ZEELAND, Mich. (WOOD) — A sex shop controversy in Zeeland: A store was shut down last week, with the city saying it’s against the rules to sell adult toys in the downtown shopping area.
With the shelves of his store now mostly empty, the owner is now working to change the city’s zoning ordinance.
“The idea that I could sell a chainsaw to a 4-year-old but then get in trouble for selling his mother a pink plastic replica of the male anatomy is silly to me, it’s crazy, but that’s where we are at right now,” Patrick Cooper, the owner of Grimlock’s Emporium for the Misbehaved Lady, said Monday.
Tucked behind a tattoo stop in downtown Zeeland, you could drive by and not even know his shop is there. But on social media, word travels fast.
“I opened at 3 o’clock on Thursday and by 2 o’clock Friday, the chief of police said, ‘You’re done,'” Cooper told News 8.
The Zeeland City Manager Tim Klunder said the shop is considered an adult book store, defined by the city as a building used for the sale of films, magazines, posters or sex objects specific to sexual actives. They must operate out of areas zoned for industrial use.
“A reasonable person would describe these as sexual objects,” Klunder said of the sex toys Cooper was selling.
For now, Cooper is selling products at private house parties, but he’s not giving up on the idea of a shop. He’s raising money to pay for legal help to change the zoning ordinance.
“The demand is huge,” he said.