Taboo sex shop voted down by Charlottetown council

An adult store in Charlottetown may have to move from its current location after a vote from city council Wednesday.

Council denies variance request by a vote of 7-3

Taboo Company in Charlottetown sells adult toys and smoke paraphernalia. In the past the building has been a music store and a clothing store. (CBC)

An adult store in Charlottetown may have to move from its current location after a vote from city council Wednesday.

The novelty store Taboo has been on Euston Street for a few months, but the council vote means it will no longer be allowed to operate there.

Amy Brewster is co-owner of the store and says she's shocked by council's decision.

She said she got lots of support on social media, "as well as people coming into the store and telling us how they feel and that they're happy to have us in the neighbourhood. [We're] really shocked that the variance got denied."

Her store is in a residential area, but the building is grandfathered into zoning bylaws to allow it to operate as a business. In the past, the location has housed a music store and a clothing shop.

Councillor Mitchell Tweel represents the area and says the community is trying to revamp its image as a more family friendly place. He says a sex shop doesn't fit in with this new vision. (CBC)
​ Each time there are new tenants, they need to apply for a variance. Brewster says the city only told them they needed to apply for it after they were opened.

Council has debated for months on whether to allow the adult store to operate at that location.

There have also been petitions both in favour of store staying where it is and asking for it to move.

On Wednesday, the discussion was over and the vote taken. It denied the variance, meaning council voted the store should close, by a vote of 7-3.

Councillor Mitchell Tweel represents the area and says the community is trying to revamp its image as a more family friendly place. He says a sex shop doesn't fit in with this new vision.

"This was a critical vote here today," he says. "Either we support the community and the investment they've made, the commitment they've made, or we turn our backs on them."

Councillor Rob Lantz chairs the planning and heritage committee and voted to keep the store open.

"We have to make decisions that we feel will hold up to an appeal because the bylaw is in fact that, a law," he says. "So [the] planning board thought they made the appropriate recommendation that there was nothing there that prevented this operation from running there and council disagreed."

Brewster says the store will appeal the decision will vows to stay open in the meantime.

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