Needful Things open despite permit denial
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 11:00 AM
The Needful Things adult store on Clifty Drive remains open two weeks after the Zoning Board of Appeals denied renewal of the conditional use permit the business needed to operate legally.
"We've talked to our lawyer. He said wait until we get an official letter," manager Rita Smith said Tuesday.
"We never dreamt they would pull it (the permit)," she said. "We have not been found guilty of anything."
She and her daughter, store owner Julie Marshall, were arrested by state police on allegations they dealt synthetic drugs out of the business. Smith is charged with dealing a synthetic drug, conspiracy to deal a synthetic drug, two counts of maintaining a common nuisance and corrupt business influence. Marshall faces 21 felony charges related to dealing drugs, tax evasion and corrupt business practices. They have not yet had trials.
Darrell Auxier, the attorney for the Zoning Board of Appeals, said Tuesday that Marshall "doesn't need a letter. She knows full well what the board did."
Marshall has requested a transcript of the meeting Oct. 15 where the Zoning Board of Appeals voted 4-1 to not renew a conditional use permit that allowed a retail business on land zoned for light industry, he said. The denial went into effect immediately.
Auxier said it is likely he will write a letter, but reiterated that one isn't needed. Marshall's continuing in business could lead the city to file an injunction "asking a court to order her to shut down because she's in violation.
"I don't think we're going to let it go on too long," he said.
The board voted after Police Chief Dan Thurston shared a copy of an Indiana State Police affidavit that was part of the case resulting in Marshall' arrest Oct. 2.
Indiana State Police Detective Tim Denby's affidavit includes sales of illegal drugs to confidential informants at the Clifty Drive store, and also the finding there by police of an ingredient for synthetic drugs.
Zoning Board chairman Gary Guarino said Marshall had not met the conditions that were in the minutes of the board meeting in 2009 when a conditional use permit was granted, including that it would be a legal business selling legal items. "And she has been charged with that," Guarino said.
Marshall first received a conditional use permit in October 2009 after she already had opened the store at 2910 Clifty Drive. She told city officials she did not know she needed a permit. The store is outside the city limits but is within the city's zoning jurisdiction. The Zoning Board of Appeals renewed the conditional use permit in 2010 and 2011. Marshall's first Needful Things store in Madison, 901 E. First St. at Harrison Street, is not affected by the Zoning Board of Appeals action and was not involved in the criminal charges.