combined (see below).
The demand for commercial real estate by adult content-related stores is in decline due to the rise of the freely available internet content, piracy, and anonymous online sales. This trend is in fact well-documented as examined by The Economist, Salon, and Huffington Post have all examined the trend, and on the week of this writing, so has the New Yorker. NBC has recently reported that within the industry, the selling of physical goods at local retail establishments may be stabilizing, but these sales are taking place at corner pharmacies, not specialized outlets.
We believe that any suggestions that incorporation will give rise to adult bookstores in our community are unsubstantiated by market realities and the experience of nearby villages. The industry is in decline, and village governments have effective legal tools at its disposal to address the concerns of the community.