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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:These appeals and cross-appeals by the city of Houston and regulated entities arise out of an action brought by 105 individuals and 88 adult entertainment establishments challenging the city of Houston’s 1997 amendments to its ordinances governing sexually oriented businesses (SOBs). City Ordinance 97-75 is the most recent in a long line of ordinances enacted by the city of Houston to regulate SOBs. In 1977, the city enacted Ordinances 77-1259 and 77-1260, which prohibited the operation of adult commercial establishments within 2,000 feet of any church, school, or other educational or charitable institution. This ordinance was struck down by a federal district court on First and 14th Amendment grounds; on appeal this court did not reach the constitutional issues. The city of Houston enacted new ordinances in 1983, 1985, 1986, 1991, and 1997. Under the 1985 version of the ordinance (as amended in 1986), SOBs were prohibited from operating within 750 feet of a school, church or place of worship, or daycare center; or within 1,000 feet of any other SOB, or on any other tract of land for which seventy-five percent or more of the tracts within a 1,000-foot radius were residential. Id. The 1985/1986 ordinance also regulated the exterior decor and signage of SOBs. These regulations were upheld against various constitutional challenges in SDJ Inc. v. City of Houston, 837 F.2d 1268 (5th Cir. 1988), cert. denied sub nom., M.E.F. Enters. Inc. v. City of Houston, 489 U.S. 1052 (1989). The appellees filed suit a week after the ordinance was enacted. In 1998, the district court granted summary judgment on most of the issues in the case. The district court held that the portion of the ordinance increasing the distance requirements was an unconstitutional content-based regulation that must be reviewed with strict scrutiny under the First Amendment. The court denied summary judgment on whether it was constitutional to add public parks to the list of protected uses and on the modification of the treatment of multi-family dwellings, finding genuine issues of material fact as to whether there would be sufficient alternative avenues of communication for the SOBs if these modifications were upheld. The court upheld nearly all of the provisions of the ordinance related to exterior and interior appearance, implementation and amortization, finding that they were content-neutral regulations that survive intermediate scrutiny. The court subjected the signage provision’s application to �216 of the Texas Local Government Code. The court upheld the regulations pertaining to adult mini-theatres. The court upheld the permit requirements for entertainers and managers under intermediate scrutiny but enjoined the city of Houston from requiring on individuals’ applications the disclosure of personal phone numbers, home addresses, and criminal record information beyond what the ordinance uses in granting or denying a permit. The court also enjoined the city from requiring managers to conspicuously display personal identification cards while working in SOBs, as it found this requirement a content-based regulation that does not withstand strict scrutiny. HOLDING:The district court’s rulings in this case are extensive and clearly reflect hard work and thoughtfulness, the court states. Upon review of the voluminous briefs and record, the court affirms the judgment of the district court in its entirety with the following exceptions. The court reverses the district court’s ruling enjoining enforcement of the amended 1,500-foot distance restriction and remand for a determination whether that restriction, in light of the ordinance as a whole, affords reasonable alternative avenues of communication for SOBs. The court dismisses the cross-appeal of the court’s nonfinal rulings on the constitutionality of the public parks and multi-family residence provisions. The court reverses the court’s invalidation of 97-75′s interior design restrictions related to large VIP rooms. The court reverses the court’s invalidation of the requirements that a. permit applicants disclose phone numbers and home addresses on their applications; and b. managers conspicuously display their identification cards while at work in SOBs. The court vacates the court’s injunction prohibiting the city from disclosing information on permit applications and requiring applicants to disclose information beyond that required by 97-75. OPINION:Jones, J.

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