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New Longview sex store granted license

By Sherry Koonce skoonce@news-journal.com
Oct. 24, 2012 at 11 p.m.

A third sexually oriented business - this one to be named Venus - has been licensed in Longview.

The owner hopes to have the adult novelty sex shop open in time for Valentine's Day sales.

"Our busiest season is Valentine's Day, when love is in the air. An end-of-the year opening also coincides with winter, the time of the year when people will be indoors," said Robert Duggan, president of Gregg County Video.

Duggan's Sept. 13 application to open a sex store on FRJ Drive was approved Oct. 17, after city staff determined it met requirements of Longview's sexually oriented business ordinance.

The application was delayed while surveyors determined whether the building site was far enough removed from a neighboring residence.

City ordinance requires a minimum 1,000 feet between a sexually oriented business and a residential property line.

In this case, there was nearly nine feet to spare. The new business cleared the property line by 8.99 feet, said Shawn Hara, city of Longview spokesman.

Duggan said the store will feature a variety of sexually explicit merchandise including adult videos and toys, lingerie, clothing and shoes.

While Duggan waited for the license, neighboring businesses expressed concerns that a sexually oriented business would bring a criminal element to the business park.

Those concerns, whether warranted or not, are now moot, said Wayne Frost, District 4 City Councilman.

"We don't need it, but just the circumstance of the way the law is, it is hard to prevent," Frost said. "Evidently, they are in compliance, so that is the end of it."

Duggan, who also owns similar businesses in Kilgore, Missouri and Arkansas, said his facility is frequented by customers from the Longview and Marshall area.

This will be his first store in Longview.

Two other sexually oriented businesses licensed in Longview are Private Pleasures at 222 W. Tyler St., and The Adult Super Store at 55205 West Loop 281.

The Venus sex store is classified as an adult book store under the city's business ordinance because of the intent of sexual paraphernalia and instruments, as well as nude depictions in books, magazines, photographs and the like.

Other Longview business, such as gentlemen's clubs on Marshall Avenue, are governed by a separate city ordinance that prohibits nudity in commercial businesses serving or offering alcohol.



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