Sex and the City – Why Laws Prohibit Adult Stores Close to Neighborhood

Comfort Zone in North College Park

Oh no! I ‘m not going to write about the HBO cable film and tv series “Sex and the City“. This blog has never been about what’s shown on celluloid or flat screen TV.

This morning, I came across a Patch article, that talks about north College Park store “Comfort Zone”, which has allegedly violated county laws that prohibit selling adult products. I wrote about the store twice before – please see them here and here.

The Patch article includes an interview that I gave to Tami Le, the article’s author.

I wish the article could mention that my comments are solely based on the City’s interpretation of the alleged violation against Comfort Zone. The county’s zoning rules say that an adult store must be at least 1,000 feet from homes, the store in question here is less than 100ft from the nearest houses in north College Park. Please click the picture above to see the exact location of the store in the Hollywood neighborhood.

I also wish it could include my other part of the interview where I mentioned why the county laws are in place against adult stores in close vicinity of the neighborhood. That law (section 27-902) was brought in place after repeated complaints from residents living close to a similar store in Beltsville.

Here are a few comments from those neighbors (please see the links here, here and here). Hope these comments should explain why it was necessary for the County to pass that law last year.

One Beltsville resident, George Mazanderan, said that a store near his home attracts drug dealers and prostitutes and that he has found used condoms in his driveway.

“They use my yard as a bathroom,” she said. “They use it for sex. … They leave their shoes, underwear and sex toys including set of vibating dildos.

“I have a teenage son and daughter,” she said. “It’s hard to explain to your kids that these are bad things but our society and community doesn’t care about it.”

A Wasteland South of Neighborhood

Wasteland in the South

When it comes to discussing development opportunities in north College Park, we often point to the closed shops, ugly looking buildings, unpaved sidewalks on Route 1.

But Route 1 isn’t the only place where you’d find such wastelands in north College Park – there are a few other spots that need attention, and wait for future development opportunities.

One such spot is a vacant lot in Branchville neighborhood between Rising Sun and the Budget motel (please see map below). The land’s current co-owner, Mr. Peter Drury came to November NCPCA meeting to see residents’ ideas on future development.

Mr. Drury, who is the owner of former Kash Realty at the intersection of Rt. 193 and Rhode Island Avenue said the lot has been vacant for about 5 years. The property is currently zoned as C-S-C (Commercial – Shopping Center). He thinks the lot is a gateway to a commercial area, even though it has number of other residences.

I think the place can be good candidate for commercial offices. Mr. Drury said he had some contacts with an owner of a medical practice, but the owner did not show interest due to lack of visibility.