The New Orleans City Council moved one step closer Thursday to capping the number of strip clubs on Bourbon Street, directing the Planning Commission to hold a public hearing on the proposal.
The proposal, pushed by Councilwoman Stacy Head, would cap the number of strip clubs in the French Quarter at 13, the number now in operation, and limit them to one per block within the Vieux Carre Entertainment District, which includes Bourbon Street.
The measure, which would update the city's comprehensive zoning ordinance, is expected to return to the City Council for a vote following the commission's public hearing.
It was unclear Thursday when the commission would schedule its meeting.
The Planning Commission previously recommended either capping the number of strip clubs, requiring new ones to clear additional regulatory hurdles before being allowed to open or merely ramping up enforcement of existing regulations.
The commission's staff recently completed a study supporting the views of critics of strip clubs, who say the establishments contribute to prostitution, drug use and other illegal activity in and near the French Quarter.
Advocates have called for stricter limitations of strip clubs since the June 2015 death of Jasilas Wright, a dancer whose body was found on Interstate 10 in Metairie after she left a club with a man investigators said was her pimp.
Those concerns intensified following a crackdown that fall known as Operation Trick or Treat, in which the state Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control suspended the alcohol licenses of seven strip clubs and two bars, many of them on Bourbon Street, for allegedly turning a blind eye to prostitution and the peddling of illegal drugs on their premises.
Some dancers and club owners have opposed the new restrictions on the clubs, saying they would threaten their livelihood.