The XBIZ Weekly Retail Round-Up

Tod Hunter

County Plans Ordinance to Regulate Adult Businesses

OWENSBORO, Ky. — Local leaders in Daviess County Kentucky are working on an ordinance that would put strict regulations on adult oriented businesses, although there are none in the county now, and none planned.

"There's not a problem with sexually-oriented businesses wanting to set up shop in the county," County Judge Executive Reid Haire. "While most strip clubs, adult book stores and toy stores are legal, the county doesn't want to dance around the issue. They're not really welcome."

In November, the county fiscal court hopes to put an ordinance into place regulating adult businesses. Included in the ordinance will be guidelines specifying where an adult business can locate. It will also include a requirement for employees to have a license to work for one of these businesses.

"We want to make sure that those other issues that often surround those other businesses such as drug abuse, prostitution aren't in an environment in which they can flourish," said Haire.

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Protestors Say Adult Shop Too Close to Homes

BELTSVILLE, Md. — Holding placards that say "No More Porn," an activist group protested at the Wholesale Lingerie and Gift Center, saying that the store is violating Prince George's County zoning rules.

The county's zoning rules say that an adult bookstore must be at least 1,000 feet away from homes, schools, libraries, parks, recreational facilities, day-care centers or churches. Hours of operation are limited to 9 a.m. to midnight, according to the code.

The Maryland Coalition Against Pornography protesters say Wholesale Lingerie, which has been operating since 1994, is breaking both rules.

"I believe the county is not protecting the citizens from the harm that pornography does," said Arthur McKnew, a member of the coalition. "The county is not enforcing existing laws."

Protesters targeted Wholesale Lingerie because they said it, unlike the other two adult stores in the area, is violating the hours of operations requirements.

"The people who live in this neighborhood deserve some peace," McKnew said. "We need the public to get behind us to nudge the politicians."

Calls made to Wholesale Lingerie were not returned. One person who answered the phone at the business refused to be identified but said of the protest, "Don't they know this stuff just increases our business?"

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Cities Feud Over Adult Zones

DEDHAM, Mass. — The town's contentious adult entertainment zoning proposal officially became a cross-border dispute this week, as selectmen in adjacent Westwood went on the record expressing "extreme concern" about the two chosen locations for adult businesses, both of which are which are on their town line.

Dedham selectmen Chairman James MacDonald said his board stands by its special Town Meeting article, adding that the board will "be open to have a discussion with anybody" after the meeting on Nov. 17.

The adult district under consideration includes three land parcels that straddle the Dedham-Westwood line and a fourth with a building that has its back half in Dedham and its front end in Westwood.

Dedham's adoption of its adult district does not mean that an adult business would immediately move in. Any adult business would still need permitting approval, including a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals.

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'Family-Friendly' Sex Shop Offers Child Care While Parents Shop

BRISBANE, Queensland — A new sex shop is marketing itself as the family-friendly alternative, with coloring books and child minding all part of the service.

But two official complaints have been lodged with Logan City Council regarding the Little By Little Adult Concept Store's location in a shopping complex that also contains a dental office, a drugstore, a bakery and a beauty salon, and neighbors a Lutheran church.

Little By Little business manager Monica Bekkers doesn't see what all the fuss is about.

"Everyone has sex," she said.

Bekkers said she welcomed parents bringing young children into her shop if they had nowhere else to leave them.

"It only takes a child eight minutes to die in a hot car, and I don't see the harm in letting your child sit in our shop and color while mum or dad look about,"she said. "I must be clear — I am not telling people to bring their kids in and show them the sex toys. I am saying if you need to have your child with you we can entertain them and that's OK.

"Everyone who works in this shop is a parent themselves – we are family friendly."

New Life Lutheran Church pastor Noel Burton and his congregation have a different view. "It is a family shopping center and that isn't the right place for a sex shop," Burton said.

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