Councilman Revolted By Peep Show

Middlebrooks Vows To Shut Down Store

September 23, 1991|By Deidre McCabe | Deidre McCabe,Staff writer

After touring an adult video store and peep show in Annapolis, County Councilman Edward Middlebrooks, D-Glen Burnie, said he's more committed than ever to ousting a Glen Burnie video store from a residential neighborhood.

Middlebrooks said he will seek restricted parking and increased lighting in areas closest to the Paradise One adult video store on Crain Highway in the hopes of drying up business.

"People who come to these places like to hide in the shadows," hesaid, explaining why brighter lights directed at the video store might decrease its trade.

Middlebrooks said he was disgusted last Thursday by the sights he witnessed during a tour of a West Street videostore, which rents adult materials that can be viewed on the premises.

"I was sticking to the floor," he said, describing an area of the store with individual booths for viewing films, more commonly called peep shows.

Middlebrooks said he asked county police officers to accompany him on a tour of the establishment so he could get a better understanding of the type of clientele and activity at such a business.

"I thought I had seen it all," he said.

Middlebrooks saidhis tour left him more resolved to help residents in Glen Burnie drive out the Paradise One video store, which opened in August on Crain Highway at the corner of Wilson Boulevard.

Paradise One does not provide viewing booths on site. The store sells and rents materials that must be viewed elsewhere.

Baltimore-based Margura Enterprises, owners of the store, originally requested a commercial license to allow the installation of private viewing booths but withdrew the request following a storm of community protest.

The County Council laterplaced a moratorium on issuing any permits for peep shows while the county studies how to best regulate adult-book stores.

Residents in the neighborhoods closest to the video store have formed an ad hoc citizens committee hoping to use community pressure, letter writing and local legislation to remove the video store.

Even without peep shows, residents said they fear the X-rated materials at Paradise Onewill attract the "wrong element" and more crime to the neighborhood.

Middlebrooks plans to meet with county Public Works Director Parker Andrews today or tomorrow to pitch his plan for increased lightingand restricted parking for residents only on streets closest to the store.

Many Paradise One patrons do not use the parking lot adjacent to it, residents said. Instead, they said, customers park in frontof homes along Wilson Boulevard and nearby streets.

Debbie Brunetti, a member of the ad hoc committee, said residents think customers do not want their cars to be seen in the Paradise One parking lot andtherefore park in front of their homes.

Restricted parking would allow county police to ticket, and possibly tow, the cars of ParadiseOne customers who do not use the lot.

Increased lighting might help drive away customers who do not want to be seen going into the store at night, Middlebrooks said.

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