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Published April 17, 2012, 06:15 PM

Residents React to GF Sex Shop Ordinance; Fantasy's Owner Says Court is Next

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - The Grand Forks Council has prevented Fantasys from opening on North Washington Street. All sexually-oriented businesses in Grand Forks now must be licensed and follow strict regulations.

By: Stacie Van Dyke, WDAZ

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - The Grand Forks Council has prevented Fantasys from opening on North Washington Street.

All sexually-oriented businesses in Grand Forks now must be licensed and follow strict regulations, but not everyone feels this was the right move by the Council.

While some are happy about the unanimous decision of the City Council, others think the council has taken the decision too far.

Despite changes proposed by Fantasy's owners, the new ordinance prevents sexually-oriented businesses from opening within 1000 feet of a school. The owners denied comment last night, but spoke on WDAY-AM 970 on Tuesday afternoon.

"And I told them that we were willing to comply with the new ordinance, we would not sell anything that we were not permitted to sell according to the new ordinance passed last night. And they still would not," Fantasy's owner Jim Patterson said.

"The City Council agreed and now we've done something that will keep our kids safer," Caroline Gallegos said.

It's a victory for Gallegos, who started a petition against the store's proposed location near Winship Elementary School.

"Every time someone signed it, it sent an email to each City Council member," Gallegos said.

"I've actually been to the Fargo location. I've been in there and it's not a big deal," Pedro Flores said.

But people like Flores, who signed a counter-petition in favor of allowing the store to open at the corner of N. Washington and 5th Ave., say the City Council may be overstepping its boundaries

"You can't have the city run how your kids should be raised. It's the parents' decision how the kids are going to be raised," Flores said.

"I don't think there's anything wrong with it. There are adult stores everywhere," Jamie McCauley said.

Fantasy's owners say their next step is federal court.

A longtime adult store in downtown Grand Forks, Romantix, will be allowed to stay in its location, but owners have 120 days to make changes like adding video cameras and additional lighting.

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