Recently opened Condom Sense store sparks debate

Jessica Allman, Staff Writer

When she first saw the store on 15th Street near Vines, she knew it had to go. In 2010, senior Moriah Senteney’s mother, Kim Senteney, reached out to others in her community to get the store Trashy Goods to change locations, but today it still stands. Now, with the recent opening of Condom Sense on the southwest corner of Independence Parkway and Parker Road, Senteney is speaking out again on her disapproval of such stores being so close to a school.

When Trashy Goods first opened, Senteney asked her former elementary school PTA friends who live in her neighborhood for support.

“Many of them had seen the window displays at Trashy Goods and were unhappy that it was right around the corner from their homes and less than a half-mile from Vines,” Senteney said.

From there, several of those neighbors contacted people they knew within the city government such as council representatives and police department officials about the store. They learned that Trashy Goods had a permit as an “adult novelty shop” and it was perfectly legal for the store to be the distance it was from Vines.

Senteney said there is a state law requiring a certain distance between a sexually-oriented business and a school. Although she is not sure what the requirements are, she learned that under Trashy Good’s current permit, the store is not considered sexually-oriented business.

“As Plano continues to grow and welcome diversity, I would hope our city leaders would take a very careful look at the impact that allowing stores like this will have on our community over the next five or 10 years,” Senteney said. “Plano is such a wonderful place to raise a family, but if our city zoning continues to allow adult novelty or sexually-oriented businesses to be right outside of our front doors, our neighborhoods will change in a way that will negatively impact those who want to live here and send their children to school. The reason most of us chose Plano as the suburb to raise our children was for its family-friendly environment. I don’t want that to be compromised. It will just open the floodgates, allowing more unwanted types of businesses and therefore ruining our safe and friendly community.”

Senior Elizabeth Shih has been working at the Paint ’n Party in the same shopping plaza as Condom Sense since May 2011.

“I’m a little concerned that the status of the general area where our establishment is may possibly be lowered due to Condom Sense’s opening,” Shih said. “Although I don’t personally agree with the store’s potential impact on our community, I still believe the owner has a right to open up their business despite any controversy.”

Currently, Senteney does not plan to protest against the opening of Condom Sense, but she does believe the city should gather opinions from residents on the situation and make unannounced visits to check up on the stores. As stores like Condom Sense and Trashy Goods continue to grow in the area, Senteney said she hopes more people will realize they are harming the community’s worth.

“I feel that these stores take some innocence away from our neighborhoods and might invite people into our neighborhoods that don’t have our best interest in mind,” Senteney said. “I also believe it hurts the small businesses that are in the same shopping areas as these sexually-oriented stores. I have noticed that half of the store fronts by Trashy Goods are now empty and for lease. The small businesses that were there for many years are now gone.”

Shih said she respects the owner’s business endeavors, but she doesn’t want Condom Sense’s proximity to Paint ’n Party to negatively affect her workplace.

“As long as the stores don’t target minors or display obscene items for people walking by, I don’t have any strong objections,” Shih said. “I’m definitely not advocating the proximity of the store to our school, but I don’t want to blatantly deny their right to exist.”