ABOUT The unsexy story on opening a sex shop in Detroit Is it time for a year-old city ordinance that keeps sex shops from opening outside of industrial zones to change? Zoe Ligon, 25, stood in the middle of the warehouse and took in her inventory: Cardboard boxes — some empty, and some in the stages of unpacking — are centered on the concrete floor.
Products line one corner of the walls. The interior of the warehouse is starkly different from the industrial paint job outside: A table and glass case with demo products sits along the front. Ligon is an import from New York City. The way Ligon tells the story, Spectrum was created after an unpleasant experience at a popular sex shop in Royal Oak. Spectrum Boutique would be the solution. Prior to opening Spectrum, Ligon worked management at a well-known sex shop in Manhattan.
When she arrived in Detroit and after receiving money from the unexpected passing of her father, she already knew how to run a store and what products would sell the best. Her dream of opening the storefront quickly hit red tape. This means that a dedicated portion of the merchandise they carry can be given as gifts — think bachelorette party supplies and paraphernalia, lingerie, and adult videos.
Another obstacle came when Ligon tried to take out a line of credit for Spectrum at a local Bank of America branch. This is a thing that everybody buys, all walks of life buy. In that year, the U. Supreme Court ruled in favor of two city ordinances that prohibited adult businesses from opening within 1, feet of a regulated use space, or within feet of a residential district, thus dispersing any existing adult businesses. The trial was titled Young vs. American Mini-Theatres , Inc.
In response, American Mini, Inc. In the end, the Supreme Court ruled that Detroit had the right to restrict distribution of sexual material. It zoned adult businesses in locations designated B6, M3, M4, and M5 after a public hearing.
The city had an opportunity to change the zoning laws when Executive Order No. V - Greektown case. In addition, City departments shall not accept any zoning application for the establishment of a new adult use, or for the expansion of a current adult use, for a period of one hundred twenty days. According to Senior Assistant Corporation Counsel Sharon Blackmon of the City of Detroit Law Department, the zoning ordinance's provision regarding adult businesses was amended in with an effective date of April 1, Bell expressed disappointment that one of his zoning officers made biased comments toward Ligon and her shop, but he also maintained the standing of sexually oriented shops in the city.
In an effort to find out more about the crime references and how the zoning of a sex toy storefront affects business, I contacted the sex shops that already exist in the city. They declined to comment. Las Vegas councilman Bob Coffin even believes that allowing the existing sex shops to update their look could help reduce blight: He sees the need to allow that business and the other five affected to improve the look of their properties, which should help properties located nearby.
You can see worse things on the internet. Walsh also noted that so far this year, violent crime is down more than 15 percent in the downtown area. He attributes that to stronger partnerships with community groups and elected officials.