Categorized | Business

W. H. Shipman asks court to block adult store near school

Private Moments store in Kea‘au. Photography by Baron Sekiya | Hawaii 24/7.

Private Moments store in Kea‘au. Photography by Baron Sekiya | Hawaii 24/7.

MEDIA RELEASE

(Keaau, HI—January 26, 2010)—W. H. Shipman, Limited seeks to block the operation of an adult video, sex toy and product store in the Keaau Plaza across from Keaau Middle School.

Shipman, which owns the land but leases it to Keaau Plaza Inc., has filed a complaint seeking injunctive relief in the Third Circuit Court so that “Private Moments” does not operate in the small shopping complex on Keaau-Pahoa Road.

Keaau Plaza is adjacent to McDonald’s, across the street from the complex that includes the school, the public library and the Boys & Girls Club of the Big Island meeting place—all with high use by youngsters. Keaau Elementary School is nearby.

“We were alerted by middle school parents and other community members,” said William Walter, president of Shipman. “We tried to resolve the issue with Keaau Plaza Inc., which holds the lease and is trying to sublease to the adult store.”

Shipman contends the business is immoral, offensive and prohibited under the terms of the lease, particularly given the close proximity of the schools and other stores where youngsters can be expected to be. No written consent to the use of the shopping center for this use was given by Shipman.

“Across the country there is community concern over the location of adult establishments,” Walter said. “In 1994, New York City’s Planning Department listed studies from places large and small detailing, among other things, increased crime. We have to be worried about the kids.”

More than 100 residents have written statements objecting to the store. They are from Keaau and MountainView, parents of students at nearby schools and other concerned citizens, who consider the store’s merchandise and location to be immoral and offensive.

The complaint for injunctive relief filed by Shipman asserts that under Keaau Plaza’s lease terms, no sublease can occur without Shipman’s prior written consent, and that immoral or offensive uses are prohibited.

“We are trying to be sensitive to concerned parents and educators who correctly believe that locating this type of adult store in the neighborhood is indeed offensive. This type of business has no place here, ” said Walter.

Keaau is a small village about eight miles from Hilo, at the juncture of Volcano Highway and the roads to Pahoa. It provides shopping and other services for the large rural district.

W.H. Shipman Limited is a kamaaina company contributing to the planned growth of Hawaii Island. Established in 1882, the company has 17,000 acres in the Puna District. The Shipmans have a history of conservation, preservation and community involvement. W.H. Shipman is engaged in agriculture and commercial/industrial development and leasing.

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