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Published March 20, 2012, 05:49 PM

Fantasy's Owner 'Not Going to Back Down' After Council Proposes New Law

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Owners of the controversial lingerie store planning to open a branch in Grand Forks say they've been lied to and will continue to fight the city.

By: Stacie Van Dyke, WDAZ

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Owners of the controversial lingerie store planning to open a branch in Grand Forks say they've been lied to and will continue to fight the city.

The city council voted Monday night to move ahead with a proposed law that would set new licensing requirements in place for adult-oriented businesses.

The proposed licensing requirements will likely make it illegal for an adult-oriented business to operate within 500 feet of a church, school, park or residence, preventing Fantasy's from opening in its planned location at the corner of N. Washington and 5th St.

"We'll fight because we're in the right. I'm not going to back down," Fantasy's co-owner Kim Patterson said.

For Patterson, Monday night's meeting was just another hoop she feels she's had to jump through.

"Under the current zoning laws, the location is fine. But under the new laws it might not be. It's been just one stall tactic after another until they can push through this new zoning law," Patterson said.

"I have no problem with the store being in Grand Forks, but it's a question of where. I'm not sure you would want these items on the website 500 feet from your home or the homes of your constituents," council member Eliot Glassheim said.

The new ordinance heavily cites negative effects of adult stores, such as unlawful activities. Kim's husband, Jim, skipped their daughter's college graduation to attend the meeting and act as a spokesperson for the business

"We made a financial commitment to this town. We've never had a problem with prostitution or any crazy stuff like that," Jim Patterson said.

The Pattersons are not looking at any other locations for the store. They say they're willing to make changes to make the planned location work

"If we have to get rid of the back room and turn it into a Spencer Gifts, that's what we'll do," Jim Patterson said.

"We're hoping they're going to do the right thing and send city commissioners down to look at the store and say 'we were completely wrong about what you are,'" Kim Patterson said.

The proposed licensing law would also apply to the longtime downtown store Romantix.

"We're going to make them change their store based upon a new business that isn't actually going to put in the things that Romantix has," council member Dana Sande said.

Romantix management refused to comment.

The ordinance will be introduced for a first reading at the council's next meeting April 2, but council members are split on how quickly to move on the issue.

Kim Patterson says she will attend the next meeting.

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