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Published: Tuesday, 1/15/2002

City blocks lingerie and sex-toy shop near schools

BY TOM TROY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The city building inspector late last week posted a “notice of illegal occupancy” on the front door of Priscilla's at 4739 Monroe.

The existence of the store, which is next to a beauty shop and Tim Hortons Restaurant, has generated concern, including from Councilwoman Betty Shultz, who complained to the building inspector, the police, and the mayor's office.

Michael Stanford, the city building inspector, said the store was cited for two issues:

  • Under the Ohio building code, the owner was required to submit plans, approved by a registered architect or engineer, that show how the location complies with its new use. The former use, a tanning salon, was a “business use” because it provided a service.

    Mr. Stanford said the retail store is a “mercantile use” with stricter requirements for safety because it is assumed it will have greater numbers of customers in the premises.

  • As an adult entertainment business, it cannot be within 500 feet of a school. Mr. Stanford said four schools are within 500 feet of the location.

    He said the business has books, videotapes, and novelty items that mark it as an adult-entertainment establishment.

    A sign out front warns that customers must be at least 18. Unclothed female mannequins sit in the display windows facing the school across the street and the Tim Hortons Restaurant.

    Through the glass doors, racks of clothing, novelty items, and shelves of videotapes are visible.

    A handwritten sign says the store is closed and won't open until next week.

    David Long, the leasing agent who negotiated the deal, said the retail business owner is LC Enterprises of Kansas City, Mo. He said the retailer has 30 locations, including in Kansas City, Indianapolis, and the Detroit area.

    Mr. Long predicted that the company would make sure that the business does not fall under the restrictions of being an adult-entertainment business.

    “The city code for any type of use is pretty clearly defined. For adult entertainment, it's pretty specific - viewing booths, things like that,” Mr. Long said.

    Mr. Long said Notre Dame Academy can't control the retail activity outside their complex. “It's in the middle of a primary retail trade area of Toledo,” Mr. Long said.

    Mr. Long negotiated the lease when he worked for Zyndorf Serchuk. Mr. Long now works for C.B. Richard Ellis. Sam Zyndorf, a Zyndorf Serchuk vice president, said he was not aware of the deal.

    “To me, I think it's peculiar to put that across from a Catholic high school. If I was a landlord, I probably wouldn't take them as a tenant,” Mr. Zyndorf said.

    A representative of the owner could not be reached yesterday.

    Councilwoman Shultz said she'd like to see the business stay closed permanently.

    “I would expect the city would continue to pursue it because I still feel there has to be something done to protect those children from whatever might occur in those kinds of situations,” Mrs. Shultz said.



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