Taboo owners appeal council vote to IRAC

Dave Stewart
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Chaylon and Amy Brewster want decision overturned

Taboo Company adult store and smoke shop in Charlottetown

The owners of a Charlottetown adult store and smoke shop aren’t going down without a fight.

Chaylon and Amy Brewster have filed an appeal with the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission, seeking to have city council’s decision overturned.

Last week, council voted 7-3 to reject a request from the owners of Taboo Company on Euston Street for a variance that would have allowed the business to operate.

Council decided this particular commercial use was not compatible with the neighbourhood. Those opposed to the variance request have listed the business’s proximity to Birchwood and Prince Street schools as well as the fact a crosswalk many young students use is right outside the front door as reasons why it isn’t compatible.

Couns. Rob Lantz, Jason Coady and Melissa Hilton, the three members on the planning committee, voted in favour of the variance request. The planning board recommended council approve the variance, saying there was no legal reason why the business cannot operate.

The Brewsters have also been informed by letter from the City of Charlottetown’s planning and heritage department that the business must close immediately but, as of Tuesday, they were trying to fight that, too.

Chaylon Brewster said he was in contact with his lawyer to seek a formal order from IRAC or the courts staying/suspending the effect of council’s decision, pending the outcome of the appeal.

He said they’ve also got an online petition on the go, which has collected about 1,700 signatures. And, the business seems to be garnering some support among area residents in Ward 4.

“I was able to export the (petition) data and import it into a mapping program and there were 94 postal codes in this petition that belong to Ward 4 and each postal code has more than one signature.’’

Chaylon says they’re appreciative of the support.

“It makes me feel like we are doing the right thing and the fight is definitely worth it, not just for us but for future small businesses that decide to try and risk it all by opening up a business in Charlottetown.’’

The Brewsters can also request a reconsideration from council.

The business opened earlier this summer in a space that has housed commercial operations for years, but Taboo Company required a variance because the area is zoned for residential use. The city said the owners should have requested the variance before it opened but the Brewsters maintain no one told them they needed one.

Among the fewer than 10 people in the public gallery last

week at council’s vote was a nearby resident who brought with her a petition that included the names of 74 people opposed to the business.

Chaylon says they intend to stay open while the appeal process is ongoing.

“Absolutely. We’re trying to put a profitable and good business in there that would be sustained in that one location.’’

dstewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart

Organizations: Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission, Brewsters, Taboo Company

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Euston Street, Prince Street

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Comments

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Recent comments

  • Seen it before
    September 04, 2014 - 22:31

    Juts another example of Charlottetown City Hall ineptitude. Make mistakes then pay out, make mistakes then pay out, oh, and of course cover it all up. Good luck covering this one up when the store wins. Good for nothing seat fillers, in the upper echelons of that building, collecting a pay cheque at the tax payers expense. Take up a real cause for the benefit of someone or something. Losers.

  • Ledge
    September 03, 2014 - 16:01

    What about the internet that offers porn to anyone anytime? Rule of Law there?

  • Quiet Observer
    September 03, 2014 - 11:41

    I am trying to figure out what exactly are the negative side affects of that store. I have looked in the windows and see nothing in any way suggestive in the windows. the clothing in their windows is no different than the clothing on display in the mall. Youth are not allowed in the store, only adults. Noone is forced to go inside the store. Can someone please fill me in as to what are the specific problems they expect this store to cause?

  • Concerned Citizen
    September 03, 2014 - 10:25

    Why do we need a sex shop in an area that young children walk by during every school day while traveling back and forth to school, I think this type of business should set up at the local garbage dump with the rest of the trash.

  • city taxpayer
    September 03, 2014 - 09:47

    Kudos to the Councillors who found the courage to vote against this business. That is he reason a variance is in place, --- so Council can have a say in what takes place their, and indirectly of course the citizens of the City and the area. The job argument is silly, no matter where this store sets up, the number of jobs will be the same. I do not think IRAC (an unelected body)should have any business overturning a decision made by the people we elect to run our city .

    • Toe tag
      September 03, 2014 - 11:52

      Nope, nope nope. Who is this Donna or Anne Macniven?

  • Rememberwhen
    September 03, 2014 - 09:47

    Ive grown up in this neighbour hood my whole life, and I don tknow about you guys, but I remember a time when VIDEO STARS was open....and they sold porn....whats the difference between Video Stars selling it AND LETTING YOUNG CHILDREN IN THE STORE, and Taboo selling it NOT ALLOWING YOUNG CHILDREN IN THE STORE.

  • Davin
    September 03, 2014 - 09:27

    Nothing will drag a neighbourhood down more than sex shops and drug dealers. The area in question already has problems. Don't make it worse by starting a business such as this in an area where there are children. I would suggest an industrial area to be more appropriate.

  • don
    September 03, 2014 - 08:04

    dave i agree but open for drunks at a school near you. Cl. the people that agree saying no maybe the best customers they have but to make them selves look good in church etc they say no to the shop.

  • Marie
    September 03, 2014 - 07:43

    Twelve years ago a similar store opened in our family oriented neighborhood. I was going to apply for a job, but figured it wouldn't last. Parents would complain about the nature of the business, children would see the "nasties" in the window, or some local government closed mind would say "Got to go". I never did apply for the job. I've been layed off from two jobs and into the third AND THE STORE IS STILL OPEN!!! This is employment folks...and whether you shop at the store or not, every person should have the choice to walk in to Taboo if they want to. Almost everything in Charlottetown is "close to" Birchwood or some other school.....can't really change the size of Charlottetown that much. But council could certainly change their negative attitudes on a lot of things. 2014 folks! And what gets me the worse on this story.....the first time I was home...yes I will always be an Islander....I passed Taboo and thought it was a second hand store again. ONLY DIRTY MINDS MAKE SEX DIRTY! The kids aren't allowed in, so what is the council beef?? If this business is in business and profitable....boys I'm missing something here.....

  • bill doo
    September 03, 2014 - 07:42

    I wonder if this was Danny Murpheys business or Tim banks would we be having this conversation, Charlottetown is a hard place for young entrepreneurs trying to build Businesses , To few control chtown business and politicians ...........

    • Chris W
      September 03, 2014 - 09:44

      If Danny Murphy or Tim Banks were involved, they would have done it right from the get-go. But yes, I agree, if they had someone with an actual name involved in the petition or the biz side, this would be a different story.

  • Quiet Observer
    September 03, 2014 - 07:24

    To heck with Charlottetown. Move to Stratford where they want new businesses and can give you a far superior location.

  • dave
    September 03, 2014 - 07:13

    Charlottetown's motto.........Closed for business

  • a customers view
    September 03, 2014 - 07:12

    as a customer, I have to drive out of my way to a residential area I rarely visit, to a store that has no parking to speak of. I think they are more engaged in this argument, than in using common sense to be more attractive to customers. Move somewhere where you are more central/accessible and where I can park!

    • Tonic
      September 03, 2014 - 08:12

      Full parking lot out back. One of busiest streets down town. across the street is dedicated Mix Use. I say your argument is stupid.

    • @ Tonic
      September 03, 2014 - 13:53

      you might think my arguments are stupid and you can disagree with me all you want, but they still aren't getting my business, and I know a lot of others who feel the same way for the same reasons. And if not for all of this fuss in the media, they'd probably have gone under by now.

    • Tonic
      September 03, 2014 - 19:50

      Awww, sounds like someone is grinding an axe. It is in the down town core, you are making it sound like it is out in the boonies. thousands of cars drive by every day, it is down town, there is a parking lot, I don't see your argument other than you seem to be making it sound bad for some other reason? Wonder what the reason is. hmmmm? I am sure I can figure it out. I can take a wild guess.

  • Cl
    September 03, 2014 - 06:23

    Now it's time for the handful of naysayers to camp out on the comments pretending they're a whole bunch of people saying the store should close. Come on Facebook and comment with your real names. Very few people on there.

    • Chris W
      September 03, 2014 - 09:45

      Said the person not using their real name. Yes dear, a few people do run this town. And it's becuz they actually matter. Facebook or Twitter won't get you that.