Salisbury Continues To Battle With Adult Store

SALISBURY — The battle over a “questionable” business in Salisbury intensified again last week when city officials vowed to start fining an adult store in Salisbury to the tune of $500 per day in January if the establishment does not come into compliance with the city code.
On Dec. 11, the city of Salisbury conducted an inspection of the Red Light District Superstore on Business Route 13 to determine the extent of the establishment’s floor plan dedicated to adult entertainment material. The inspection revealed 25 percent of the usable floor place in the Red Light District Superstore is being used for what the city considers questionable adult entertainment material.
As a result, the city has issued an ultimatum to the store’s owners, demanding one of two actions. Either the Red Light District has to make improvements to the facility to bring it into compliance or file an appeal with the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals. If the required corrections are not made by Jan. 9, the city will issue a municipal infraction, including a fine of $500 a day, until the property is brought into compliance. Mayor Jim Ireton said the city would be firm on its efforts to bring the facility into compliance.
“The city continues to be vigilant in making sure the facility is compliant and that vigilance will continue,” he said. “Based on city research, businesses of this type have consistently found a way to skirt municipal law. That is the case when doing a simple online Google search and is indicative of many cases up and down the eastern seaboard.”
The recent action is the latest skirmish in the long battle between Salisbury and the Red Light District.  In July, Salisbury officials said they would not issue a permit for the sign for the new Red Light District Superstore. The city’s Buildings, Permits and Inspections Department would not issue the sign permit until they were satisfied with the intended use of the establishment. The proprietors, B&Z Investments, were not issued a permit for the sign until the city had determined whether or not the establishment was intended to be an adult retail store.
According to the code, the city had 90 days to make a determination on the sign permit and the proprietors were required to provide information and documentation necessary to establish the intended use of the building.
However, B&Z Investments last Monday essentially thumbed their noses at the city and erected the sign anyway, without the requisite permit and approvals from Salisbury. In addition, the Red Light District also has an over-18 policy and was allegedly in plain violation of that policy when a child in a stroller was reportedly seen inside the establishment in July.