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Adult toys no longer ‘in your face’

  • Written by Bob Rakow

 

Adult toys will no longer be on display at a Spencer’s in Chicago Ridge Mall.
Trustees on Tuesday night unanimously approved an amendment to the village’s ordinance regarding adult book and video stores that would prohibit the practice.
The change to the ordinance will requires stores such as Spencer’s to place adult toys and videos in a section of the store restricted by doors or walls.
“It certainly should address the issue that’s been put before us,” Mayor Chuck Tokar said.
That issue was raised two weeks ago when a small group of residents told trustees that Spencer’s had a large number of sex toys displayed on a wall in the rear of the store.
“I was appalled,” resident Elaine Pecenka told trustees. “I don’t think this is funny. It’s there. It’s in your face.”
Pecenka complained that the display was not separated from the rest of the store, making it visible to underage shoppers.
She added that a store employee told her that there are no age restrictions on who can purchase the items. The employee said that girls as young as 12 purchase the adult toys.
Spencer’s appears harmless from the outside, Pecenka said, attracting teenagers with displays of gag gifts, costumes and games. Once in the store, however, children are bound to discover the adult merchandise, she said.
In other business at Tuesday’s meeting, trustees agreed to delay for two weeks a vote on a special-use permit for property at 103rd Street and Ridgeland Avenue.
Alsip mechanic Walter Lindish has proposed moving his shop from to a shuttered garage located at 10303 S. Ridgeland Ave. adjacent to Penny Lane School.
But while at least two trustees were willing to approve the special-use permit on Tuesday, Tokar asked the board to take additional time to consider the request.
 “I’m still a little bit concerned,” Tokar said, adding that the garage will require a significant amount of upkeep. “I don’t want to see the board rush into this.”
Tokar added that he wanted to visit Lindish’s Alsip shop and encouraged him to put together a detailed improvement plan for the Chicago Ridge location.
Lindish, whose current shop is in an industrial park, said the Chicago Ridge shop is ideally located and offers everything his business needs, including a secure storage lot.
Tokar favored an industrial park location for Lindish’s shop and said he was concerned about cars being parked in front of the business, along Ridgeland Avenue.
“I’m just not sure (the proposed location) is a good idea,” the mayor said, adding that a body shop located 103rd Street and Oxford Avenue frequently has cars stored in front of the business.
Trustee Jack Lind said he favored approving the special-use permit, which was unanimously approved by the planning and zoning commission.
“I don’t have to wait,” Lind said. “I don’t think we should hold it up. What else is going to go in there?”
Trustee Dan Badon also favored the plan but agreed to table the matter for until the next board meeting.