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Taboo Adult Video store opens

VANCOUVER, Oregon — A controversial adult entertainment store near the Vancouver mall opened this week, having weathered fierce neighborhood opposition and a blast and fire that destroyed the building a year ago. It took more than two years for Taboo Adult Video owners to reach Monday’s opening. Along the way, the owners battled city officials and faced off against the neighborhood in court.

Taboo, which originally was going to be named Desire Video, sparked controversy because of its location, although two competitors operate a mile away.

The site — at 4811 N.E. 94th Ave., just east of Westfield Shoppingtown Vancouver — is located near a restaurant, a fitness center that serves children, a skills and service center for the developmentally disabled, motels and an office building.

Van Mall Neighborhood Association leaders led the fight against the business. One association leader on Wednesday lamented Taboo’s opening.

“I’m really unhappy,” treasurer Nancy DeAtley said.

In December 2002, a Clark County judge dismissed the neighborhood’s second court attempt to derail the project, declining to review a land-use examiner’s decision approving the business.

On Wednesday, the nearby competitors didn’t express concern about the competition, but Michael Wright, owner and manager of Adult Video Only at 10620 N.E. Fourth Plain Blvd., criticized Taboo’s location.

“It seems like they could have placed it a little farther from the mall,” said Wright, who has operated his store for about 20 years at its Orchards neighborhood location.

Wright said zoning regulations, the particulars of which he could not recall, thwarted his attempts years ago to put a store near the mall.

His store is about a mile east of Taboo. He also owns adult entertainment stores in Portland and Gresham.

Private Lives — at 6300 N.E. 117th Ave., also about a mile east of Taboo — is one of three lingerie and adult entertainment stores that Ruth Johnson owns in Clark County. The other two are in the Salmon Creek and Cascade Park areas.

Johnson, who opened the 117th Avenue location in 1994, said she was unconcerned about Taboo’s competitive potential.

“We have a different clientele,” Johnson said. “We have everything a woman wants to come in and buy — everything a couple will want to buy.”

In addition to adult video and sex products, Taboo includes video-viewing booths.

With towering house plants inside the entrance, the signage, furnishings and main floor layout appears to be a combination of chain-video and department store.

A clerk referred questions to a Taboo Adult Video store at 2330 S.E. 82nd Ave. in Portland. A clerk at that store referred questions to a store manager, who could not be reached.

A phone call to Levi J. Bussanich of Rochester, Wash., owner of Alliance Development Group, which built the store, was not returned Wednesday evening.

Bussanich vowed to rebuild last year after an explosion and fire destroyed the 7,000-square-foot store March 27 — three weeks before it was scheduled to open. Investigators later said the destruction appeared to be deliberate.

Authorities continue to investigate the incident, said Kathy McNicholas, a spokeswoman for the Vancouver Police Department.



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