PEABODY — The proponent of an adult paraphernalia shop plans to appeal the city’s decision to reject his newest store on Route 1.
“The City Council clearly out-stepped their bounds by violating their own rules,” said Scott MacGregor, a South Hadley entrepreneur who was planning to open his second Adam & Eve store in Massachusetts. “The fact of the matter is the council president and the city solicitor stated I had met every single zoning requirement the council set out.”
In a 6-4 vote Thursday, the council refused to issue a special permit for the 5,960-square-foot store in the plaza at 212 Newbury St. with Wow! Work Out World, Namco Pool, and the Mass Bay Hockey Center.
The shop planned to offer vibrators, handcuffs, bondage tape, collars and leashes, and a selection of lingerie, satin and lace corsets, body stockings, costumes, lubes and oils, and male enhancement products.
But in a presentation to the council, Ward 5 City Councilor Joel Saslaw, whose district includes the mall, argued the plaza caters to youth at Work Out World, where kids as young as 16 can be members, the Mass Bay Hockey Center, which features a mini rink to teach youngsters, and next door at Bruce McCorry’s Martial Arts Center, where children as young as 3 years old take classes.
“For me, those are red flags,” Saslaw said. “While it might be zoned for it, this address is not appropriate because of abutting businesses and the youth they serve.”
Ward 1 City Councilor Jon Turco, who supported the special permit, said many of the same items can be found at CVS.
MacGregor’s application included a letter of recommendation from Lisa Davol, membership manager at the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, for his store in Greenfield.
“Adam & Eve has been a member in good standing of the chamber and has participated in our community for seven years,” she wrote. “We think they will be a fine addition in any community in which they choose to do business.”
No one from the public testified for or against the store during the hearing.
MacGregor said some members of the council have no idea about his upscale store.
“But I will tell you this, if my appeal fails, I will sue the city,” he said.
City Councilor-at-Large Ryan Melville said he went into the hearing with an open mind, but was persuaded by Saslaw’s arguments.
“That kind of shop can’t go there by right,” he said. “That’s why they need a special permit.”