Numerous complaints can't stop legitimate businessAnother store selling so-called "adult" items is in business in Uniontown, just three doors west of the fire station.
Wayne Viuhkola, who for many years owned the now-defunct Brass Rail in downtown Astoria, has opened Wayne's Adult World in a building recently purchased by Jim "Ace" Neikes at 311 W. Marine Drive.
The new business, which sells adult videos and paraphernalia, occupies the first floor of an old frame building.
Astoria City Planner Rosemary Johnson said the upper floor houses an apartment rented by a family with children. "We're getting numerous complaints," said Johnson. But she said Viuhkola has a "legitimate, legal business" and has complied with all of the necessary permits. "The city has no regulations against it," Johnson said.
Todd Scott, Astoria's director of community development, said it's not unusual to prohibit such businesses near schools, but said there's nothing about that in Astoria's code. In any case, there are no schools in the vicinity of Viuhkola's store. Oregon law allows retail sales of adult videos, as long as they're not sold to minors, and the building is in a C-3 general commercial zone where retail sales are an outright use. "Whether it's candy or adult videos, it's still retail sales," Scott said.
Viuhkola was unavailable for comment.
"I'm unhappy about it. We were unhappy about the other one, too," said Rae Goforth, who is active in the Uniontown Association, referring to a similar store nearby owned by Toby Collins, where Viuhkola formerly worked.
Goforth said some people are very upset, and a group is now talking about picketing Wayne's Adult World, but she said she believes nothing can be done as long as the city has no ordinances regulating "adult" stores.
"They're not doing anything illegal," said Astoria City Councilor Joyce Compere, whose ward includes Uniontown. "But legal and desirable are two different things."