The XBIZ Weekly Retail Round-Up

Tod Hunter
IOWA

Adult Businesses Barred From Shelby

SHELBY, Iowa — An ordinance passed this month by the Shelby City Council prohibits strip clubs, adult retail stores or adult bookstores from opening.

"There might be somebody eventually wanting to move in with an adult bookstore," Shelby city council member Ron Robinson said. "We want to have control over what comes in and where."

Ron Kroll, Mayor of Shelby, said, "It was one we had to do; it's Shelby's fourth or fifth ordinance this year. With all the development in Shelby, the city council is doing everything it can to prepare. We have a pretty aggressive city council."

Adult establishments, which range from adult retail stores to adult news racks, are prohibited in Shelby. Permits or passes can be used to get around any city ordinance, but no one has ever tried to get a permit for an adult store, according to Kroll.

When asked if Kroll thought any adult businesses would try to come to town with new development, Kroll said, "I don't think so, with the availability of Internet, I don't think anyone would try."

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MINNESOTA

New Adult Use Amendment Adopted

CHISAGO COUNTY, Minn. — County commissioners have finally adopted an amendment to the county zoning ordinance regarding adult use businesses, rescinding a county moratorium placed on them that was put in place last July.

The buffer zone around churches and day care centers has been increased from 500 feet to 1000 feet, but the 500-foot buffer around residential structures was retained, except in the case of residential structures in the Limited Business zone, which remains 100 feet.

Maps and the complete amendment to the zoning ordinance can be found on the county’s website, www.co.chisago.mn.us.

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NORTH DAKOTA

City Council Committee Will Let Voters Decide Strip Club Zoning

MINOT, N.D. — The Minot City Council’s Liquor and Gambling Control Committee heard testimony and discussed cabaret zoning for nearly two hours this week before voting 3-1 to table the matter and give the public time to initiate a measure.

In tabling the issue, the committee kept the matter off the city council’s agenda next week. However, aldermen and the public are able to bring up issues not on the agenda.

Members of the crowd who supported a tougher ordinance advocated a two-year grace period for Envy and Chicago Club before they needed to move or change their operations to eliminate dancers. They embraced the proposed ordinance’s provisions to locate adult businesses in heavy industrial areas and at least 1,250 feet from a residential area, church, school, child-care facility, hospital, park, playground or other adult entertainment center.

Residents who plan to go ahead with an initiated measure have until August to collect 2,630 signatures.

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PENNSYLVANIA

Women's Sex Shop Causing Controversy

WEST CHESTER, Pa. — Feminque Boutique, which has been open for three weeks, is causing controversy in this small college town. It's an adult store catering to women, selling lingerie, lotions and adult novelties in a back room.

"Sexuality is something that is natural. I'm not exploiting it like everyone else," store owner Jill McDevitt said.

McDevitt, who has a degree in sexuality, marriage and family, attended the city planning and zoning committee meeting Tuesday night.

"I think that they were probably raised in a different time and a different set of circumstances, where sexuality was something to be ashamed of," McDevitt said. " I'm not trying to exploit it — I'm trying to say, 'Look, it's fun, it's natural, it's a part of life and enjoy it.'"

Some who attended the meeting said they wanted to make sure similar shops do not open in the future.

"The concern about this shop is that it's specifically geared toward promoting sex toys and certain novelty things," protestor Mike Wallacavage said.

"It is legal, and it falls within the legal zoning code for the borough of West Chester," said Malcolm Johnstone of the West Chester Business Improvement District.

McDevitt said she isn't embarrassed by all the attention her business is getting. In fact, she said this is publicity she can't buy.

"Bring it on. Bring on the bad press. There are so many people thinking, 'Oh, that's horrible.' But their friends are saying I'm going to check it out, and they tell me where they heard it."

The store had previously caused controversy because local zoning codes only defined adult bookstores and adult entertainment centers and did not recognize adult novelty stores.

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