A federal lawsuit challenging Sandy Springs’ adult-business restrictions is going to trial as scheduled today. But a last-minute zoning change has trimmed the number of issues the court will decide, according to Cary Wiggins, the attorney representing the adult businesses in the nine-year-old lawsuit.

Court arguments likely will last a few days, and a ruling will likely come several months later, Wiggins said.

The adult bookstore Inserection and the strip clubs Flashers and Mardi Gras allege that the city is trying to force them out of business with laws violating the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

One complaint involved zoning code restrictions that the businesses said were so tight, they made it practically impossible to move elsewhere in the city. Last month, in response to the lawsuit, the city quietly changed the zoning code to allow adult businesses in more areas. Wiggins said that complaint is now removed from the lawsuit.

The remaining complaints that the court will decide include allegedly “overbroad” restrictions on alcohol sales; “arbitrary and capricious” rules on the expiration of the businesses’ zoning status; and an “overbroad” ban on “employees exposing ‘specified anatomical areas’ to patrons in private rooms.”

Two other, separate lawsuits also challenging the city’s adult-businesses restrictions are still pending in federal and state courts. Also still pending is a 2011 lawsuit where the city is suing four adult businesses for alleged legal violations.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.