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Loss of 2nd adult store narrows Milford choices; “The Less of Them The Better”

MILFORD, Connecticut — The rock group Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” may be the song of choice for city officials and residents, who are celebrating the closing of another adult store.

Milford Book and Video, which opened along Route 1 in 1995, ceased operating recently, which leaves two other adult businesses along Route 1, plus the Luv Boutique, formerly known as Penthouse Boutique, off Exit 40 of Interstate 95.

Kingdom Life Christian Church, led by Bishop Jay Ramirez, grabbed national headlines in 2003 when it purchased the building that housed Video Pleasures for $245,000 in an effort to drive the pornography establishment from the city.

Video Pleasures, however, remained for two years as the business owner exercised a three-year lease agreement with a previous owner that expired in December 2006. But the business left in 2005 because it owed back rent.

City Planner David Sulkis said the only way the building that housed Milford Book and Video could come back as an adult use is if it is occupied by a new tenant within six months. But he said his staff has spoken with the building’s owner, who expressed no desire for another adult use.

New zoning laws and a city adult ordinance make it very difficult for new adult businesses to open, he said. Sulkis added that the only area of the city that could be home to a new adult establishment is where Luv Boutique is located in the city’s industrial zone by Exit 40, which is away from residential neighborhoods. “We have stringent regulations,” Sulkis said. “We can’t ban the use, but we can control where they go.”

Anti-porn activist Thomas Huebner, who in the mid- to late-1990s led the group Citizens of Milford Against Pornography, said another adult store going out of business is definitely “important to the city of Milford.”

“The less of them, the better,” Huebner said. “If there are people that patronize these places, that is the issue. People need to be helped or changed, one individual at a time.”

Heubner said it is not his job to judge people who frequent adult shops, but he said “according to the Bible, what they are doing is wrong.”

“It’s not right for the city of Milford,” Heubner said. “It’s a move in the right direction.”

Mayor James L. Richetelli Jr. [pictured] said the city enacted the state’s strictest zoning regulations on adult businesses in 1996, and state statute allowed the ones already existing to remain.

“Two down and two to go on the Post Road,” Richetelli said of the adult businesses.


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