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Manassas Settles On A Study

By Greg L | 7 September 2010 | Manassas City | 113 Comments

Three and a half hours after Citizen’s time started, the Manassas City Council unanimously decided to refer the issue of porn shops in Old Town to the Land Use Committee, which will engage in an exhaustive review of the secondary effects of sexually oriented businesses in North America and then with those findings draft a zoning ordinance.  Yes, government cannot be be expected to turn on a dime, but the end result will be that K&K Temptations will be allowed to open on Battle Street (with signage that hasn’t been approved by the Architectural Review Board, no less), and there’s nothing the city will try to do immediately to stop it.

One of the highlights of the long list of comments received during Citizen’s time was an admission by the attorneys for the establishment that it will have material considered so offensive it has to be kept in a separate back room with access to that room controlled by a store employee.  Consider for a moment that restricted area is in a store that only allows persons over the age of eighteen to enter in the first place.  What merchandise, pray tell, is of such a sensitive nature that legal adults cannot freely observe what it is, and what trial would a customer have to overcome in order to qualify in order to pass the gatekeeper and inspect it?  That’s got to be some really special “high-end lingerie,” as the owners of this establishment have previously described the complete description of their merchandise.

Sure.  Only a complete dingbat like Cindy Brookshire, she of “we need to be more welcoming to porn shops in Old Town” fame, could possibly swallow such utterly ridiculous garbage.

After hours of nearly unanimous community outrage, numerous examples of how Prince William County and even Manassas Park have adopted ordinances to control adult businesses, after pleas to have the permits for this establishment revoked on the grounds that the establishment deliberately withheld material facts from their applications that are required by code to be disclosed, and after local attorneys repeatedly schooled the City Attorney in what the law actually says and offered assistance, we get a resolution that was authored by the same City Attorney who has proven he can’t solve this problem.  Only in government do you find those who can’t get the job done and never anticipated it authoring the solutions to the mess they allowed to happen in the first place.

Yes, we’ll end up with a well crafted zoning ordinance to prevent a recurrence of this problem.  The Land Use Committee study might possibly even come up with some imaginative way to shut this down, but not without some sort of outside assistance as the creativity of the current city staff has already been shown to be rather sub-par. The current course to study the issue, quite obviously laid out before the public meeting ever started, isn’t at all encouraging.

The business itself seems quite adept at putting itself in the position of getting slapped with a criminal obscenity charge and getting run out of business, based on their past behavior and what they’re telling their attorneys.  Their wonderfully inept public relations will also draw protesters, prayer vigils, and other community reactions decidedly unfriendly to the success of a retail establishment.  Between these two issues, chances are this business will close before any legislative or administrative action can be taken, solving the immediate problem in time to rescue some city staff who have long outlived their usefulness to the residents of the City of Manassas from the terminations they seem to so well deserve.

Once again, it will largely be up to residents to solve community problems in lieu of an effective response from their government.

The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.

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  1. Jaspar said on 8 Sep 2010 at 3:37 am:
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    Hal Parrish is more concerned in preventing a 4 year old boy from pissing his pants with excitment after catching a tad pole in Lake Manassas with is grandpa then he is in quickly closing down a smut shop in a historical district.

  2. CityCitizen said on 8 Sep 2010 at 3:42 am:
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    Despite the hyperbole on sites like this, apparently the CIty’s attorneys have determined no laws or regulations have yet been broken and thus no action can be taken (yet). But I guess you would rather have the City spend tens of thousands of our tax dollars yet again tilting at another windmill in the same inappropriate, knee-jerk manner in which they went after “the Sign”.

    Perhaps the right approach to this matter all along was to simply let this business try, and fail, like so many others before it in Old Town? If Old Town is SO “family friendly”, why can’t even a little candy store survive? If the “moral values” you claim are so representative of our City and as were espoused so repeatedly last night, there’s no chance this shop could generate enough business to keep it’s doors open. Instead you have elevated it the local and regional conscience and given it far more publicity than it could have ever paid to get on it’s own. Congratulations on successfully implementing the “Streisand Effect”.

  3. anon said on 8 Sep 2010 at 4:18 am:
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    There are a number of obvious ways to hurt business–you’ve mentioned a few above. But frankly, I don’t think this store will last long enough to see the results of that “study” having to compete with eBay and other on-line ordering outlets. Opening any brick & mortar store today when the same products are sold all over the Internet (especially if they can come from Chinese eBay sellers) is just a bad business idea.

  4. Taxed Enough Already said on 8 Sep 2010 at 6:38 am:
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    Aveni added look at existing shop as well to close it.

  5. Just the Facts said on 8 Sep 2010 at 7:07 am:
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    All moral concerns aside, the economic impacts of “adult” businesses are clear. Just look at Times Square in New York City. For years, one after another such business located in Times Square until they dominated the area. Most other businesses do not want to locate next to or near such establishments. They leave or locate elsewhere.

    I own a small professional service business in Prince William County that is not in Manassas. However, as all small business owners I hope to grow and expand. Old Town Manassas would be on a short list of potential locations for me. However, if the only available offices were in sight of a sex shop, I would not waste my time even to visit them.

    Rudy Giuliani was elected New York City Mayor in 1993 and implemented a “Broken Windows” approach to law enforcement. That meant enforcing every aspect of the law, including violations some might consider minor. This enabled him to clean the smut out of the Times Square area and begin a process of revitalization.

    Today, Times Square is a vibrant area generating millions in tax revenue for New York City. It is a tourist attraction that families can visit without fearing what their kids would see at every turn. Instead of a porno theater, you can take your kids to see “The Lion King.”

    Does Manassas want to take Old Town down the same road Times Square went prior to Rudy Giuliani? I hope not. This proposed “adult” shop would not be an economic asset for Old Town Manassas. It would be just the opposite.

    I have no interest in imposing my values on anyone else’s consumer choices. Products such as this store would sell are easily and readily available on the Internet. My argument is purely economic. Old Town Manassas is a historic and tourism treasure. Let’s not start the process of turning it into a pre-Giuliani Times Square cesspool.

  6. John said on 8 Sep 2010 at 7:26 am:
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    Let the business fail in the legal way…from lack of business and bad press. Again, it is SHOCKING to me to see fiscal conservatives lobby for big brother government infringement here…such a hypocrisy. As for the signage and the ARB, the new paint scheme at Okra’s was never approved by the ARB either….we should get the city council to shut them down too….where does it end? Let the trashy store fail from lack of business and not by increasing the already over reaching government agencies involvement…

  7. Austin said on 8 Sep 2010 at 8:23 am:
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    Amazing how the store does not have ARB approval for the sign, yet up there it hangs! I want to thank Delegate Miller and Councilman Aveni for trying to do something about this. Wierd how Jackson was to have a town hall meeting and it was scheduled first, but then City Council decided to have an “emergency session”. Sounds like politics as usual.

    As a former Planning Commissioner, I know there was nothing to stop this business the way things stand. They need to address this though for the future, any business that requires 18+ age limits should have to have a Special Use Permit in Old Town.

  8. Kendall Alexander said on 8 Sep 2010 at 8:24 am:
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    The baseless fear and utterly ridiculous comments made at that meeting last night would have been laughable, if they were not so frightening. People like you, BVBL, who are no doubt die-hard Republicans, and claim to want government to stay out of their lives when it doesn’t suit you, are all too eager to demand government’s immediate intrusion when something doesn’t agree with your so-called moral barometer. It’s pathetic. The hypocrisy in that room was palpable.
    The American Taliban was alive and well at that meeting last night. It’s one shop in one small neighborhood. Either they will find a market and thrive, or they will learn that they don’t have customers - like so many others have in that death of a shopping center - and close down. But it should be based on free enterprise and capitalism, the way this country works, not on a small group’s personal feelings about sex and their need to project their fears and puritanical issues onto everyone else.
    Anyone who has ever been to a normal, small town adult store knows it’s no big deal. The fear of what might be in that back room is so laughable, I can’t believe it. Given that vibrators are supposedly illegal, it would be really easy to call something equally inane a brown bag item.
    Fears of Manassas turning into Times Square are so far-fetched, it makes my head spin. All I can say is - you wish, people. We can’t even keep coffee shops open. There’s not just a long road ahead of us there, it’s an interstate and we’re walking.
    Get real - it’s one store, there’s nothing wrong with it, and you people gave it just the push it needs to succeed. So thanks.

  9. Doug Brown said on 8 Sep 2010 at 8:53 am:
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    @ Just the Facts

    Thanks for injecting a little common sense into the discussion. Take a ride up rt 15 in PA folks and check out the thriving businesses located next to all the adult outlet stores.

  10. Lenny said on 8 Sep 2010 at 10:02 am:
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    I’d prefer that the shop wasn’t there… that is why I wont be supporting the business with my money, but I don’t want the Government telling people they can’t start legal businesses in the community because we don’t like them.

    What will be the next thing that we can’t do?

  11. Doug Brown said on 8 Sep 2010 at 11:18 am:
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    You elect your local government and you pay your taxes with the expectation that common sense will now and then make a guest appearance. This was a no brainer, someone in the admin should have brought this to the attention of the higher ups and the matter should have been settle over a cup of coffee or a few beers.

  12. Anonymous said on 8 Sep 2010 at 11:21 am:
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    The notion that a business in “family-friendly” old town cannot admit persons under the age of 18 is ridiculous.

    I saw a printout of the website that K&K was using as an online business and which has now been taken down. Bondage and fetish stuff, and some really extreme stuff at that, and they trumpet that this is the stuff they’re going to be selling from their new store. Then they tell an entirely different story to the zoning and business license people. Once they start getting called out on it, they take down the website and start making up these crazy stories about how they’re going to protect the public from the merchandise they’re trying to sell to it.

    Perfect for old town, just perfect. We spend all this money making it a family place and the perverts flock in. Why don’t they stick to 28 or 234 where business will likely be better, there won’t be this kind of community outrage, and rents are likely lower?

    Are they deliberately trying to piss us off? Feels like it.

  13. MPResident said on 8 Sep 2010 at 11:38 am:
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    Anonymous 11:21, How do you know what they told the oning staff? In my experience they are not required to inform the zoning and/or the business license staff what they are selling. The only thing they need to provide is they are a retail store so it can be determined if it is a permitted use in the district they are locating. Even if they did, what does it matter what they are selling, the zoning laws do not discriminate based on items sold. The permit would have had to be issued once staff determined they were a retail business.

    Mr. Brown, you are incorrect about your evaluation. Local government’s job is to make decisions based on fact and law. In this case it was done correctly. The store hasn’t even opened up yet, so how does anyone know if it is pornographic or against the moral standards of the community. I would submit that if the business survives and makes a profit, it must not be against the moral standards of the public. If it doesn’t survive, then the moral standards of the community won.

  14. mpcinsider said on 8 Sep 2010 at 12:14 pm:
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    If you want to shop there then shop there. If not then walk on by. I know MC wanted a family-oriented city but that was never going to happen. Just ignore the shop and if noone buy items from that store it will closeup shop. But you better look at MVC on the outskirts of MC and see how well it is still going. Many will visit this shop and will buy items from it. But you cannot stop someone from sell items in a store.

    I wish MP had these issue we can’t even get a single business to open at the city center other than a bank.

  15. Tillie said on 8 Sep 2010 at 3:12 pm:
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    “… the Town Land Use Commission will engage in an exhaustive review of the secondary effects of sexually oriented businesses in North America.”

    NORTH AMERICA! Here I thought it was all about Manassas. The whole of North America! Sure hope you have some very smart and very patient members on the Land Use Commission. How long might this exhaustive review take, I wonder?

  16. Doug Brown said on 8 Sep 2010 at 3:30 pm:
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    “Mr. Brown, you are incorrect about your evaluation. Local government’s job is to make decisions based on fact and law. In this case it was done correctly.”

    Well I guess I should be satisfied that a MPResident approves of the job my local government is doing. Is there anything else you would like our tax dollars to do for you?

    Local government, last time I checked, has an elected component to it. And why do you think that is, MPResident?

  17. Brian Leeper said on 8 Sep 2010 at 3:32 pm:
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    MPResident ought to know that MP’s zoning law would not have allowed this business to locate where it is.

  18. legal2 said on 8 Sep 2010 at 4:03 pm:
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    There are several schools within walking distance of this poor excuse for a business; and my own daughters will not be safe walking in Old Town, knowing there are perv’s coming & going, getting “inspiration” from this establishment upon leaving. No one seems to have *common sense* anymore. MC officials are as stupid as the ones on the Hill. :-(

  19. Prester John said on 8 Sep 2010 at 6:15 pm:
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    Our business’ parking lot is already trashed every weekend with a variety of beverage containers, miscellaneous garbage, and other things not mentionable in polite company. I can just imagine what we will find in our parking lot every Monday morning once this place is opened and word gets out it stays open until midnight (or however late it will stay open) on Fridays and Saturdays.

  20. Disgusted said on 8 Sep 2010 at 6:42 pm:
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    Conservatives believe they are the only ones qualified to be in the White House, Congress, House of Delegates, and city councils. When they are in the minority, they whine and prattle on about government interference and taxes…until a sex shop appears on their street, or a hurricane/tornado levels their home. Then they are all about getting the government in there to make things “Right” again. What a bunch of hypocrites! I’d have millimeter of respect for them if they stayed consistent with the pro-business / less government mantra, but it would require them to have a realistic view of the world, something which they are obviously incapable of possessing.

  21. MPResident said on 8 Sep 2010 at 7:05 pm:
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    Mr. Leeper, where did I ever say I thought the business could come to MP? But the bottom line is this business located in MC legally. Now if the MC government officials don’t like the situation, I have no problem in an ordinance change. Just remember that you now have a few people legislating morality for 40,000 people.

    Prester John, you make an excellent point, you know absolutely nothing about this business but you insinuate that the business will bring undesirables and leave trash. Why don’t you ask the police about the MVC on Mathis Avenue and see if they have any problems there. I think you will find it to be a quiet store with little to no problems.

    Doug Brown, I actually don’t approve of the actions of MC officials. I think they are jumping on an issue that a few people are upset over and are grandstanding. Exactly what Delegate Miller is doing. While I can’t vote for MC officials, I can vote for Delegate Miller’s next opponent. I will put a lot of thought into the next election. However, my comment was directed at City staff. they absolutely made the correct decision. I strongly believe if you took a poll a large majority of MC citizens would either care less or even support the stores location in old town. Ever hear of the silent majority. This is what you have here. Most people don’t have a dog in the fight, so they don’t say anything.

    legal2, please get a life. And using your daughter’s safety as an excuse to push your agenda is sad. There have been no arrests of any pervs leaving or coming from the store on Mathis Ave. or Route 28 for how many years now.

    I can tell you now this issue came up years ago and government officials knew about this potential and chose to do nothing. Now they want to punish a business owner that followed all the rules after the fact. SAD!

  22. Love is all Around said on 8 Sep 2010 at 7:06 pm:
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    My observation is you all have a sorry excuse for a city attorney, maybe council should try to get rid of him rather than this shop?????

  23. MPResident said on 8 Sep 2010 at 7:21 pm:
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    Actually Mr. Bendall is one of the best land use attorneys in the Commonwealth and is very well respected. Now I will agree it may be time for Manassas to consider in house legal representation, but to say Mr. Bendall is a sorry excuse is completely way off base. He has actually saved Manassas officials from straying down the wrong path many times, and I believe most attorneys who do not have an agenda, would agree with his decision on this case. If he is so sorry, why would he have so many local jurisdictions as clients? I can answer that, because he makes sound decisions and doesn’t make decisions based on furor but rather smart legal opinions. Even if officials have refused his advice and then got the City sued for millions of dollars.

  24. Brian Leeper said on 8 Sep 2010 at 8:10 pm:
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    “Mr. Leeper, where did I ever say I thought the business could come to MP?”

    You said in another thread that you’d like to see it come to City Center. I posted a link to the MP zoning ordinance that would disallow that.

    “I have no problem in an ordinance change.”

    It was done in MP where you presumably live.

    “Just remember that you now have a few people legislating morality for 40,000 people.”

    Do you believe that a land-use ordinance change, to mirror the one that MP has, is legislating morality?

  25. Brian Leeper said on 8 Sep 2010 at 8:15 pm:
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    “Do you believe that a land-use ordinance change, to mirror the one that MP has, is legislating morality?”

    And, if so, where was your outrage when MP did it?

  26. Brian Leeper said on 8 Sep 2010 at 8:19 pm:
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    “I for one would love to have the business in the new MP city center, then I wouldn’t have to drive as far to take a look at the wares in the place!”

    In case you’ve forgotten, MPResident.

  27. LizzyB said on 8 Sep 2010 at 8:35 pm:
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    legal2 said on 8 Sep 2010 at 4:03 pm: Flag comment

    There are several schools within walking distance of this poor excuse for a business; and my own daughters will not be safe walking in Old Town, knowing there are perv’s coming & going,

    Did you ever do a sex offender check in old town manassas there are 10 registered sex offenders in old town and you let your daughter walk the streets there now?

    Prester John said on 8 Sep 2010 at 6:15 pm: Flag comment

    Our business’ parking lot is already trashed every weekend with a variety of beverage containers, miscellaneous garbage, and other things not mentionable in polite company

    Do you not relize that the parking garage is “trashed” every weekend by the local teen agers?

    Get a life people put the blame where it belongs…This “shop” owner is not the reason the parking garage is trashed or the reason sex offenders live in this area.

  28. Brian Leeper said on 8 Sep 2010 at 8:39 pm:
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    By the way, Manassas City appears to be the only jurisdiction in the immediate area that does not have any sort of zoning ordinance or pemit process which regulates “adult uses” or “adult businesses”.

    All of these jurisdictions require any or all of the following: a permit for an adult business from the police department, or a conditional use permit for an adult business, zoning restrictions on adult businesses which restrict which zoning district they may be located in along with minimum distances from residential areas, churches, schools, and other adult businesses:

    Fairfax County
    PW County
    Manassas Park City
    Fairfax City
    Stafford County

  29. Patty said on 8 Sep 2010 at 8:40 pm:
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    I got a report from a friend of mine who attended the meeting. It was crowded with standing room only. The City Council did upstage Jackson Miller’s town hall meeting. The number of those who supported the porn shop you can count on your hand. The overwhelming majority of those at the meeting were against the porn shop including owners of nearby businesses. There were several people there from local churches including some representing Seton. Some attorneys offered their services to the City to assist in getting the porn shop out of Old Town. Some retired police officers spoke about the crimes associated with porn shops. The meeting lasted until about 10:30.

    My friend was shocked at the comments made by Cindy Brookshire. Cindy also made some comments likening the porn shop to Ginger Rogers of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire fame. I think comparing a porn shop to Ginger Rogers is trashing the memory of a classy lady. I guess Cindy didn’t realize that some from her NW were there along with others who are members of local church congregations. Looks like Cindy has made a reputation for herself, a bad one.

  30. mpresident said on 8 Sep 2010 at 8:51 pm:
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    Mr. Leeper, you should learn to comprehend what you read before you post. I thought at one time I might support you in your run for City Council sometime but I see you are not smart enough to comprehend a blog, how are you going to comprehend what is put before you in the council chambers? I clearly said I wish it would come to MP, NOT that I thought it could. Mr. Leeper, you aren’t smart enough to get into a battle with me, so don’t try. It is why you have failed at becoming a Council member in Mp so many times.

  31. mpresident said on 8 Sep 2010 at 8:56 pm:
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    Mr. Leeper, my true outrage is because this business owner followed all the rules and now everyone wants to change them after the fact. I have said over and over, let the market place determine what the community wants. I for one will donate money to her in her legal fight. That is until the ACLU steps in and takes it up. I can’t stand the ACLU but this is one for them.

  32. Charles said on 8 Sep 2010 at 9:19 pm:
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    In the paper today, juxtaposed with the story of the meeting, was a story about the upcoming Fall Jubilee, to be held in downtown Manassas, complete with “Kid Neighborhood Entertainment” and all sorts of fun, family-centric activities:

    “an antique farm tractor display, face painting, paint your own pumpkin in the Wegmans Food Markets’ Pumpkin Patch, games provided by the Boy Scouts and rides provided by JumpWorks to include Acro-Spring Bungy trampoline, Spider Climb Tower, Twisted Twister Inflatable and Monkey Bouncer.”

    Imagine the kid’s play area set up on the street in front of an adult-only sex shop. Or is that silly, because the city would certainly plan the entire event to make sure no kid’s activities are near the shop…..

    Which is the problem — setting up these festivals, having to take into acount a no-child zone right in the middle. Or maybe we can beg the store to close on those days, while all the other stores put their wares on tables as sidewalk vendors and hand out coupons to their stores.

    It would be funny if kids started asking their parents if they could go use their coupons for free ice cream cones and vibrators.

  33. Ugh said on 8 Sep 2010 at 10:10 pm:
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    Won’t SOMEONE think of the children?!?!?!

  34. Brian Leeper said on 8 Sep 2010 at 10:28 pm:
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    “I clearly said I wish it would come to MP, NOT that I thought it could.”

    But in fact, it CAN come to MP-just not City Center or several other zoning districts. You’d mentioned City Center before, so I thought that’s what we were talking about.

    “Mr. Leeper, you aren’t smart enough to get into a battle with me, so don’t try. It is why you have failed at becoming a Council member in Mp so many times.”

    So many times?

    I’ve “failed” at becoming a Council member in MP exactly once. I’ve run once, in 2008. I have never applied for any of the appointments to City Council because I would rather be elected, not appointed.

    “Mr. Leeper, my true outrage is because this business owner followed all the rules and now everyone wants to change them after the fact.”

    If Manassas City adopted ordinances similar to other jurisdictions, I trust that you’d have no issue with that, as this business would be “grandfathered” in.

    I find it very interesting that Manassas City had no ordinances governing this type of business at all, when their neighboring jurisdictions do. That was an oversight and someone took advantage of it.

    There is a lesson to be learned here: Jurisdictions would do well to pay attention to what their neighbors are doing, especially in terms of land use.

    In a matter of minutes I was able to find out what the local jurisdictions’ ordinances are regarding “adult businesses”. Anyone in Manassas City could have done the same–long before now–and taken the action needed to prevent what happened here.

    That is the difference between being “proactive” and “reactive”.

    On the subject of whether this business owner followed all of the rules, I don’t know that to be a fact. Do you?

  35. Brian Leeper said on 8 Sep 2010 at 10:58 pm:
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    When I said, by the way, that “MPResident ought to know that MP’s zoning law would not have allowed this business to locate where it is.”

    I certainly didn’t mean to imply that you thought that this business could locate in City Center.

    What I did mean is that I posted the relevant sections of MP’s zoning law regarding this type of business and the possibility that it could locate in City Center in response to you. Since I don’t know whether you read it or not, and since I don’t know whether you knew it already or not, that’s where the “ought to know” comes from.

    Furthermore, I also meant that that the use classification of downtown Manassas would be similar to, if not the same, as City Center in MP, and so if MP’s zoning rules applied in Manassas City this use would not be allowed.

  36. Doug Brown said on 8 Sep 2010 at 11:06 pm:
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    Do you really think a large majority, a silent majority of MC residents would support this shop in Old Town? If so, it’s hard to take your comments on this matter too seriously.

    As for the city workers and officials who allowed this shop to open, I would prefer to hear from them, rather than an anonymous MPResident , the process of how and why this shop was granted a license to open up in Old Town and what if any knowledge or relationship they had with the owner/business prior to granting the license.

  37. Brian Leeper said on 8 Sep 2010 at 11:16 pm:
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    Perhaps someone should FOIA the documents the city has regarding this business.

  38. Just the Facts said on 9 Sep 2010 at 7:42 am:
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    Some of the comments from liberals in this thread criticize conservatives as hypocrites for opposing government intervention except in cases such as the sex shop or when they need assistance in natural disasters, etc. Let me turn that around. The liberals making these allegations are the true hypocrites. They want the government involved in virtually every aspect of our lives, except in this case of a porn shop. Now they clamor to let the free market work, state their willingness to contribute to the cause of the porn purveyor, and even suggest enlisting the services of the ACLU. I wish they would be just as vocal in defending people’s right not to be taxed into oblivion, and in opposing the actions of the current administration and congress to drive us deeper into debt and to regulate every aspect of our lives (except, of course, for free access to porn shops on every street corner).

    I consider myself a commonsense conservative. That means that I understand that government has a legitimate but limited role in many aspects of our lives and the economy. This view is as opposed to libertarians who think anyone should be able to do anything they want anytime, and that property rights are absolute. The role of government in maintaining a business environment conducive to strong economic growth through enforcement of contracts, zoning, and many other means is well-established. Regarding some of the other comments, I do not object at all to paying taxes to support emergency services, schools and other essentials that only government can provide.

    Developers and the politicians they have bought (do I need to name names again?) come along spouting rhetoric about property rights so they can cash in and burden the rest of us with excessive residential development. This sort of land use only raises my taxes and increases congestion on the roads I use and in the schools my kids attend. When someone else’s use of their property impacts my use of my property (including my right not to pay higher taxes) I have a right to a say in the matter through my elected representatives. I just wish we had more honest ones with integrity in Prince William County.

    When one person’s use of their property reduces the value of mine, I have a legitimate say in the matter. Manassas taxpayers have paid generously to revitalize Old Town and make it an attractive location for business, tourism and recreation. A single business does not have the right to come along and diminish all that everyone else has created. As I wrote earlier, all moral considerations aside, this sex shop will have a negative economic impact on Old Town Manassas. You don’t need to study the sex industry in North America, as the Manassas City Council proposes, to understand that.

    When I was first setting up my business a few years ago I looked at Manassas but decided on another location in Prince William County based on purely marketing and business-related factors. I bought Class-A office suites that I am still using today. Manassas was a close second in my considerations. At some point, as I wrote yesterday, I hope to expand. Manassas has now added a negative element to the equation that would eliminate it from my considerations. The image I am creating for my business and the environment my clients expect are not compatible with being in sight of a sex shop.

  39. MPResident said on 9 Sep 2010 at 7:54 am:
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    Actually Mr. Brown what I said was a large majority would either CARE LESS OR EVEN SUPPORT. I did not say the large majority would support. And yes, I still believe that statement is true.

  40. Playing the kid card said on 9 Sep 2010 at 8:50 am:
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    All this talk about the children, but where is the crowd of three hundred when the school budget is considered by council. All this talk about safety but where is the crowd of three hundred when the police budget is considered by council.

    Proof again that sex is the big bugaboo; that sex sells.

    It seems we play the kid card when we need to fight against sex, but less so when we need to fight for real education.

  41. Doug Brown said on 9 Sep 2010 at 9:13 am:
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    I hope you have better luck with products you plan on buying from the new shop in Old Town than you did with your ESOL courses.

    @Jackson Miller

    Don’t worry about MPResident not voting for you next time around. His reading comprehension level is highly suspect. He’ll probably vote for you EVEN though he thinks he’s voting for your opponent.

    @Playing the kid card

    Another anonymous, self-righteous poster scolding Manassas citizens who are sick of their basic common sense being insulted and dismissed by the stupidity of the our local government and their anonymous supporters. Hey, Greg could we have an IP address check on “playing the kid card”? City hall? School Board?

  42. MadDad said on 9 Sep 2010 at 9:28 am:
    Flag comment

    “Just the Facts said on 9 Sep 2010 at 7:42 am”

    Well said!

  43. MPResident said on 9 Sep 2010 at 10:01 am:
    Flag comment

    Mr. Brown, there is nothing wrong with my reading or writing comprehesion. My comment was clearly I believe most people would EITHER care less or even support. It never said most people would support. It is you, not me, who can’t comprehend. I will put my writing skills up against yours anyday. I also hope I have good luck with my products I purchase as I do plan on supporting this business owner just to spite all the religious right conservatives on this blog.

  44. mpcinsider said on 9 Sep 2010 at 10:32 am:
    Flag comment

    MPResident calm down now. I hope you do enjoy oyur new products, but one must remember there is no return policy on some of the products. LOL

  45. MPResident said on 9 Sep 2010 at 11:34 am:
    Flag comment

    mpcinsider, I wonder if I could get into some sort of group that trades the items around! ;-)

  46. Jaspar said on 9 Sep 2010 at 1:07 pm:
    Flag comment

    Will Manassas Park employees that buy and use the toys on government time file for a state sales tax exemption?

  47. mpcinsider said on 9 Sep 2010 at 1:16 pm:
    Flag comment

    You bet they will. As soon as the store open, there will be a caravan of vehicle heading overthere. I wonder who would be in the caravan?

  48. anonymous said on 9 Sep 2010 at 1:31 pm:
    Flag comment

    Elena’s getting all righteous on the other site about name calling. Very funny coming from her - they engage in name calling all the time - don’t you remember Elena? You recently defended calling people Nazi’s who aren’t, calling people racists who aren’t, and the list goes on… HILARIOUS coming from you - hypocrite!

  49. anonymous said on 9 Sep 2010 at 1:34 pm:
    Flag comment

    This is in response to Elena’s diatribe about name calling over this as far as who said what at the meeting and what Cindy Brookshire said. They need to take a good long hard look at themselves in the mirror - with their labels. They’ve even loudly defended the term teabaggers on their website. What a bunch of flaming hypocrites.

  50. Doug Brown said on 9 Sep 2010 at 1:39 pm:
    Flag comment


    Your “writing comprehesion?” Possible, but a little awkward as a concept.

    You stated originally:

    ” I strongly believe if you took a poll a large majority of MC citizens would either care less or even support the stores location in old town. Ever hear of the silent majority.”

    I believe your “either…or…” which refers back to ” large majority of MC citizens” is an inclusive, not an exclusive, ‘either…or..’ Do you know or understand the difference?

    Frankly, MPResident I thnk you’re an idiot. What you have done on this thread, and other related threads, is make what is essentially a zoning issue for Manassas citizens and made it into an issue of your constitutional right to buy sex toys in Old Town Manassas. How self-absorbed can one get? I’m surprise you have a free hand for the keyboard.

  51. pointy haired boss said on 9 Sep 2010 at 1:43 pm:
    Flag comment

    “Will Manassas Park employees that buy and use the toys on government time file for a state sales tax exemption?”

    Sure they can–just before they file for unemployment.

  52. MPResident said on 9 Sep 2010 at 2:26 pm:
    Flag comment

    Actually Mr. Brown, my whole point has always been that this owner did everything correctly and legally. I have never given my opinion if I think it is a good idea to set up shop in old town. Because frankly, the opposition to this store clearly makes the point it may not have been the best business decision. But since the owner did everything properly, the government has no right, IMHO, to change the rules after the fact. That sir is my point. I have never once visited either of the other two stores in Manassas or anywhere else. But what I do know is what is fair and right. I do believe it is my constitutuional right to buy items from this store now, because the store located in old town legally. I said earlier, or maybe another post, that I have no problem if the CoM decides to amand their laws to exclude this type of business in Old Town, just leave this business owner alone. You are correct, this is a zoning issue and the business meets all zoning requirements to locate where it is. One other point, I do admit it concerns me when the government decides to legislate morality, but I would understand it in this case had it been done earlier. You are also correct in your questioning of the term writing comprehension, that should have been writing and reading comprehension, comprehension to be attached with reading not writing, my mistake. Also, I consider myself a pretty smart person and far from an idiot, but if you say it is so, it must be!

  53. MadDad said on 9 Sep 2010 at 3:31 pm:
    Flag comment

    “Elena’s getting all righteous on the other site about name calling. Very funny coming from her - they engage in name calling all the time - don’t you remember Elena? You recently defended calling people Nazi’s who aren’t, calling people racists who aren’t, and the list goes on… HILARIOUS coming from you - hypocrite!”

    They are SERIOUS hypocrites over there with howler being the biggest. I believe that Elena was at the meeting. I could be wrong, but it sure looked like her. She had two children with her, one of which was a little girl. If this was in fact Elena, then she should be ashamed of herself to support a business run by women, whose products objectify women (she should be ashamed anyway, because she has been quite clear in her support). She’s no better than those African blacks who captured and sold fellow blacks to slave-traders in the 18th century. When are these “liberated” women going to realize that “Women’s lib” and “Feminism” main beneficiaries were MEN! Men can objectfy women, and can shirk all moral responsibilty for doing so. They can father children out of wedlock with few consequences. They don’t realize that maintaining ones good standing in the community and the fear of public shame or scandal was a deterrant to roguish behaviour. Who set the standards? The community did, and there was a reason for it. It was to protect women and children from being victimized. Along comes Gloria Steinem and what do we have? A generation of women so confused about what they are to do with, and expect from life. I am saddened when I see young women and girls who are sexualized by our society increasingly younger ages. Sexting. Amateur porn. sexual experimentation. same-sex experimentation. Why do they think it’s “cool”? Because those who should be setting the example have been sold a bill of goods by secular-progressives like Howler, Elena, Laffeyette and the rest of the “ladies” over there. They are being mislead by the media. They call it “progress”. I call it a prelude to societal collapse. The errosion of our societal values isn’t “cool”, it’s a tragedy. I hold those “ladies” over there, and the owners of KK Temptations to blame. Trouble is, they are so blind to the truth, all they’ll do is insult people like me, especially men, and scream that we just want to keep women down. Nothing could be further from the truth. I want my daughters to be free to be little girls, grow to be intelligent, independent young women, meet and marry honorable young men who will cherrish my girls as the blessings they are, get their educations, have their carreers if they want to, and raise their children in a society that values the family. I would ask those “ladies”, how does promoting filth, teaching young men that women are nothing more than sex-objects, and teaching young girls that promiscuity is” their right and they should enjoy it” support society? Shame on them all.

  54. Jaspar said on 9 Sep 2010 at 5:55 pm:
    Flag comment

    Elena et al will be waiting in line in a disguise on the very first day the smut store opens.

    You know, the male horses over there in the Rural Crescent can only do so much.

    I wonder if the smut store will be selling “green” solar power vibrators for liberals like Elena.

    If they do, watch Elena and all her female liberal friends eventually seek special use permits for diesel generators to augment their home power supplies.

  55. The Shadow said on 10 Sep 2010 at 2:14 pm:
    Flag comment

    I think this might be another business run by Kimberly Skokan, who is opening the sex shop, along with her daughter:

    Metropolitan Permit Service, Metropolitan Permit Services
    5984 Manorwood Drive
    Centreville, VA 20120-1660 map
    Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV Metro Area

    Phone:(703) 919-7899

    Company Contacts

    Kimberly Skokan

    doing a little amateur web sluthing, it would appear that Ms. Skokan is a professional consultant, who knows the “in’s and out’s of navigating the municipal regulatory approval process. In other words, she knows how to game the system. I wouldn’t be surprised if her applications were written in a deliberately “fuzzy” manor, providing just enough detail to claim she properly disclosed the nature of her business, but not detailed enough to give the yokels on Manassas City Staff a reason to flag the application for possible rejection. Far be it for the local news rag to do a little digging. I wonder what other skeletons (or blow-up dolls) can be found in her closet. I also wonder what her son “Air Force Airman Joseph A. Skokan, a 2009 Centreville High graduate who is the son of Kimberly Skokan of Centreville, who recently completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base” thinks of his mom and sis opening up such and establishment? I’d think twice before opening any care packages from mom if I were him, especially in the company of fellow airmen.

  56. MPResident said on 10 Sep 2010 at 10:11 pm:
    Flag comment

    Shadow, First you should know what you are talking about. There is absolutely no requirement to tell the City what you are selling unless it is a federally regulated items such as guns. The only thing she was required to do is come in and tell them she was a retail business. You guys can try to claim this owner tried to pull the wool over the City’s eyes if you want, but if you are going to do it, for god’s sake please know what you are talking about. You seem to have a lot of time on your hands to do the research on this woman you have, are you sure she doesn’t excite you and now you are stalking her?

  57. MCResident said on 11 Sep 2010 at 10:28 am:
    Flag comment

    MP Resident, First you should check YOUR facts before spouting off. The applicant IS required to describe IN DETAIL, IN WRITING the nature of the business when applying for the OCCUPANCY PERMIT, to make sure that the retail business is NOT selling something that violates LOCAL zoning ordinances IN MANASSAS. This application is submitted to the ZONING Commission. What you said only applies to the BPOL License application, which is submitted to the Commissioner of Revenue.

  58. Prester John said on 11 Sep 2010 at 11:23 am:
    Flag comment

    My wife investigated opening a shop in Old Town and called the city office a couple of times with questions on what was required in terms of business permits etc. Without exception the person on the other end was adamant about getting very specific information on what kind of shop my wife wanted to open and what she was going to sell.


  59. Permit Petey said on 11 Sep 2010 at 12:54 pm:
    Flag comment

    Porn shops, illegal signs, and abortion clinics get priority processing it seems . . .

  60. MPResident said on 11 Sep 2010 at 9:43 pm:
    Flag comment

    MCResident, you need to check, because you are wrong. The zoning ordinance does not distinguish different retails in Manassas. A retail is a retail is a retail. You walk into the door and hand them your occupancy form, and an employee may ask you a few questions, ensure you are in a correct district, and sign it and you are on your way! This is the reason this shop could locate in old town and as Brian Leeper pointed out, could not in other jurisdictions in certain locations because adult business are defined in their ordinance and isn’t simply a retail store. Go online and check the City’s ordinance out, it is simple to do.

  61. MPResident said on 11 Sep 2010 at 9:57 pm:
    Flag comment

    MCresident, also, there is no such thing as a Manassas Zoning Commission, doesn’t exist, never has existed. There is a Board of Zoning Appeals and a land Use Committee, but no zoning commission. neither of these two review occupancy permits or have anything to do with day to day operations.

  62. Jason said on 12 Sep 2010 at 8:37 am:
    Flag comment

    It’s a good thing that most people still differentiate bloggers from journalists. For being such a “conservative” you’re awfully pro government interference in things that it has no control over. I’m personally upset that they’ve wasted this much time and money arguing over a store that will occupy a space previously occupied by two other businesses within the last six months.

    Also, in regards to the ARB issue, since you obviously don’t know how to read, the signage for the store has not YET been approved by the ARB (and in regards to the person who said Okra’s new paint job, which I think looks great, was not approved, take a look at the minutes for August 11, 2009 on the city web site).

    It isn’t sex shops that make Manassas look bad–its ignorant hypocrites like yourself who think they can legislate morality.

  63. Jaspar said on 12 Sep 2010 at 11:31 am:
    Flag comment


    Let’s allow a homo bath house in Old Town Manassas down the street from the smut shop. What do you think of that Jason?

    Will you be there on Sundays taking free fisting lessons in lieu of worshiping at the Bull Run Unitarian Universalist Church praying for the demise of Bob Marshall?

  64. Doug Brown said on 12 Sep 2010 at 12:38 pm:
    Flag comment

    Jason said:

    “It isn’t sex shops that make Manassas look bad–its ignorant hypocrites like yourself who think they can legislate morality.”

    It’s a little ignorant to throw around epithets like ‘ignorant hyocrites’ when asserting that” legislating morality” is in some way a novel or taboo act.

    The anger that most citizens, especially tax-paying citizens of Manasas, have with this shop is perfectly justified by the investment and time the City has put into promoting Old Town.

    I would prefer to focus that anger on what appears to be an entrenched incompetence within the city’s workforce. The idea that individuals responsible for zoning issues within the city aren’t more protective and pro-active in their service to the citizens of Manassas should raise the issue of whether their services are still needed. I’m tired of all the melodrama that the city staff have dragged the citizens of Manassas thru in the last few years.

    How about we cede city hall to Manassas Park, that way we can get on with our daily lives and MPResident will have nothing more to say, except thank you.

  65. MPResident said on 12 Sep 2010 at 3:41 pm:
    Flag comment

    Quite frankly Doug, I would take Manassas over Mp any day and twice on Sunday. But again, you lay the blame at the wrong people. Unless you can’t read, the Manassas staff did absolutely nothing wrong. If they had it would be an easy fix, State law allows the Zoning administrator 60 days to rescind/change a wrongfully issued permit or decision. However, this decision was not wrong, it was absolutely within the law. If you want to blame someone, blame your Council for not anticipating this issue and getting out in front of it. They have known for years this was a possibility.

  66. Doug Brown said on 13 Sep 2010 at 6:10 pm:
    Flag comment

    “Absolutely nothing wrong”?

    City staff across community development, planning and zoning services, the zoning administration, the city’s attorney, and the city manager himself all appear to have some responsibility in their mission statements from preventing this type of situation from popping up. The Council does have some responsibility and we’ll see how they handle this issue, but the council can’t micromanage every day to day task by city staff. This was one of those day to day tasks that should have been flagged early by city employees that would require special attention and vigourously sat on until it was resolved to preserve Old Town as a family and business friendly location. I didn’t see anything in the consultant’s study for Old Town which included porn shops among the flowers growing and children playing. The idea that city employees will just mindlessly stamp “approve” whatever comes across their desk without any engagement of potential businesses which open up shop in Old Town is idiotic. An automated process can do that, I like to think we keep human beings involved in important matters like our local government so we can expect a little common sense and accountability in the course of our mundane little lives in Manassas; so we don’t have to run down to City Council every other week to deal with another melodrama. Meeting time.

  67. MPResident said on 13 Sep 2010 at 7:59 pm:
    Flag comment

    See Mr. Brown, I can say they did nothing wrong because I happen to know many years ago they were advised of this potential situation and the Council chose to do nothing. That’s right, they advised staff to take no action. This was about the time of the whole issue with MVC. See Mr. Brown, before you start throwing stones, you should know the whole story. The only people to blame are your council members.

  68. sam said on 13 Sep 2010 at 9:23 pm:
    Flag comment

    there is a new cast of council members than we had had back then mr mp - thank goodness, look at what they did!

  69. MPResident said on 13 Sep 2010 at 9:36 pm:
    Flag comment

    Sam, I have said all along, I have no problem with a change in the law, just don’t expect this business to change their plans when they did everything correctly and legally. By the way, I may be wrong, but I believe at least one member of the current Council was on that Council also.

  70. Doug Brown said on 13 Sep 2010 at 10:47 pm:
    Flag comment


    So City staff understood it was a problem, they got shut down by ‘previous’ city council members and they didn’t bring it to the attention of new city council members? Like I said, accountability…fire these sorry excuses for public servants.

  71. Doug Brown said on 14 Sep 2010 at 6:19 am:
    Flag comment

    BTW, when I say fire I’m speaking specifically about 3 individuals in city employment: Mr. Hughs, Mr Bendall and Ms Via. Fire them for failure to perform/operating a circus within an enclosed structure, i.e. city hall without a permit and in violation of code.

  72. Not Sam said on 14 Sep 2010 at 6:32 am:
    Flag comment

    Mr. Brown please start a petition and I will be the first to sign it! We need to remind all the Republicans on the council, there are 6 including the mayor, that we expect them to hold staff accountable and deal effectively with those who think they are running the show, tea party where are you?

  73. Doug Brown said on 14 Sep 2010 at 8:49 am:
    Flag comment

    You mean something like:

    I, Douglas Brown, citizen of the City of Manassas of the Commonwealth of Virginia, along with my fellow citizens of Manassas, names and signatures attached, demand that the City Council of Manassas immediately request the resignations and/or pursue the termination of employment of the following city employees for failure to perform their public duties in accordance with their employment contracts with the City of Manssas in a satisfactory manner:

    Lawrence D. Hughes, City Manager

    Robert W. Bendall, City Attorney

    Elizabeth S. Via-Gossman, AICP, Director of Community Development


    (I wonder if I need a permit from the City to circulate such a petition in City offices?)

  74. Doug Brown said on 14 Sep 2010 at 9:58 am:
    Flag comment

    BTW, at the Land Use Meeting Friday at 3:00, which many citizens of Manassas will not be able to attend because of the time of day, I hope someone brings up the need for the City to immediately go after and freeze any income K&K Temptations derives from its online site from the moment this became a media issue.

    I don’t consider it outside the realm of possibilities that the physical location of the store in Old Town was primarily intended as part of a business plan to drive customers to their online store. I would like the city to discover to what extent the owners ramped up and developed their online business and distribution capabilities to leverage the ‘media event’ triggered by what they had to anticipate would be the local objections if they did their homework on the physical location they chose. Anyone who reads the public documents available on what the City hoped to create in Old Town would reasonably conclude that a porn shop would cause serious harm to the investment and intentions which have gone into developing Old Town. And yet, in an act of gross negligence and disregard for the public monies that have gone into Old Town the owners proceeded.

    I believe it is a fair question to raise: Did K&K intentionally choose Old Town to profit from the controversy that they could have easily anticipated would ensue? At one point did they engage lawyers and to what extent are those lawyers engaged in managing the controversy? Have the lawyers been involved or advised K&K about how to develop and operate their online presence?

    Of course, K&K and its lawyers could be totally innocent of any ulterior business motives, but we’re talking a porn shop, innocence and naivete are not somethng one usually associates with porn shop operators and lawyers.

  75. MPResident said on 14 Sep 2010 at 12:04 pm:
    Flag comment

    Mr. Brown, I have read your comments and support you in your opinion that the shop probably doesn’t belong in old town. But I have to ask based on your last comment, What have you been smoking? So what if that was the motive of the new owners to locate in old town? That would be just good business sense. If this was their intention, which the thought is comical, and it worked, I would say great for them for taking a huge gamble. Again, they have done absolutely nothing wrong. They leased the building legally and obtained all the licenses and permits legally. I want to pose a question to you Mr. Brown. What if I were an atheist, which I am not, and a Christian Book store were to locate in Old Town and I was against it because of all the money Manassas put into old town and I thought it was not a good place for a Christian Book Store. May sound stupid, but your desire to prevent legally operating, or soon to be, businesses in Old Town because of your beliefs, is a dangerous path. Where in the world do you think Manassas has the right to freeze their assets? The City Government has no authority to freeze anyones assets. I think you might want to let your emotions calm down a bit before you post, because your last one was simply put, stupid.

  76. MPResident said on 14 Sep 2010 at 1:04 pm:
    Flag comment

    Mr. Brown, let me apologize to you for the smarta$$ post above. I did the same thing I believe you did, let me emotions get ahead of my typing. While I still think you are way off base in your post, it could have been stated a lot different. For that I apologize.

  77. Doug Brown said on 14 Sep 2010 at 1:53 pm:
    Flag comment


    More nonsense from a guy who doesn’t live here. Yeah, I remember all the discussion about how we have to create an atheist friendly environment in Old Town, even a proposal to bulldoze all the churches in Old Town and leave NOTHING so atheists can stand there and contemplate nothingness. What a ridiculous libertarian analogy that porn stores and Christian Book stores represent the same moral and economic principles at stake here. Opposition to this establishment isn’t driven by some irrational belief that we can ban porn in our lifetime, it is driven by the common sense understanding of most Manassas citizens that it will seriously harm the investment and hopes of the citizens of Manassas to create a family friendly environment in Old Town. As a former advisor to small businesses and a former owner of my own small business, a small city which allows a porn shop a block or two from a high school and other centers where children play and engage in city sponsored activities , is not a city which can plausibly sell itself as family friendly.

    As for ‘freezing’ their assets, I would be surprise if an aggessive attorney in a civil lawsuit wouldn’t go after a defendant’s assets, especially if those assets are being used to inflict the harm alleged by the plantiffs. Freeze, tie up, seize, I’m just trying to give the City Council a little citizenry input that we expect an aggressive defense of our interests and property values for a change.

    As for your “great for them comment” that goes right along with your promise to patronize the establishment once it opens based on what you define as a ‘principle,’ and it hardly qualifies you as a Manassas Booster.

  78. Doug Brown said on 14 Sep 2010 at 2:00 pm:
    Flag comment


    Accepted and I hope no offense is taken by the return volley. If you get a chance to see the city meeting last night on TV watch the father who is concerned for his kids at Osborne, this is a very ‘intense’ issue for many of us. BTW I didn’t hear any citizen of Manassas speak in support of the store.

  79. MPResident said on 14 Sep 2010 at 2:29 pm:
    Flag comment

    Mr. Brown, I don’t think any MP citizen should speak at the Manassas Meeting. This is a Manassas meeting and they should work it out between themselves. I leave you with this opinion though, I think you would be surprised at the percentage of people who live in Manassas who either could care less about the store in old town and/or would even support it. I believe it would be greater than a 50%. I have no evidence to support my belief, just a hunch! By the way, I have never patronized a store like this, just support what I believe is right and I believe these owners followed the guidelines set forth by Manassas and should not be punished for it. I also don’t think it is fair to blame the employees of Manassas for doing their job correctly. If they had done it improperly, then there is an avenue for the City to revoke the licenses. But there in lies the problem, there was nothing done incorrectly by the employees.

  80. Doug Brown said on 14 Sep 2010 at 4:30 pm:
    Flag comment

    Well MPResident don’t hold your breadth waiting for the City Council members next up for re-election to campaign on the slogan “Don’t care and might even support it.”

    They will be held to account for what they do now, as for the city employees that should be held accountable, I’ll stick to the list offered previously for the reasons offered previously, reasons not limited to the K&K controversy.

  81. RM said on 14 Sep 2010 at 7:58 pm:
    Flag comment

    I think we have a darned good conservative council. They work hard and whatever money they earn from the city is a net loss to them when compared to the number of hours they put in and the crap and name calling they have to put up with. No, they ar not perfect and neither are we.

    The shop and related issues were not on anyone’s radar screen until recently. For anyone to suggest that the council should have seen this coming is ridiculous. Nobody saw this coming.

    More than anything the council has been focused during these difficult recent years on the budget, schools, police, etc. If they had chosen during the past few years to focus on zoning to preclude the hypotheical possibility of a sex oriented shop in old town, we would have been all over them for being distracted from the real problems.

    I do not blame the counsel for this. I do expect them to take a realistic assessment of applicable law and then act one way or another, consistent with that law, as they surely will in coming months. I do not want activist judges and I likewise do not want a council that goes beyond (or short of) what the law requires.

  82. Doug Brown said on 14 Sep 2010 at 10:34 pm:
    Flag comment


    I agree, it’s hard to blame the City Council for this problem and they have had a tremendous amount of work dumped on them in the last few years. Why is that? I believe inadequate staff work goes a long way in explaining why Manassas seems to lurch from one ridiculous problem to the next. When is the Council and the citizens of Manassas going to say they are tired of looking like clowns? Who’s in charge of make-up and wardrobe? (See above draft petition)

  83. legal2 said on 15 Sep 2010 at 3:51 pm:
    Flag comment

    Why DOES MPResident (a rodent, perhaps?) need another s*x shop - isn’t the one on Route 28 enough? Is he investing in the shop? Is he the landlord of the property?

  84. MPResident said on 15 Sep 2010 at 7:27 pm:
    Flag comment

    legal2, that’s real clever. Lets see, it only took you seven days to come up with that! If you had actually read the posts, but I understand if you can’t because you’re a middle school dropout that married your cousin and went right to work so you could support your inbred family, you would see my only issue with this is the fact the store owner’s obtained all the necessary licenses legally. In fact, if you could read, you would read that I have no issue with the City passing a law that doesn’t allow these type of stores in old town, just leave this one alone. You would also read that I have never been in any type of store such as this. Also, it is a fact there is no higher crime rate around, in or because of the two stores in Manassas according to MCPD, yes I asked some friends on the force. Now, go get your wife/cousin and climb in your pick-up and take her on down to the MVC on Mathis and pick up another video so you two can begin on another inbred child,ok!

  85. pissed off said on 15 Sep 2010 at 9:52 pm:
    Flag comment

    Seems far more importand to focus on the M&T tax situation that is apparently going to save big-boy Micron $5 million and shift an equivalent deficit to the City of Manassas. If that is true it pisses me off lots more than the new shop. (But, like walking and chewing gum, I’m quite capable of being pisesd off about both.)

    Compared to the M&T tax situation, which sounds like a disaster for the City from what I hear, the shop is little more than a pimple.

    Who knows more about the M&T tax deal? Can anyone enlighten us?

  86. Big Dog said on 16 Sep 2010 at 9:09 am:
    Flag comment

    The Virginia House bill to kill the M&T tax and leave a $5 million dollar
    hole in an already tight Manassas budget failed by two votes earlier
    this year despite affirmative votes by Miller, Marshall, and Lingenfelter.

    - For delegates it was an easy vote — they can claim credit
    for cutting taxes, but not have to deal with any negative results.

    - The Manassas City Council, who does have to deal with the impact
    of any decreased revenue, like every other jurisdiction in Virginia, has
    the authority to raise, lower or eliminate the the tax at the local level.
    The council, working with Micron and others, crafted a balanced, flexable,
    and fair M&T tax schedule that is closely reviewed each year
    by all parties. There was and is no valid reason for the HOD to
    change the current arrangement. (FYI - except for one councilmember,
    Manassas City government is all Republican).

    - Perhaps Delegate Miller, who represents Manassas, will call a Town Hall
    meeting to explain his position and share a detailed red lining
    of the current City of Manassas budget to explain what cuts he
    would make to balance it after his 5 million dollar cut. Jackson
    served on the council and should understand its budget and the
    tough fiscal decisions it has already made the last few years.

    - I like Jackson Miller - he is a fine person, but I
    strongly oppose his push to have the Commonwealth trump
    local government on this vital issue.

  87. Big Dog said on 16 Sep 2010 at 11:40 am:
    Flag comment

    A connection between KK’s Temptations and the M&T tax
    discussion is good government cost money. Local governments
    have had their budgets sliced for over three years, employees
    and programs have been cut, benefits eliminated and salaries
    have remained stagnant or even reduced. While trying to do more
    with less, they too often find themselves now forced to do less
    with less. For example, Liz Via, the point person in planning, zoning
    and community development has been, due to dept. heads
    terminated during budget cuts, tasked with
    leadership of Historic Resources and Sesquicentennial plans
    AND Manassas Parks and Recreation (she recently completed
    a new agreement with the Greater Manassas Ball League).
    (Also some vital people, like our Water & Sewer Director, are
    starting to leave for better paying jobs with less stress.
    The Police Dept. is challenged to keep full shifts on duty. etc.).

    If Liz Via was allowed to focus on the job she was hired to do,
    there is a very good chance KK’s application would have been
    handled in a different manner.

    The point is that millions of dollars more can not be sliced from the
    City of Manassas budget without negative reprecussions
    for the citizens of the community.

    If our delegates want to cut something, start with STATE
    sources of revenue - like the income tax.

  88. MPResident said on 16 Sep 2010 at 2:42 pm:
    Flag comment

    BigDog (Councilman), While not a citizen of Manassas, I have family and friends who are so I feel like I can reply. I agree with your last post, but I do have a question. If Ms. Via had more time to handle the KK’s application, why would it have been handled differently? It sounds as if you are suggesting it was handled wrong. If that were the case, then there are ways within the State Law to allow a zoning determination/ruling to be withdrawn within 60 days of it being issued by the Zoning Administrator or his/her representative. While I have been critical of people posting on here against this store and City Staff, I do uderstand their frustration. But your post seems to suggest that maybe the City has an Avenue and it has not been explored. BTW, I am not suggesting the City should explore such Avenues, just interested.

  89. Doug Brown said on 16 Sep 2010 at 4:45 pm:
    Flag comment

    BigDog said:

    “If Liz Via was allowed to focus on the job she was hired to do,
    there is a very good chance KK’s application would have been
    handled in a different manner. ”

    Inertia and me misplaced your application are some of the most powerful weapons in a bureaucrats’ arsenal. Let the the applicant feel the frustration and watch those lawyers fees pile up, let a judge :-) order the city to let the porn shop open its doors, these are just a few of the ways I suspect it might have been handled diiferently, but I have no way of knowing if that is what the BigDog had in mind.

    Personally, I still would have liked to have seen (not literally) someone like Ms Via inviting the applicant in for a nice cup of coffee or tea and looking the applicant straight in the eye and saying:

    “Over my dead body, mint milano?”

  90. Big Dog said on 16 Sep 2010 at 5:32 pm:
    Flag comment

    The city attorneys will help determine if there is a viable legal avenue the
    city hasn’t taken regarding KK’s.

    - My points are the M&T tax, a vital source of revenue for
    local jurisdictions, shouldn’t be abolished by Richmond.

    - And making another huge cut in an already strained Manassas City
    budget will place even more stress on an often over worked and
    reduced city staff, especially in key management positions.

  91. Doug Brown said on 16 Sep 2010 at 6:45 pm:
    Flag comment

    So in a nut shell Big Dog:

    Rely on a city attorney who is a renowned land use expert who failed to prevent this zoning snafu; reward Ms Via with more resources, i.e. money ; and flood the email inboxes of our delegates with ominous warnings about the imminent collapse of the city finances due to their callous disregard for the funding of such fine public servants as Mr. Hughes, Mr. Bendall and Ms Via.

    Another connection in the K&K and M&T tax discussion worth exploring is how bad government can cost even more money than good government.

  92. Big Dog said on 16 Sep 2010 at 7:49 pm:
    Flag comment

    Note that three Manassas City Council incumbents won
    re-election in May with no opposition. Despite your sarcastic comments,
    the majority of Manassas citizens apparently think the
    City is well served by its elected officials and staff.

    There is more about the M&T tax discussion on Andy Harrover’s
    blog “My Side of the Fence”. As Andy notes, “it is a HUGE issue”.

  93. Doug Brown said on 16 Sep 2010 at 9:46 pm:
    Flag comment


    I don’t have a problem with the Council on this issue, yet. I’ll stick by my previous comments that the City Council appears to be ill-served by a bumbling senior management staff. We lurch from one embarrasment to another, it’s tiresome and costly in time and treasure. I did not see ‘City Staff’ on the ballot last election, but we’ll see how voters react next election to the Council’s retention of a management team that ushered in Old Town’s first porn shop.

    I saw Andy’s blog, I don’t dismiss the importance of the M&t tax issue. I do resent the attempt to mix apologia for senior staff on K&K with a go sic ‘em, i.e. our delegates, on another issue.

  94. Lets do both said on 16 Sep 2010 at 10:35 pm:
    Flag comment

    No prob, BD. Let’s do both.

    Let’s make sure our local officials are doing their jobs and let’s make sure our state officials are also doing their jobs. For me, on a comparable basis I’m a lot more worried about the M&T legislation. For that reason I’m concerned that the K&K dispute distracts our citizens from focusing on what I consider to be a bigger and more significantly costly issue that goes directly to the bottom line.

    Our guys in our statehouse need to understand how we feel about M&T (just like our guys in council chambers have a clear sense about how people feel about K&K). And in the same way they need to be held accountable. M&T does not involve a legal issue. There’s no legal dispute involved. It’s real simple: Support Manassas and vote accordingly; or don’t and cost our fair city several mill.

  95. Run Away said on 17 Sep 2010 at 7:49 am:
    Flag comment

    I will observed that the city has hired a new neighborhood coordinator not to be confused with the neighborhood manager not to be confused with the zoning administrator not to be confused with the planner 3, not to be confused with - you get my point - how many folks do we need for a 10 square mile city? Oh wait - we get a neighborhood conference for free every November where we get fair housing shoved down our throats for a few hours and all the GTS kids and parents get some free stuff.

    Does it concern you Mr. Big Dog that staff did not tell (you) and council about this? It could have been stopped or delayed, did staff think that an all R council except for you Mr. Randollfy would like this? Seems like they all say they are for family values at the convention - does this coincide with that?

  96. Doug Brown said on 17 Sep 2010 at 10:06 am:
    Flag comment

    Well, if BD, is Mr Randolf, then I not only resent his attempt to co-mingle the two issues of K&K and M&T on this thread, I find it dishonorable and cowardly. And I suggest that a public servant, who is an elected representative , take part openly and in full view of his constituents, rather than hiding behind some cutsie moniker. If you have revealed yourself before on this site, why would you expect every constituent that logs on to this site to know that? The honest answer to that question is: you wouldn’t.

    I notice that Bob Marshall recently posted openly on this site in a matter that concerned him. That’s courage, that’s integrity, that’s what a public, elected representative does.

    If BD is not Mr Randolf, then my apologies to both, but if there are any public officials out there playing cutsie little games on this type of forum then you really deserve to be grabbed by the back of your scrufty little collar and thrown out like the cur you are into the bright light of public scrutiny and accountability.

  97. Anonymous said on 17 Sep 2010 at 11:42 am:
    Flag comment

    Everyone knows that Big Dog has always been Steve Randolph - the longest serving member of the Manassas City Council. He goes by Poor Richard on Moonhowlings

  98. Doug Brown said on 17 Sep 2010 at 12:57 pm:
    Flag comment


    Everyone? Nor does everyone have the time or the inclination to concern themselves with or remember the endearing nicknames of city councilmen.

    He should have identified himself when addressing issues that are immediately in front of the council. The folksy, we’re all friends, atitude, is no doubt part of the reason why blantant incompetence is so vigourously defended by Mr. Randolph.

    He’s the one then who would have been on the council when the staff did show the foresight to bring the zoning issue to the council’s attention. Good to know. Well Big Doggy you’ve been tagged by Manassas ‘insiders’ as a major, pivotal player in this latest city screw-up? You wouldn’t be running to Ms Via’s defense out of a sense of guilt, would ya?

    Maybe I should ammend my previous draft petition with a re-call petition for one Big Dog councilman? It wouldn’t be fair to single out the other 3 individual’s without giving you equal credit for the new business your oversight has brought to Old Town.

    It’s unfortunate that the Big Dog finds sarcasm distasteful, but I find subterfuge and misdirection by elected officials in public discussions distasteful. Old Manassas and Old Town just ain’t what it use to be, hey Mr Randolph. Thanks.

  99. Lets do both said on 17 Sep 2010 at 2:48 pm:
    Flag comment

    Please let’s focus on the issues. The multi-million $ M&T situation is much bigger than whether Steve is BD. Whether Steve is BD is a distraction. You may dislike Steve (or not dislike Steve), but it is irrelevant to the damage that can be cause by the the M&T. Focus on the mission. Steve is not the mission.

  100. Doug Brown said on 17 Sep 2010 at 3:18 pm:
    Flag comment

    @Let’s Do Both

    The issue was the opening up of K&K , the why it happened and what to do about it. The attempt to change the focus of the thread and poo poo the senior management’s role in the screw up was Big Dog’s doo doo.

    So much for “Let’s Do Both.’”

  101. Big Dog said on 17 Sep 2010 at 8:14 pm:
    Flag comment

    DB, Suggest a reading of the most recent postings on Andy Harrover’s
    blog “My Side of the Fence”. If you are going to rant, at least
    try to have a more informed rant.

  102. Doug Brown said on 18 Sep 2010 at 12:08 am:
    Flag comment

    Mr. Brown to you, Mr. Randolph, if that is who you are? You still haven’t shown the courtesy or the courage to sign your own name. BTW, I suggest you inform yourself as to the difference between “rant” and ridicule.

    Oh yes, if you are Mr. Randolph, were you informed by city staff years ago about the need to get zoning ordinances in order to prevent such a store opening in Old Town? And if so, did you ever raise it with any of the other current council members? And if not, why not?

  103. focus said on 18 Sep 2010 at 6:56 am:
    Flag comment

    As noted somewhere earlier, it’s not like anyone saw this coming. Old Town has not been filled with undesirable businesses. Thus council has up to know focused its attention on matters that appeared to demand greater attention. Absent an earlier problem we probably would have jumped on the council for wasting money on an unnecessary government imposed command and control solution in search of a problem. But now things are different. Now the citizens are asking for a government solution, so the government is now looking for one.

  104. JP said on 18 Sep 2010 at 11:11 am:
    Flag comment

    Manassas now has four porno shops and one abortion clinic, makes me miss Jess the Psyhic!

  105. legal2 said on 18 Sep 2010 at 7:19 pm:
    Flag comment

    MPR, sorry that i apparently struck a nerve! No matter; the location for k7k seems to be the kiss of death for businesses that venture there.

  106. Doug Brown said on 20 Sep 2010 at 1:09 pm:
    Flag comment


    Last seen running from this thread after questions concerning his role in latest city screw up.

    If found please contact City Council. He is scheduled to speak tonight at Council meeting on the topic of the ethics of politicians with multiple identities online. He will be the 1st, 2nd, 3rd? 4th? 5th? …..speaker in what promises to be yet another entertaining evening in Old Town tonight.

  107. Big Dog said on 21 Sep 2010 at 12:49 pm:
    Flag comment

    Mr. Brown,
    Please note:
    - The practice of using a pseudonym has a long history -
    Benjamin Franklin, for example, used “Poor Richard”.
    As a fairly late comer to the blogs, I was told I needed one
    to post, so my old basketball nickname became my
    “nom de blog” which, for good or bad, I promptly
    shared with everyone. Hardly a secret. I’ve use
    my actual name on Andy’s blog because that is the
    custom there, and have used it on occasion here -
    as when Janette Rishell sent out an attack campaign
    mailer blasting Jackson Miller for a council vote
    I know he clearly didn’t make.

    - While winning six elections as an Independent,
    being the only non-Republican on the Manassas
    Council for the past 16 years, and serving for
    over twenty years, I’ve, of course, have had
    my share of critics, but they have mostly been fair,
    reasonable and civil. We can disagree without
    being disagreeable. And, Mr. Brown, every citizen
    has an opportunity to run for office, including you.

    - My experience is that rushing into “solving” an issue
    without knowing all the facts and our legal status
    often leads to far more problems than it resolves.
    City officials have a much higher standard to meet
    than most blog posters.
    (KK’s will be addressed, even if not as quickly
    as some might like).

    - The Machinery and Tools Tax is a legimate issue and
    needs to be understand and discussed by our community.
    While supporting Delegate Miller in general, I question his
    stand on this bill.
    - Why does the Commonwealth want to eliminate
    a local tax that could be lowered or eliminated
    by local government if they thought it was in the
    best interest of their jurisdiction?
    - How would Manassas City fill the 5M hole in its
    2011-12 budget? Major cuts in staff and budgets
    have already been made.

    - Hope everyone enjoyed a great weekend in Old Town Manassas.
    All the events had record crowds.

  108. Steve Randolph said on 21 Sep 2010 at 1:26 pm:
    Flag comment

    Oh, and Mr. Brown, I welcome you to our citizen comment time.

    (Council’s regular meetings are normally held the 2nd and 4th Monday
    of each month and start at 5:30PM with citizen’s comments at a time
    certain of 7:30PM.)

  109. Doug Brown said on 21 Sep 2010 at 5:37 pm:
    Flag comment

    Well thank you Mr. Randolph for the extended excerpts from what I’m sure will be a fascinating multi-volume autobiography. What pseudonym will you be using?

    The fact that you failed to anticipate that not every citizen signing on to one of the many local blogs would have been privy to, or present at, that grand moment when you announced your “nom de blog” or missed what I’m sure were unforgettable moments in “Big Dog” political lore, speaks to a politician who likes to listen more to himself than to his constituents, and explains a little further why Manassas didn’t have a local ordinance in place to block a store like K&K similiar to other local jursidictions.

    If you could have foregone the condescending tone at the start of our little tête à tête and simply extended to me, your constituent, the coutesy of introducing yourself and sticking to the point of the thread, maybe, we could have spared the other readers this little tangent. I think some wise old Blogger once said, maybe it was Ben Franklin, a tangent is for a politician what an ‘excuse me, sir’ is for a pick-pocket.

    BTW, to get back on point - Did the staff ever suggest to you in all your years on City Council the need to draft ordinances to prevent the opening of adult outlets/bookstores in Old Town? A simple yes, or no, is all this constituent is asking.

  110. Rich said on 21 Sep 2010 at 6:27 pm:
    Flag comment


    I can’t stand by and watch this.

    Please stop showing off and baiting. Just about everyone would agree that Randolph is an exceedingly decent man who has represented us pretty darned well for decades. No, I don’t agree with him on everything (heck, I don’t agree with anyone about everything), but you really should back off a bit here. Your attempt at cross exam is unbecoming. Be a gentleman.

    Anyone who puts themselves out there publicly for decades, for us, deserves more respect than you are giving him, even if you disagree with him. I know you feel strongly. You’ve made your point.

  111. Mary said on 22 Sep 2010 at 9:07 am:
    Flag comment

    actually I disagree with you Rich, I think we stopped being well represented years ago by someone who frequently sleeps up on the dias, mumbles and stumbles through and doesn’t seem to really want to take a stand on issues other than to say - we will look into it - Doug I am with you brother - we need to call folks out and stop all this “play nice”, what has that gotten us -porn shops and abortion clinics! We the people!

  112. MPResident said on 22 Sep 2010 at 12:57 pm:
    Flag comment

    Mary and Doug, while I respect your positions on porn shops and abortion and other religious right issues, I use that term not in a derogatory way, both of these types of businesses/facilities are legal under the law of the land. I guess I just don’t understand what you expect a bunch of local polititions to do about a legally operating abortion clinic or a porn/upscale lingere (sic) shop in Manassas. Now, I agree, they could have chosen to take a stand against the porn/lingere (sic) a long time ago, but they are taking what appears a very proactive approach at this time and trying not to get the City sued as they did in the overcrowding issue. Please, this is not meant to be a negative post to you two, but I am just wondering.

  113. drafting a forward-looking ordinance said on 23 Sep 2010 at 9:37 am:
    Flag comment

    The line of cases, including Supreme Court precent, upholding forward-looking sex-related ordinances need several elements to survive court review. Among those elements: (1) they are required to be unrelated to the supression of free expression; (2) they need to focus on “negative secondary effects” such as lowering property values, saftey, etc. As to the negative secondary effects, the government entity finding such effects needs to do so based on empirical studies (i.e. evidence), not just their own opinion or the opinion of local citizens. This is where the courts are.

    Also, many of the ordinances enacted elsewhere are more focused on nude dancing clubs, peep shows, etc. Those that also look at DVDs and sex-related devices typically look at whether these items are a primary focus of the business based on sales, counter space, etc.

    I’m not arguing for anything here, I’m just noting for y’all’s interest how these matters appear to be approached elsewhere and a few elements (but not all of the elements) that courts have looked at.

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