More than 1,000 people sign online petition supporting sex shop

Ryan Ross
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Amy Brewster is co-owner of Taboo Company adult and smoke shop on the corner of Euston and Hillsborough streets. She is appealing a decision Wed., Aug. 27, 2014 by city council that denied a zoning variance required to operate the business at that location.

A day after an adult novelty store lost its bid to operate in a residential neighbourhood, more than 1,000 people have signed an online petition supporting the business.

Amy Brewster, one of the store’s owners, said the petition was concrete proof of how much support they have.

“I think it’s amazing,” she said.

On Wednesday, Charlottetown city council voted 7-3 to deny a variance Taboo Company needed to operate at its location on Euston Street.

The owners didn’t know they needed a variance until after the business was already open because no one from the city told them it was necessary until it was too late.

Other businesses have operated in the same location and required the same variance, although some were there without getting the proper approval.

The owners are appealing council’s decision and started the online petition Wednesday at Change.org.

It’s not the first petition the owners started.

Brewster said they had one in the store instead of online prior to the council vote because it meant people would have to go inside where they would see the business first hand.

For the electronic petition, the owners wrote that if Taboo Company was a “bible book store,” flower shop or just a tobacco shop there wouldn’t be any issues.

The petition asks council to reverse its decision.

Webster said she hoped the petition would show council that the majority of Islanders support the business.

If Taboo Company chooses to move it should be the owners’ decision, she said.

“Not something that we’re bullied into by the city when there’s no reason to do so.”

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross

Organizations: Taboo Company, Charlottetown city council, Islanders

Geographic location: Euston Street

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Recent comments

  • Stan Hope
    August 29, 2014 - 16:38

    Why does The Guardian keep referring to this establishment as as SEX SHOP... Totally misleading and one sided Mr.Armstrong. I see Smoke Shop on the sign to the right above Ms. Brewster.Everyone knows this is an adult variety store however I guess it's similar to the old press slogan " if it bleeds it leads " from days gone by... in keeping with the Island way of thinking.

  • justin
    August 29, 2014 - 14:29

    Anyone can vote on an online petition. Lets see a good old fashioned signed signature petition and then see how many people support the store. People have to show face and sign their own signature then you get a true sense of few people who support this store at this location. Tweel and the city council obviously feel the real voters and not the online fake ones are the ones who matter. Good to see city council supporting families for a change.

    • TheWolfOfQueenStreet
      August 29, 2014 - 15:01

      There was a paper petition presented prior to the vote. It was ignored.

    • Bob MacDonald
      August 30, 2014 - 23:26

      Kind of ironic that you didn't even sign your name here.

  • Charlotte-townie
    August 29, 2014 - 14:28

    Facts - - There is nothing in this store that you can't buy at many other shops in Charlottetown. - Sex toys do not turn people into sexual deviants. - There is nothing offensive in the windows. - If you don't like what they sell, don't shop there. - Closing business such as this will discourage others from starting small "mom & pop" stores. Charlottetown needs people like the Brewsters to grow our economy and keep locals employed... Lets not scare them away!

  • thoughtful business owner
    August 29, 2014 - 13:40

    In business, people have to want what you're selling. Clearly, there is a market for this, but not in this particular neighbourhood. So if I owned this business, I'd be very quickly moving shop to a commercial area where I would be able to attract more traffic/business and not upset local residents and detract from my business.

    • CSF
      August 29, 2014 - 16:43

      The shake is that there is a market for it, enough to support its current location anyway, and they're being treated unfairly by having roadblocks to their success being placed to appease the irrational. This is a case of a business being bullied because of perceived moral turpitude, and it's not fair to punish the staff and customers because some loud people have nothing better to do than try to force the rest of us to walk their way. I don't remember being asked to vote for an anti-business, morally conservative city council member; yet, apparently that's what a lot of us did.

  • Truth Seeker
    Truth Seeker
    August 29, 2014 - 13:33

    This is embarrassing. The people we elected and trusted to make the right decisions are incredibly short sighted and down right ignorant. I wouldn't let Mr. Tweel manage a bag of marbles. I simply don't trust his judgement or motives.

  • WhyWhyWhy
    August 29, 2014 - 11:39

    Why sacrifice employment and a corporate tax base in our already fragile economy for the sake of special interest in an attempt to appear to legislate morality? With the Feds admittedly reducing EI benefits to cover only 40% of Unemployed Canadians, where does this leave us? Social Assistance at the Municipal or Provincial Level? Think about it Mitch! Rather than discouraged, these Charlottetown entrepreneurs should be encouraged, if not rewarded for their investment in our community. You should have a parade for these folks! McCain's won't be back, Mitch!

  • emac
    August 29, 2014 - 10:24

    Online petitions mean that citizens in this city and surrounding cities want to voice their support for a local business that is being bullied by a council that stunts economic growth and likely a small enough group of people that don't get laid enough,( let's be honest). Maybe if Ms Brewster threw a few yield signs and painted lines on her shop council would think she's a roundabout and all would be well with the world.

  • dontwastemytime
    August 29, 2014 - 09:01

    Why sacrifice employment and a corporate tax base in our already fragile economy for the sake of special interest in an attempt to appear to legislate morality? With the Feds admittedly reducing EI benefits to cover only 40% of Unemployed Canadians, where does this leave us? Social Assistance at the Municipal or Provincial Level? Think about it Mitch! Rather than discouraged, these Charlottetown entrepreneurs should be encouraged, if not rewarded for their investment in our community. McCain's won't be back, Mitch!

  • neighbour
    August 29, 2014 - 08:24

    As someone who lives close to this, I've never seen a problem with the store, or the new displays. Everything looks professional and appropriate. Please, just a few doors down there are frequently groups of junkies hanging out on the street, a legitimate business pales in comparison.

  • enough already
    August 29, 2014 - 06:47

    On line petitions mean nothing ! Give it up ,they should have done thing properly in the first place.

    • Hugs
      August 29, 2014 - 10:35

      hmmm...Don't think this is a correct statement as apparent by the news article you seemed to fail to read... they did actually do everything correctly, the city dropped the ball by not informing them of this variance until they were open.

  • Sally
    August 29, 2014 - 06:17

    Those thousand I hope vote to evict TWEEL!

    • Sober now
      August 29, 2014 - 20:54

      Where do you people think you live the "HAMPTONS" beside the KENNEDYS and the SPIELBERGS. like my god. At one time in my life I was an alcohol / addict. I could point out several actually a lot of places which sold illegal substance's and I mean the powerful stuff too. There is a lot of them still in business. So what makes all you big feeling and jealous people or what gives you guys the right to try and close a legit business that actually makes the corner look more appealing. Just a couple young entrepreneurs trying to make something of themselves. I guess they should have divided the vacant area and rented to some dealers. Then everything would have been fine. Think of the cigarette and cigar smokers. A cheaper option to kens corner trying to get rich off every pack. I think some of you Mitch tweel. Lovers should visit this store buy yourselves a nice novelty item whatever that may be. USE IT and chill out and relax. It's really pathetic how so many on this island esp. This city would rather see failure than success . It's a store that serves people that are no better or worse than YOU