Blumenthal against opening of new business

John O'Brien Feb. 9, 2007, 3:23pm


BERLIN, Conn. - Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal told the citizens of Berlin Thursday night that he will support them in their fight to keep a sex-themed store from opening.

According to a report in the Hartford Courant, Blumenthal told the town, "The state is with you as a partner in this effort. We have to draw the line. It's not just your community involved, it's the whole state. I don't want you to think I'm just doing you all a favor."

The town has filed two lawsuits against Very Intimate Pleasures, or VIP, from opening a store on the Berlin Turnpike.

In November, the town's zoning board rejected VIP's plan to open a store and, more recently, town officials issued a cease-and-desist order against it after a VIP sign was placed outside the building into which it planned to locate.

Blumenthal said his office would not directly litigate against the company, the report said.

While wearing a fluorescent yellow "NO VIP" sticker that organizers passed out, Blumenthal said the state would provide experienced attorneys to work on behalf of the town, the report said.

VIP already has three stores in Connecticut and sells sexually oriented products like oils, lotions, movies, magazines and lingerie.

The town has hired the New Haven firm Wiggin and Dana to represent it in the two suits it filed. VIP filed its own lawsuit in federal court arguing that because it is within 250 feet of a residential area it can not obtain the permit required by the zoning board, and that its Constitutional rights are being trampled by the town's laws.

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