Zeeland Says ‘NO!’ To Sex Shop [Video]
A tattoo shop that opened a side business selling sex toys, got the gruff 'STOP THAT!' from the city of Zeeland, even though sales were going pretty good.
The owner of a Zeeland sex shop says sales were brisk after he opened Grimlock's Emporium for the Misbehaved Lady on February 20, just before the city said the shop violated the town's zoning laws.
Patrick Cooper, who also owns Z.Ink Tattoo and Piercing, says he opened the sex shop as a joke, but instantly found a market.
"Sure enough, a lot of people really wanted to see something like that in Zeeland – it really blew my mind," Cooper told WZZM-13 News. "There was a staggering number of people who wanted to buy stuff from me."
According to city officials, operating an adult bookstore in the downtown area violates the zoning laws. Cooper admits he was aware of the ordinance, but said it was store didn't sell pornography or adult books, but sexually related toys and merchandise.
“People were so thankful and happy, these women are almost in tears they were so thankful for something like this in Zeeland,” Cooper told the Holland Sentinel. “I expected to have a little blowback because I know where I am, but to have the chief of police show up, that was so intense over fake plastic penises.
“They made me clear out all of my shelves, including the non-sexual stuff like handcuffs. Cops have handcuffs too, but they made me clear it all out. They came at me with everything they had.”
Zeeland City Manager Tin Klunder said that Cooper can seek a variance to the zoning law through the proper process, should he want to stay downtown.
“This is purely based on the fact it doesn’t meet our zoning requirements for where that business is located, it has nothing to do with the type of business it is,” Klunder told the Sentinel. “We have to enforce the ordinance.”