Cedar Rapids lingerie shop loses appeal of 'adult' store label

Simply Sensual owner vows court fight

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March 28, 2014 | 10:03 am

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Simply Sensual lingerie and gift shop in a west-side strip mall has 30 days to remove its adult material including books, videos, sex toys and other adult items following a Monday afternoon ruling by the city’s Board of Adjustment.

The Board of Adjustment voted 5-0 to deny shop owner Patricia Edmonds’ appeal of a decision by the city’s Building Services’ Division, which had concluded that Edmonds’ business was an adult entertainment establishment more than a lingerie shop and that it was operating illegally in a commercial district and too close to a church, day care and residential area.

After Monday’s hea

ring, Edmonds said she will appeal the board’s decision to court.

"It’s a violation of my rights," she said.

Edmonds argued to the Board of Adjustment, as she has done to city officials, that the city’s adult entertainment ordinance is too vague and subjective and so unfair to her when it says that a business is an adult entertainment establishment if a "significant and substantial" portion of its business involves adult items. She said the standard does not provide any objective standard to measure how much of her business can be adult in nature.

Edmonds has operated her shop since July at 2129 Wiley Blvd. SW in a strip mall next to a Laundromat and a Mexican grocery store.

However, the Rev. Jay Eberly, minister of the Spirit of Faith Family Church, informed the Board of Adjustment that his church’s property line sits 23 feet from Edmonds’ store where his church also runs a day care operation. He noted that the city’s zoning ordinance requires an adult entertainment establishment to be 450 feet from a church or day care if the adult entertainment establishment is in a zoning area where such establishments are permitted. Edmonds’ shop is not in such a zoning area.

Eberly said Edmonds’ shop is the kind of place that could attract child molesters.

Raymond Nees, the city’s assistant manager for building services, told the Board of Adjustment that a "significant and substantial" portion of Edmonds’ business involves adult entertainment items because removing the items from her inventory will be "detrimental" to the shop.

The five-member Board of Adjustment — all five are men — did not comment in voting to deny Edmonds’ appeal.

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