Opponents: Adult Toy Store Just Doesn’t Fit In

DERBY - Some members of the local community are outraged by the news that an adult novelty store is planning on setting up shop in Derby next door to Roasters Deli and Café. Among those upset is Rick Dubois, a Village of Derby Center Trustee. He said he does not think a store that sells adult novelty items should be located anywhere near where children could come into contact with it.Good Stuff, with stores in Burlington, Waterbury and St. Albans, VT, and Newport, NH, has plans to move into the building that houses Roasters. They have been issued a sign permit. Prior to the issuing of the sign permit, the planning commission approved a change of use for the space from office only to retail and office, although planning commission chairman Joe Proferra said he had no knowledge at the time the public hearing was held on the change of use as to what kind of store would be opening in the location.Dubois said, "This type of store doesn't bring charm to a little village."There are several petitions now circulating to express opposition to adult novelty stores. The petitions are circulating in Derby and other towns. Dubois said there is a petition for youth to sign and many churches are circulating the petitions. Opponents are also considering an ordinance.Dubois said that any money needed for an appeal to permits that are already issued would be raised through private funds. He said as a trustee he has an obligation to his constituents. He also stated that he knows not all of his constituents are opposed to the store. He is waiting to hear back from the trustees' attorney on to what extent the trustees, as public officials, can be involved in the fight to stop the store from opening. As an individual and taxpayer, he said, he is opposed to adult novelty stores where minors may come in contact with them. He also noted that he believes all three trustees are opposed to the opening of such a store. Chairman of the Trustees Richard O' Hara could not be reached for comment.Dubois hopes that the issue can be solved locally rather than involving outsiders such as the Environmental Court.Derby resident Emily Wheeler has stated her opposition publicly to Good Stuff opening in Derby. She noted that she is hearing that it may be difficult to prevent an adult novelty store from opening anywhere in the town because of free speech protection. She said that she doesn’t want an adult novelty store anywhere near a school or library, and she suggested maybe allowing one in an industrial zone, if they cannot be completely prevented.Dubois says that free speech also allows him to speak out against adult novelty stores.No one from the public attended the public hearing held by the planning commission on the change of use for the building.More information on Good Stuff can be found at their website (http://www.goodstuffstores.com/default.html).