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We’re Not A Sex Shop

Sioux City, Iowa – Dr. John’s Lingerie Boutique made its case against Sioux City in U.S. District Court Friday, claiming it is not a “sex shop” just because the city says it is. The store, represented by attorney Andrew McCullough of a Salt Lake City suburb, is seeking a temporary injunction to force the city to lift its moratorium on new adult businesses and let a Dr. John’s store open in the new strip center at 3507 Singing Hills Boulevard. Dr. John’s was nearly ready to open there in December when the city denied it a certificate of occupancy. Sioux City, represented by assistant city attorney Connie Anstey, asked U.S. District Judge Mark W. Bennett to dismiss the case. The city has refused to issue the certificate, claiming Dr. John’s is in violation of the city’s zoning regulations which allow “adult” businesses only in the central business district. The area around Singing Hills Boulevard is zoned “general business district.”

Anstey said the ordinance prohibits such things as salvage yards and most fuel tanks as well and does not single out adult businesses. She said the store was prohibited from opening there even before the moratorium or zoning ordinance amendments which defined a sex shop as a place where any combination of two, lingerie, adult media and sex toys, are sold.

The City Council declared the moratorium after the Dr. John case came before it so it could be sure that there were, in fact, places available downtown for an “adult entertainment” business. Senior city planner Brent Nelson, the city’s only witness, testified there are at least a dozen locations available in the appropriate zoning.

 

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