City cancels appeal hearing on sex shop

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 9, 2000

An appeal hearing for a sexually-oriented business scheduled for today has been cancelled after the property’s owner opted to rent the space to someone else.

Natchez resident Barbara Shepherd had hoped to open an adult book/video store in a vacant building at 272 Seargent S. Prentiss Dr.

But Shepherd’s plans were stopped short last month when her request was denied by the city planning department because the building is located within 600 feet of a residential property.

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Since the restriction — along with many others regulating sexually-oriented businesses — is part of the city ordinance, the appeal was to come directly before the board of aldermen.

But the appeal hearing was removed from the aldermen’s agenda after the building’s owner called the city planning department Friday to say he would not be renting the space to Shepherd, City Planner David Preziosi said.

The owner, who asked not to be named, said Monday he did not have a binding rental agreement with Shepherd, and another potential renter has since approached him about the building.

Shepherd was not available for comment.

Preziosi said the proposed business, tentatively named Pleasure Land, would have carried items listed in the city’s code as &uot;instruments, devices or paraphernalia which are designed for use in connection with specified sexual activities.&uot;

The city ordinance also restricts sexually-oriented businesses from locating within 500 feet of churches, schools, daycare centers, parks, landmarked downtown historic districts and government-owned buildings.