The owner of a lingerie store in Cedar Rapids has lost an appeal with the city over adult items she carries in her store.
Patricia Edmonds had a vision when she opened her small boutique, Simply Sensual, in Wiley Plaza in Cedar Rapids in July.
"I really wanted to open a place for women to feel comfortable shopping for intimate apparel," she said.
Cedar Rapids inspectors, however, say they are anything but comfortable with what she is selling.
The store has a small, cordoned-off area in the back where adult videos, toys and magazines are sold -- items inspectors say constitute an adult entertainment establishment.
"You take a look at the number of items and compare that with the number of items that are graphic and the way the code says constitutes an adult situation, it's very obvious to me that it's a significant portion," said Raymond Nees, Assistant Manager of Building Services with the city.
Officials say the selling of those items violates zoning regulations.
Edmonds' business sits near a residential neighborhood close to a daycare and church, an area where an adult establishment is not allowed by city code.
Edmonds appealed the city's request to remove all sexually-oriented adult items from her store. "A great majority of my customers don't even go there or don't even know that the area is there," she said.
Under city code, an adult entertainment venue is defined as one that sells a substantial or significant amount of sexually-oriented items.
Edmonds says her store is focused on selling clothing and jewelry, and only a small part of her business is selling explicit items.
"Whether I made any money or no money on it, we all have certain rights, and other stores are able to operate under those parameters and they are not classified as adult entertainment establishments," Edmonds said.
The city's Board of Adjustment voted 5-0 on Monday to deny the appeal.
Edmonds says she plans to appeal the latest decision in court.
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