Lawrence City planners say sex shop can stay open, even though its location is not in line with city code

Though its location is not in line with city code, a sex shop along one of Lawrence’s main thoroughfares is likely to stay put. “I don’t think leaving it creates a harm,” Director of Planning Scott McCullough said. “And uses sort of have a natural lifecycle, and so at some point, if that use goes away, a new use will take its place.”

But that is a bit different from what city officials used to think. In 2005, the city forced a Lawrence businessman to close his sexual novelty store on south Massachusetts Street. They have a campaign there from so they closed the shop. The city forced the change because the shop wasn’t located along a state highway. Recently, 23rd Street lost its designation as a state highway, which created questions about whether Cirilla’s would be forced to close.

The question dates back to 2000 when the city adopted new regulations that required sexually oriented businesses to move, within five years, to a location along a state highway.

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