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Published April 20, 2012, 05:34 PM

GF Mayor Brown Responds to Letter From Fantasy's Owner Seeking Permit

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Mayor Michael Brown responded to a letter Friday from the owner of the proposed Fantasy's store who sought a building permit for the store at 418 N. Washington St.

By: WDAZ Staff Report, WDAZ

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Mayor Michael Brown responded to a letter Friday from the owner of the proposed Fantasy's store who sought a building permit for the store at 418 N. Washington St.

Jim Patterson, who owns a Fantasy's location in Fargo, said in the letter that he asked for a permit on April 17, but he wasn't able to get one.

Patterson said he agreed to only sell items in the store that are allowed under the new ordinance passed by the City Council. Patterson said he had to provide a list of every item that would be sold in the store, which he said would be impossible with weekly product changes.

Mayor Brown wrote back in a letter on Friday that the city is seeking additional information about whether the proposed store is a sex paraphernalia store as defined in the City Code.

Patterson previously had plans for an 18-and-over back room that would have sex toys, blow-up dolls and other items. He did not specifically list what items would not be included in the new store when writing for the building permit, but those items would fall under the City Code section.

The code defines a sex paraphernalia store as "a commercial establishment that regularly features sexual devices and regularly advertises itself or holds itself out, in any medium, as an establishment that caters to adult sexual interest."

In the letter, Brown asks Patterson to "specifically state" whether any "sexual devices" will be sold at the store. Brown said the city is not asking, nor requiring, a list of all inventory. They're only seeking information with respect to "sexual devices," according to the letter.

Brown also wrote that the Inspections Department is requesting the name of general contractors and subcontractors. Brown said the department advised him that Patterson's plumber is not licensed in the city of Grand Forks. The department will also need an estimated value of the construction, Brown wrote.

Patterson and his wife, Kim, previously said legal action was their next step after the City Council unanimously passed the new sexually-oriented business ordinance. But they have lately said they're willing to change their inventory to comply with the ordinance.

The proposed store is about one block from Winship Elementary School. The new ordinance says sexually-oriented businesses can't be within 1,000 feet of a school or within 500 feet of a church, park or residential area.

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