Video report on the decline and fall of the Combat Zone by A Chinatown Banquet (which has also posted other videos on Chinatown and its history):
Combat Zone visitors and workers reminisce.
That was interesting.
Over and over, one of the narrators refers to the city using zoning to cluster all the "adult entertainment" places together.
What zoning techniques? If the Supreme Court said "dancing" is protected under the 1st amendment, how could zoning be used in a constitutional manner? Can anyone explain?
but that doesn't mean I can build a printing press or a movie theatre in an area zoned for single-family houses.
It would be unconstitutional to tell you you can't build a printing facility in an area that's zoned industrial, though. Similarly, it's unconstitutional to tell you you can't build a pole-dancing establishment in an area that allows other live entertainment.
Dedham's half of the old Stop & Shop warehouse land at the Readville line is zoned for adult entertainment. When the town was considering ceding the land to Boston (for a price, natch) so a developer could build a huge residential complex, one of the issues was that if the town lost its adult-entertainment zone, X-rated joints could build in any commercial zone in town.
Courts have ruled that while communitites cannot outlaw stripping, they can regulate it. If they don't explicitly regulate it, then a business can open anywhere zoning restrictions would otherwise allow such an entertainment business. If they choose to regulate it, they need to name a district for it. The point of the original Boston Combat Zone was to keep the clubs and shops out of any other part of Boston by locking them in to a then-run down few blocks.
Most communities now put their "adult entertainment" districts in the far corner of their land, often near another town's business or residential districts. Dedham's adult district can only be accessed through Boston streets, and much of it is wetlands. It would never hold up in court, but the Selectmen can tell the people that they did something.