Sex shop owner tries to appeal denial of Rapid City store
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A longtime sex shop owner is asking a federal judge to overturn a Rapid City Council decision barring him from opening a store within city limits.
The council voted last month to deny David Eliason a conditional use permit to open a sex shop called Dick and Jane’s Naughty Spot because no locations complied with zoning requirements, the Argus Leader reported . Eliason filed a complaint asking a judge for an injunction on the council ruling, saying it violates his First and 14th Amendment rights.
Eliason currently owns a store in Sturgis and used to own sex shops in Sioux Falls and Tea. He has faced similar restrictions before. A federal judge ruled against the city of Sturgis in 2013 when it attempted to force Eliason’s store out of its location.
Eliason initially expected to win approval to open a location in Rapid City. He met with city officials in May to discuss opening a store at the Deadwood Avenue Business Park, a location that would comply with setback distances the city requires for sex shops. The Rapid City Planning Commission approved the location in August.
But the owner of a nearby taekwondo studio appealed the decision, arguing his business was entitled to a setback because the studio qualifies as an “education facility.” The City Council agreed, voting down the conditional use permit.
Eliason tried to find another Rapid City location, but officials determined that no other spot within city boundaries complied with zoning restrictions.
“Neither Eliason, nor any reasonably intelligent person, can identify the line triggering sexually-oriented business status or how a person may operate a business in Rapid City stocking some regulated items without being deemed a sexually-oriented business by the city,” the complaint said.
Eliason’s lawyer didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.
Information from: Argus Leader, http://www.argusleader.com