The Michigan Daily-Thursday, September 4, 1980-Page 15-A
The saga of an
By MITCH STUART
The fight was on when a contingent
of women from the "North Avenue
Coalition" dumped 450 letters signed by
city residents on Mayor Louis Belcher's
desk in protest against an adult
bookstore on N. Fourth Ave.
The Danish News, which sold erotic
magazines, filmstrips, and other assor-
ted paraphernalia, opened its doors last
April under a permit allowing for a
MEMBERS OF the Coalition insisted
the bookstore was in violation of a city
zoning ordinance that prohibits the
establishment of adult bookstores
within 700 feet of a residential area. Af-
ter the city administrators got wind of
the violation, City Attorney Bruce
Laidlaw filed suit against the Danish
News and the landlord of the building
housing the bookstore.
The group attempted to get a court in-
junction May 21 to shut down the
bookstore while the main issue of the
zoning violation was considered. Cir-
cuit Court Judge Henry Conlin post-
poned the ruling for one week, much to
the dismay of the Fourth Avenue
Coalition and city politicians.
"OUR PEOPLE were upset that the
injunction was delayed," said a
disheartened Belcher. "We feel it's a
travesty of city law."
ON May 30th Conlin did indeed order
the bookstore closed, but like a flotilla
of Cuban refugee boats breaking a line
Daily Photo by PAUL ENGSTROM
THIS MODEL OF a proposed 32-story high rise was presented by local developer
John Stegeman to the Regents last February.
high rises may
mark 2 skylin
"I think it's really dangerous to take
as a sacred a right as free speech and
use it further one's economic status,"
said Mary Franklin, a worker at Bread
and Roses, which is affiliated with the
Danish News defied the temporary
injunction to close for more than one
week, claiming the injunction's
language was unclear, and did not
legally stop the store from operating,
since it only required the bookstore to
remove certain items. But Judge Conlin
later amended his injunction and
clarified the store was to be shut down.
ACCORDING TO City Attorney
Bruce Laidlaw, Conlin's amendment
withdrew the bookstore's permit to
operate, preventing the operation of
business of any kigd in the store's
"The judge said that we should go
down and close it, and if we didn't close
it we could go down and pick up some
bench warrants for arrest," Mayor
On June 19th, two Ann Arbor police
officers entered the Danish News and
informed the lone employee there of the
court order to close the shop. The em-
ployer subsequently telephoned the
store's manager and was directed by
him to close the shop.
DANISH NEWS attorney William
Swor, reached at his Detroit office, said
he was aware of Conlin's amendment to
the order and had advised his clients to
close the store. He said the injunction's
wording was completely ambiguous.
But since it was made completely clear,
he said compliance with the order was
essential. "You can't win a fight with
the court. There's no need to fight the
court," he said.
The bookstore attorneys asked the
Michigan Court of Appeals to review
the Conlin injunction, but the request
was denied, and the Danish News
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By STEVE HOOK "In effect, three out of eight Danish News remained open, wi
To many residents, the city of Ann Regents made the decision," said spokesman claiming the city zoni
'Ai-bor has a distinct character that Regent Deane Baker (R-Ann Ar- dinance was unconstitutional.
1is best illustrated by the word "am- bor), referring to the fact that the Although bookstore spokesmen
bience '-a quaint, small-town motion to offer the land to Stegeman the ordinance violated their first a
cparacter that sets the city apart was not on the agenda for their dment rights, some community
from others in the state and region. February meeting, and many bers disagreed.
lese residents believe the city is Regents were unaware it would be "I DON'T SEE it as a first a
essentially large enough as it is, and discussed. Baker said he was out of dment issue. It's a zoning issue,'
future large-scale development the room making a telephone call Amy Coha, the manager o
ould be discouraged. On the other and was "completely surprised" omen's si Ce r which is lo
hind, many residents feel the city when he discovered the motion was WmnsCii etrwihi o
could use more commercial about to be made.
development to attract more people 1
(articularly conventioners) to Ann Stegemans proosa wich is Huron River on North Main St.(
- binrpesntd i cnjncio with HuoRieonNrhMnSt(.
rbor and to increase the area's tax plan was nixed by opposition
bae.a new company called the Quadrium neighborhood groups). The r
In the past year, these two camps Corp., still needs to be approved by proposal calls for a 400-room hot
ave been at odds over proposals for the city's planning commission. large conference center, 150
two high-rise commercial-residen- Several City Councilpersons, in- dominiums, and 25,000 square fe
ftial projects-one in the city's South cl d Ebr Green D-co retail space. The facility, if
~Unvesit bsinssdisrit ad ne Ward), doubt that will happen. I structed as proposed, would emp
Tniversity business district and one think the scale is probably too large saut2prp T ers
downtown. thin the ae Is robabyin too lag about 1,200 people. The resulting
The firpt proposal, a 32-story for the area. on't e n payment would total two and a
" nxed-use" facility (apartments, will everwithstand planning tom- million dolars. In addition, the
oondominiums, retail stores) on the mission review, Greene said, proximately 5,000 people the c
:orner of Washtenaw and S. Forest, Yet there is support for this plex would bring to Ann Arbor
porerof astenw nd . oret, proposal-much of it coigfrom
vas issued by local developer John th sinesses on comn week would spend an estimated
Stegeman last winter. A minor .lU million in the city. Clearly, this
uproar resulted after the University sit that would directly benefit from would provide a strong shot in
tegents voted to give Stegeman, the proposed . facility. arm to the city's convetntion
.ho is responsible for three other The other proposal, meeting with dustry, which Mayor Belcher
high-rise buildings in Ann Arbor somewhat less opposition, is for an called for since he took office.
(Campus Inn, Maynard House, 18-story conference center at the For now, both projects remai
'Tower Plaza), an option to buy a corner of Huron and First St. The limbo, as developers Berger
"iece of University property that lies plan, called "Huron Plaza," has Stegeman await approval of cit
where his proposed building would been submitted by local developer ficials before their proposals
b. According to many local residen- Dick Berger, who was unsuccessful materialize. Meanwhile, pu
ts, and some Regents, the decision in a previous attempt to build a debates continue on the neces
yvas made too hastily. similar conference center near the and appropriateness of each.
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