Sex, Lies, and Zoning Laws


We may have used them from time immemorial, and sophisticated modern repackaging may allow them to go where they've never gone before, but after all these years of cultural and biological evolution, the humble dildo is still taboo. It's still a risky business, despite millennia of market demand.

But forget the Rabbit and its progeny; the hot part of this story is zoning laws. In the Twin Cities, Tim Holden is opening a sex toy shop across the street from a playground and recreational center in defiance of flip-flopping city zoning governance.

Originally he intended to open his plot on St. Paul's East Side as a bland Dollar Store. But then the city claimed, post-purchase, that the property wasn't zoned for commercial use, that the documents they'd sent while the sale was pending were outdated, and that though a beauty parlor and a video store were previously operated there, the city intended to quietly rezone the area according to its own caprice. Ever the bold entrepreneur, Holden responded by opening Risky Business Adult Outlet in June.

Though a judge issued a temporary injunction in early July, all the documents seem to back up Holden. However, according to Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Holden also owns a building on University Avenue where another adult novelty shop, The Love Doctor, opened last summer just blocks from a similar store. The Love Doctor's arrival in the Midway area prompted a yearlong moratorium on new adult businesses in St. Paul. The City Council passed a revised ordinance governing adult enterprises in May.

Looks like it'll take a powerful new thrust to save the mom-and-pop porn shops.