“Family” Video gave a presentation at Monday night’s TNT meeting. In essence, despite their pronouncements of neighborliness, the real message was this:
- We will build what we want, where we want it, despite your overlay district guidelines.
- We will sell pornographic products within mere feet of a church, a school, and residences.
- We will take you (and your tax dollars) to court if you try to prevent us from violating your city codes.
- We will win in court.
- There is nothing you can do.
There was virtually no positive response to the presentation and many people were quite unhappy with what they saw. Their plan violates the overlay district zoning standards as well as city regulations that prevent the sale of adult materials within 1000 feet of a church, school, or residential area.
Also, the building would be literally within a few feet of the James Street Methodist Church, so close that the church would not be able to properly care for its building because they wouldn’t be able to get equipment in.
Several people pressed them on the issue of the sale of adult materials. They would not come up with a definitive answer. We’ve all seen presentations like this before, and we know how much of it is truth and how much of it is spin or simply avoiding answering… which means they don’t want to say what they know we’ll object to.
I asked them how we could be assured that we would not end up in the same situation as Auburn, which had to go to court over the sale of such materials. They, too, have regulations against it. The response: “Auburn lost.” and “We always win in court because it’s a small portion of the product that we sell.”
But that doesn’t reassure us at all, does it? While their pornographic material may represent a small percentage of the videos in the store, it could mean a huge percentage of the sales. We see no other way this outmoded business model can be as successful as they claim.
We in Eastwood are just so accustomed to this kind of arrogance on the part of a developer who waltzes in with a plan that clearly demonstrates no knowledge of or interest in our community standards. It’s almost laughable – did they not do their homework and, as someone in the meeting pointed out, did they not realize that Eastwood has already stood up to another developer for five years in order to keep our community pedestrian-friendly and safe for our kids?
This message is for “Family” Video: if you insist on moving ahead with the abysmal plan you brought to our community Monday night, you are in for a rough ride. Your plan has done for Eastwood what nothing in the past has accomplished: united it. And that is the feedback from the community that you can bring back to headquarters.