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CHRISTAL'S UPDATE

Code department discoveres this isn't a ÒregularÓ retail store.

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The sign is up and the inventory is out, but it's going to be a while before Christal's adult novelty store will open in Cordova. In fact, it's the inventory that's causing the delay. On November 28th, inspectors with the city's construction-code enforcement department responded to a request for a final inspection from Christal's owners. The inspection and code enforcement's subsequent approval was the last step before Christal's could open the store to the public. But when inspectors picked through the store, they found that Christal's inventory, described by the store's owners as "retail," was actually what the inspectors term "adult novelty" and thus forbidden in Cordova by a 1995 city ordinance. "Based on what we saw, we got a different opinion on what they were selling," says Allen Medlock, deputy administrator for the code-enforcement agency. Earlier in November, Christal's representatives submitted an inventory list and store description to the code-enforcement agency, which resulted in Christal's being issued a business permit for a standard retail store. Under the 1995 ordinance, a store can have up to 5 percent of its inventory as "adult novelty" and still be considered a regular retail establishment. More than 5 percent, and the store is considered an adult novelty business, for which Germantown Parkway is not zoned. "The tenant called us for a final inspection and when we went in we didn't feel like they had told us what they were really wanting to do there," says Medlock. "The adult novelty inventory definitely exceeded 5 percent, so we determined that it wasn't a retail sales establishment." If Christal's owners still want to operate in that location, they must either reduce the amount of adult novelty inventory or pursue litigation with the city. According to Medlock, Christal's attorneys have recently contacted the city's attorneys. Christal's representatives could not be reached for comment.

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