Local News

City fight déjà vu for adult bookstore's owner

Posted September 26, 2008 6:25 p.m. EDT
Updated September 27, 2008 6:44 a.m. EDT

— The owner of a Rocky Mount adult bookstore who wants to open another in Henderson says he is being forced out of town before he even arrives.

The city is considering putting the business in an industrial zone, where it would be isolated from other retail businesses.

Chris Peacock called the plan "ludicrous" and said that he should be treated like any other business applying for a permit.

"I had customers coming in from the Louisburg-Henderson area, saying that we need to open a store there," Peacock said Friday. "If the citizens don't want us there, we'll be out of business in six months."

But Mary Emma Evans, a local pastor and City Council member, said she is opposed to an adult bookstore in the retail district, and so are her constituents.

"We represent the people, and the people have spoken," Evans said. "And they do not want an adult bookstore in the city of Henderson."

The zoning issue goes to Henderson's planning board, which will meet on Oct. 6. Assistant City Manager Frank Frazier said there is no timetable on a decision.

Peacock ran into similar obstacles when he opened his Rocky Mount store in 2003.

"If you didn't know we were (there), you wouldn't know we were (there)," he said. "We don't have big neon XXX signs."