Lesson Learned: Sex Stores Aren’t Allowed in Zeeland, I Guess?
The lesson we have learned this weekend is that you can't have a sex store in Zeeland or the actual chief of police will show up to serve you the law.
The Holland Sentinel reports that in Zeeland, Z.ink tattoo shop on Elm Street opened up Grimlock’s Emporium for the Misbehaved Lady next door. The first day of business was Thursday, February 20 starting at 3 PM and by Friday morning the store was being told it couldn’t open anymore, nor operate at the current location without paying a $500/day fine.
It was so serious the chief of police showed up and was demanding all material be removed from the shelves. According to city officials, the sex store was operating as an adult bookstore and was in an area not zoned for that.
My favorite quote was from the owner of the new store, Grimlock’s, telling the Holland Sentinel,
"I expected to have a little blowback because I know where I am, but to have the chief of police show up, that was so intense over fake plastic penises."
The owner of the new shop told the Holland Sentinel that he had read the city code, but didn't have any pornography (books, or video) in the location so he thought he was fine. Zeeland City Manager Tim Klunder told the Holland Sentinel,
“Any business should check to make sure it’s in an appropriately zoned district for what they want to do,” Klunder said. “They did not do that, and by our definition, it’s an adult bookstore. That’s not allowed in our central business district.”
The Holland Sentinel also points out Zeeland City Code's definition of an adult bookstore:
“an enclosed building used for the sale of motion picture films, videocassettes, magazines, posters, and other printed material, or tapes, or sex objects for other than contraceptive purposes, distinguished or characterized by an emphasis on matter depicting, describing or relating to specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas, as defined in this ordinance, for sale to patrons therein.”
I get that they have rules, but the fact that MLive reported that the owner said the chief of police threatened "Severe Punishment" over some sex toys is a little too serious for me. I'm glad I live in Heathenville over here.
If you want to help Zeeland stay kinky and open sexually, Grimlock's owner has started a GoFundMe page to help with legal fees.