Thursday, January 17, 2013
Plano residents in uproar over new Condom Sense store
It's right by a church, synagogue, and several schools, they say.
PLANO The opening of a Condom Sense store near the corner of Parker Road and Independence Parkway drew the ire of some nearby residents at Monday's council meeting.
Six residents spoke in opposition to the store, which opened for business Tuesday. The store is within a mile of four Plano ISD schools, a church, and a synagogue.
"We home schooled for awhile at our home, so they're within 50 feet of my school, and I don't think there should be anything like that in our neighborhood," said Theresa Carter, who said she lives directly behind the store.
Rabbi Yogi Robkin of the Dallas Area Torah Association said he has seen sexually oriented businesses in more retail-oriented areas of the city, but took objection to the store's placement in a residential area.
"We have people literally all around this area with little kids -- all young families -- that walk right in front of this store to get to the synagogue, which is located right behind it," he said.
Some of the residents argued the store falls under the city's sexually oriented businesses ordinance, which forbids businesses of that type from operating within 3,000 feet of churches, schools, public parks, and residential areas.
The city of Plano's code of ordinances defines sexually oriented businesses by 10 criteria, including adult bookstores, video stores, cabarets, movie theaters, and escort agencies. Sexually oriented businesses must register with the police department, which conducts routine inspections of such businesses.
City Attorney Diane Wetherbee said it is not appropriate for the city to conduct preemptive action under this ordinance until it knows the nature of the business' operation. A review will be done by the police department to see whether the store meets the criteria for a sexually oriented business and if enforcement actions will need to occur, she said.
Many of the residents expressed concern that the store, like other area Condom Sense locations, will sell adult films and sex toys -- an action that would likely place the store under the city's sexually oriented businesses ordinance.
Mike Edwards, owner the two Plano Condom Sense locations, said his business is in full compliance with city ordinances and is not sexually oriented. The inventory at his Parker Road store is 70 to 80 percent lingerie, along with massage oils, condoms, personal massagers, and gag gifts, he said.
"They are expecting something else that we do not have," Edwards said, adding his two Plano stores are affiliated with others in the Dallas-Fort Worth area by name only. "... They don't know what we have inside. They just assume because of the name that we're going to have all that stuff."
A visit to the store by the Plano Star Courier Tuesday revealed no pornographic or age-restricted materials, and Edwards said he has no plans to stock such products at the store in the future.
Annette Maule, Plano ISD Council of PTAs president and one of the residents who spoke at Monday's meeting, said she is still uncomfortable with the store's lack of age restriction, but admitted there is nothing neighbors can do if the store does not fall under the city's sexually oriented business ordinance.
"I'm still not thrilled about it, but at least they're not carrying the adult videos and stuff," she said. "That was not sitting well with me at all, because I know the other stores do."
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