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Published May 08, 2012, 05:59 PM

Denied in GF, Fantasy's Owners Attempt to Open in East Grand Forks

EAST GRAND FORKS, MN (WDAZ-TV) - The new Fantasy's Store in East Grand Forks opened very quickly and quietly on Monday. In about 24 hours Kim and Jim Patterson went from opening the brand new store to nearly being arrested for opening the business under the city's radar.

By: Stacie Van Dyke, WDAZ

EAST GRAND FORKS, MN (WDAZ-TV) - The new Fantasy's Store in East Grand Forks opened very quickly and quietly on Monday.

In about 24 hours Kim and Jim Patterson went from opening the brand new store to nearly being arrested for opening the business under the city's radar.

After unsuccessfully trying to open in Grand Forks, the new store opened at 2nd St. and 2nd Ave. NE. It's open right now, but it has been a back-and-forth game for the owners.

East Grand Forks City Administrator Scott Huizenga was escorted by Lt. Rodney Hajicek from the East Grand Forks Police Department when he told the Pattersons Tuesday afternoon they were forced to shut down.

The store was given one hour to close at 2 p.m. for not having a site plan or building permit. Fantasy's owners considered facing the $1000 per day fine and possible jail time to keep the store open.

But they chose to close the store instead of getting arrested. City officials say the pattersons never came to them before opening.

"They literally moved in under the cover of darkness," Huizenga said.

"I was not contacted at all, we knew nothing about it until this morning," East Grand Forks Senior Planner Nancy Ellis said.

But after submitting paperwork around 4:30 Tuesday afternoon, the store was issued a permit and is open for business, despite the concern of local schools, located within blocks of the store.

"We're hoping that the city will rise up and make as statement and make a change here," Riverside Christian School Principal Patty Roeder said.

The store is open for business now and the Pattersons encourage anyone who is concerned to come in and look at the merchandise.

The Pattersons say the reason for their stealthy opening was that they didn't want the same thing to happen with the new store that happened in Grand Forks. But when the possibility of jail time and a hefty fine came up, they decided to go to City Hall and get the required permits.

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