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Brick, NJ video store re-opens after trimming “adult” material

BRICK, NJ — A Route 88 video store reopened early last week, township officials said, after the owner complied with local codes.

Last month, the township closed CS DVD Video, citing zoning irregularities. Specifically, officials said, the approved site plan didn’t match the actual layout of the store.

However, officials also said the store — about half of which, when it closed, was devoted to adult material — violated state and local codes. Stores with adult material as a “primary” purpose are not allowed in the township.

Business Administrator Scott M. Pezarras said the owner, Kakulawalage Bernard Fernando, has since reduced the amount of space devoted to adult material to about 20 percent, which Pezarras said is acceptable under current law.

“He now is compliant with the state law and also our code,” Pezarras said. “What he had to do was decrease the percentage of the store which is purveying adult material.”

Pezarras also said that Fernando had tried to comply with all laws before he opened. The problem was, according to Pezarras, that zoning officials don’t focus on the part of the code that prohibits adult businesses.

“He didn’t do it intentionally at all,” he said. “He was totally up-front about what he was doing, and he got the information from the wrong entity.”

At the store on Friday morning, Fernando also chalked the incident up to a misunderstanding.

“It’s just a big mistake,” the store owner said. “Everything’s fine . . . Even before, there was nothing illegal. The town just asked me to comply.”

The adult section was sealed off behind a door in a corner of the store, with a sign warning that one must be 21 years old with identification to enter. The store is located in Cousins’ Mall, near the Laurelton Mobile Home Park.

Although the store is now in compliance with local code, Mayor Daniel J. Kelly said he still isn’t comfortable with a portion of the business being devoted to adult titles. However, the mayor said it’s doubtful there is anything else the town can do.

“I told the man that I have nothing against him, but I do have something against the type of business, and I would like to see him have that type of business somewhere else,” Kelly said. “It’s not something we’d like to see in the township of Brick.”

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