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No sex (shop) on Statesville Road

Board blocks Central Avenue Video move

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There will be no books and/or videos about sex sold in north Charlotte on Statesville Road.

Central Avenue Video, which was hoping to relocate to 6829 Statesville Road, was shot down by the Charlotte Zoning Board of Adjustment. According to the Charlotte Observer, the board voted 5-0 not to grant a zoning variance needed for the adult business to move to Statesville Road.

Interim zoning administrator Keith MacVean said the board felt that the business didn't prove that there was a hardship or that there weren't other properties available that would compel the board to grant the variance.

Adult businesses, according to Charlotte zoning rules, have to be 1,500 feet away from residential zoned areas. According to MacVean, where Central Avenue Video wanted to build was a little more than 1,200 feet away from the residential neighborhood.

"At this time, [Central Avenue Video] can't be built in this location," he said.

Central Avenue Video has 30 days to appeal the board's decision. Central Avenue's attorney, Richard Fennell says he doesn't know if there will be an appeal in the case yet.

"We haven't received the final decision yet," says Fennell.

When asked if the owner of Central Avenue Video still wants to keep his business in Charlotte, Fennell says: "He hasn't made any decisions about it."

An appeal would take the matter to superior court and a judge could disagree with the zoning board's decision, according to MacVean.

Adult stores are common in Charlotte, but the thought of selling sex, even in book and video form, brings out the prudes in the city.

MacVean said residents in the community presented evidence that the board took into consideration before rendering their decision.

Some people in the north Charlotte community where Central Avenue Video wanted to relocate expressed fears of their property values going down to the Observer. But Chris Powell, manager of the adult video store 969 Exchange on South Boulevard says that's ridiculous and that he has no problems with his customers. "They just come in and go look at the videos. They're adults, and I don't get any underage kids coming in here."

Powell says that people who don't come to adult stores don't understand what's actually going on inside.

"I got all kinds of people coming in here. I got gay people coming in here, straight people coming in here. That's just the type of place this is," says Powell.

While the 969 Exchange isn't in a residential neighborhood (it's closer to the new Lynx station than anything else) Powell says no one hassles him about having the store open.

But he knows that sex shops are controversial for some people.

"I'm thinking as long as it's not near a church or in a school zone that they should be allowed to open," he says.

Would he live in a neighborhood that has an adult store?

"I don't see what the problem is," says Powell.

The manager of Sunset Motors (which is located on Old Statesville Road, right around the corner from where Central Avenue Video wanted to be located), a woman who declined to give her name, says that she didn't see what the big deal was about the shop moving to the area.

"I don't shun anyone from having a business," she says, adding that people need to have this kind of anger when a teacher or a school worker molests a child.

"I think there is more meanness going on in the public schools," she says.

The woman also adds that maybe people who go to adult video stores keep to themselves and don't hurt others.

"Then again, this could be where all of this stuff comes from."

But sex is out there, she continues. "You can't run from it."

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