Is Taboo in the city's sights again? - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Is Taboo in the city's sights again?

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A zoning ordinance proposal from the Columbia Planning Commission hopes to change where sexually-oriented business can operate.

Currently, these businesses are allowed to operated in commercial zones such as C-3. The proposal from the planning commission would move those businesses to M-1, also known as light industrial areas.

Councilwoman Leona Plaugh says that's appropriate.

Every use has to have an appropriate place in your community, including sexually-oriented businesses, but typically in other communities, that has been a light industrial area," Plaugh said. "So that's what we're moving towards."

While the proposal doesn't specifically name certain businesses, the meeting agenda says the ordinance would move the businesses away from high traffic corridors such as "Devine Street and Garners Ferry Road".

Taboo, a controversial adult store that opened in December 2011, is located at the corner of Devine Street and Garners Ferry Road. 

Columbia City Council has made ordinance changes in the past year in response to heat from neighborhood associations who complained about the store's location.

One such change says Taboo and similar businesses must be at least 700 feet from schools, places of worship, homes or public parks. The old law said 500 feet. Taboo complies with the 500 feet rule.

Businesses in the area have also had a warm response to their new neighbor. Workers installed a fence between Taboo and the Church's Chicken franchise next door.

Taboo's management has also changed the store's original name, deleting the words "Adult Superstore" from the top of the old Taco Bell building where it is currently located.

Taboo is currently located in city councilman Moe Baddourah's district.

"We want to keep a lid on it," Baddourah said. "We want to keep control of it."

Baddourah's restaurant is also nearby, and he says the sex store has had a negative impact on his operation and on community development.

"I've noticed a couple of my customers with families have made a comment about not being here because of that. They don't want to expose their children into that kind of business. They don't know how to address it. Second of all, they don't want their children to know what's going on at that location," Baddourah said.

The planing commission meets Monday at 5:15 p.m. to discuss the proposal.

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