Mount Prospect residents object to store for adults who dress as babies
Mount Prospect residents raised an outcry at Tuesday's village board meeting about a recently opened store that caters to adults who like to dress as babies.
But village officials told them that shutting down Tykables, both from a zoning and a legal standpoint, would be anything but child's play.
Despite some concern that the store at 512 W. Northwest Highway had ventured beyond its business plan, officials explained that no zoning or village board approval was required before it received a business license.
Nor were there ordinance or code restrictions to justify a business license denial.
One of the village's attorneys, Lance Malina, said the village would face difficulties in trying to regulate the business. Products such as diapers and oversized toys are not in themselves illegal.
Nor, he said, could such activities as wearing a diaper or sporting a pacifier on the premises be considered illegal.
Nonetheless, Village Manager Michael Cassady said the village would keep an eye on the business to make sure it did no go "off track," while the village would look at possible changes to the zoning process.
Cassady apologized for the "clear violation of the no surprise agreement by which we try to operate.
The issue, which gained widespread attention through Facebook and YouTube posts, had taken the mayor and trustees by surprise.
"In addition to the parental concerns many of you have expressed, what we have here is quite personally one of a mayor's worst nightmares," Mayor Arlene Juracek told the crowd of about 50.
The majority of the residents who spoke Tuesday expressed concern about the business' proximity to schools and a possible impact on area property values.
Resident Brandon Richards also expressed moral reservations. "It's hard for us to swallow in this community," he said. "This is not the community that I moved to."
Susan McCosky expressed concern about the display window, which contained Lego-type blocks. She said she is concerned that the business is "two blocks from the elementary school," with "a lot of foot traffic, a lot of elementary students."
Juracek herself admitted, "When I saw the (building) blocks in the window -- and they were clearly, by the emails we were getting, attracting kids, to the business -- my first reaction was, 'Get those blocks out of the window or cover them up or something,' because it just projects the wrong image."
Cassady said the owner has agreed to take down the colorful building blocks from the window display and has installed a temporary sheet to provide screening, with the ultimate intention to tint the windows to prevent outside viewing.