Green Bay Video Store Denied Adult License, Vows to Remain

GREEN BAY, Wis. - The Green Bay City Council voted unanimously last week to deny Danz Video Inc. an adult entertainment license, but the store's owner vows to remain open.

"It's not going to make us go away," said owner Todd Conrad. "Our business can still be there."

The store had reapplied for the license as part of a transfer of ownership to Conrad from previous owner Dan Wells. Because it had been grandfathered in with a nonconforming use permit to remain in its current location after zoning regulations were passed banning adult entertainment establishments from that area, its reapplication for the license presented the council with an opportunity to strip the store of its nonconforming use privileges.

In the eyes of the council, Danz Video had expanded the adult entertainment-classified portion of its business by adding sex toys, lingerie, costumes and other items to its stock, thus violating the nonconforming use permit. But the store's lawyer, John D'Angelo, said it did not expand the licensed portion of the business, and that items such as lingerie and costumes are sold in mainstream stores that aren't required to hold adult entertainment licenses to carry them.

"This is really just an issue of taste," said D'Angelo.

The council heard from neighbor Jean Luecht, who complained that what used to be a family video store had become a business that was embarrassing even to walk past.

"Anybody walking by can see into it," Leucht said, "and of course they leave the lights on at night."

City alderwoman Celestine Jeffreys, who led the charge against re-issuing the license, projected that the store will likely come down regardless of its efforts to remain in its present spot, when the street on which it is located gets widened in the next few years.