Adult video store ready to fight eviction efforts

June 16, 1994|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Sun Staff Writer

Lawyers for owners of the building that houses the Glen Burnie News & Video Center Inc. said they will start eviction proceedings against the adult video store within days, but the store has no intention of budging.

"We want to get this going," said Edwin Lechowicz, attorney for Wilou Associates, which owns the gray house at Crain Highway and Wilson Boulevard.

An Anne Arundel Circuit judge in April ordered the building's owners to force the store out because it did not meet the county's zoning ordinance that says adult-oriented businesses must be away from residences and most other businesses.

The eviction proceeding would be the quickest way to get the video store out. The county's efforts to move other adult video stores based on zoning violations have been tied up in courts for more than a year.

"Landlord-tenant actions move fairly quickly. We are putting our eggs in that basket for now," said David Plymyer, deputy county attorney. "They have far fewer arguments they can make in defense of this eviction than if the case had proceeded in the other manner."

The District Court proceeding could take as few as several weeks, but appeals to Circuit Court are possible.

In January, a zoning inspector found that 3,143 of the store's 4,109 videos were sexually explicit. Last week, an inspector found only half of the titles were sexually explicit, County Council Chairman C. Edward Middlebrooks and Mr. Plymyer said.

However, that still falls short of the county regulation that says no more than 20 percent of the inventory can be sexually explicit, Mr. Middlebrooks said. "That's not even close to being in compliance with the law," he said.

But the lawyer for the video store said the store is in compliance and would fight any effort by the landlord to force it out.

"It's a two-story building. They only looked downstairs," said William Seekford. Upstairs storage space should be counted, he said.

"They can't evict somebody that is in compliance," he said. "We are in compliance with the county law. They may not like what they see in Glen Burnie."

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