What exactly is an adult bookstore anyway?

That was the first question a panel charged with redrafting a bill aimed at regulating businesses in the county that offer pornographic magazines, videos and sexual aids was trying to answer Friday at its first meeting.


"Adult bookstore: Does that include non-profits? Does it include private clubs?" asked Thomas M. Thomas, the county health officer, during the meeting.

"I could see a video store falling into it," added Stephen J. Kimlicko, director of the county's Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits. "Some of them have separate areas you can't go into unless you're over 18."


The 13-member panel, appointedby Councilman Philip J. Barker, D-District F, has 60 days to come upwith a proposed redraft of his bill. The group will meet again 10 a.m. Dec. 6 in the council chambers, Level A, of the County Courthouse in Bel Air. Barker

withdrew his bill last month after county department chiefs said it would be too difficult to enforce.

For example, Kimlicko explained at the meeting Friday that his department, which inspects buildings under construction, renovation or expansion, could not enforce a proposed requirement that walls between peep show booths be solid.

"It's a new twist to the whole concept of what my department does," said Kimlicko. "I do not go back into existing buildings to inspect them."

Other committee members are Jack T. Feldman, a Bel Air lawyer on the panel who is representing the owners of thefour adult bookstores; Joseph I. Cassilly, the Harford state's attorney; Arden Holdredge, chief of current planning for the Department ofPlanning and Zoning; Robert Hockaday, director of community and government relations; Emory Plitt, county attorney; James Vannoy, a council aide; the Rev. Darryl Zoller, a Methodist minister; and Maj. Joe Higgins and Cpl. Terry Noye of the county Sheriff's Office.