Ventura County Plans Condom Mandate

Apr 23, 2013
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County Supervisor Linda Parks is planning to introduce an ordinance requiring actors in adult films to wear condoms during movie production, a regulation similar to the initiative passed by Los Angeles County voters in November and by the Simi Valley City Council last year.

Parks believes such an ordinance would deter pornographic films from being made here.

“If it means they can only film someplace else, that would be fine with me,” Parks said.

The ordinance, which would apply to unincorporated areas in Ventura County, is expected to go before the Ventura County Board of Supervisors in May.

Two production companies have been making adult films at a home in the Ventu Park area of Newbury Park. Residents in the unincorporated neighborhood have complained to Parks, saying they can hear and see the sex scenes.

Tim Gray, whose home is adjacent to the filming site, said he can hear the movie production from his house.

“I heard some women. … Something was going on,” Gray said. “For 10 to 15 minutes, I can hear noise you would associate with women in a porn scene.”

Gray said his 17-year-old daughter heard the noises while doing homework and had to turn up her music.

“I’m not in any campaign against pornography. We just don’t want it next to our home,” Gray said. “It’s our home. That means a lot to us.”

The adult entertainment industry has been knocking on the doors of Ventura County, looking to film pornography. The sudden interest follows the passage of Measure B, the ballot initiative in Los Angeles County that requires actors in X-rated films to wear condoms. To avoid the regulation, production companies have been searching for locations outside the San Fernando Valley, where most explicit films have been made.

Residents in Newbury Park have received fliers from an agent looking for a furnished home to make pornography. The flier specifically states that homes outside Los Angeles County are preferred.

Sensing the potential side effects of a Los Angeles condom law, Simi Valley passed its own law last April. Since then, no adult film companies have applied to stage scenes in the city.

On Wednesday, Moorpark Councilman Mark Van Dam requested that the City Council there discuss the city’s stance on adult film production at a future meeting. Van Dam said the issue needs to be addressed as interest in pornography production in Ventura County grows.

In recent weeks, Oxnard and Ventura have received inquiries about the permitting process for adult films.

Most cities have an application process for any commercial filming on private property. In Thousand Oaks, the process includes a requirement to gather signatures from neighbors. Ninety percent of neighbors within 200 feet of the filming site must support the work. The signature requirement is more stringent for filming that lasts four days or longer.

When Camarillo received several inquiries from the adult film industry about whether the city has a condom law, the City Council decided to enact a 45-day moratorium on adult film production. Assistant City Attorney Don Davis said the moratorium gives the city some time to consider the results of ongoing litigation against Los Angeles County and time to study condom regulations of other communities.

“It’s useful to have a coordinated effort to this thing,” Davis said.

When Camarillo’s moratorium ends in early May, the City Council could extend it or consider an ordinance requiring use of condoms in film scenes.


This patchwork of local ordinances won’t be necessary if Assemblyman Isadore Hall III, D-Los Angeles, has his way. In February, Hall introduced a bill that requires condoms in all pornographic material filmed in the state.

Hall considers his bill, Assembly Bill 332, workplace-safety legislation that protects actors from exposure to HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Hall said statewide legislation also would mean communities wouldn’t have to participate in expensive campaigns to pass a condom law, as Los Angeles County had.

“Had a statewide bill passed, you wouldn’t have these film production companies going from county to county to county,” Hall said.

Such a bill wouldn’t bother James Young, a location manager for Agoura Hills-based Art Monkeys Inc., a production company that has been making pornography at a Newbury Park home.

“We mostly shoot solo girl stuff,” Young said.

Since the crew began production in March at the home, Young has heard no complaints from neighbors.

“It’s impossible,” Young said about neighbors hearing and seeing the production. “We have complete privacy. We try to keep completely quiet.”

Another company, Chatsworth-based Taylor Made Enterprises, has been making adult films at the same home and is also permitted to use a home on a nearby street. Location manager Renae Englehart said the crew keeps all doors closed and follow all rules and regulations.

“There’s no way they can hear anything,” Englehart said. “If they can hear it, they’re getting too close.”

Gray said he and his neighbors have not approached the film crew with their concerns.

“They haven’t done anything illegal. It’s hard to know how to treat it,” Gray said. “It’s not like they’re your neighbors.”

Gray said he was unsuccessful at working things out with the owners of the house, who have moved away.

“My hope was we wouldn’t have to go with regulations,” Gray said. “But we don’t have any options.”

(c)2013 Ventura County Star (Camarillo, Calif.)

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