If a business is violating the law, one recourse for citizens is to complain to Northampton’s Office of the Inspector of Buildings. Here is the complaint form:
Northampton Building Inspector Complaint Form (PDF, updated on 2/27/07)
Forms should be filed in paper with the Building Commissioner, 240 Main Street, Northampton, MA 01060.
In the case of Capital Video’s planned porn shop at 135 King Street, areas of concern might include harassment or sexual solicitation of passersby, criminal activity, unsafe traffic flows, overflowing parking, disruptive patrons, pornographic litter, adult material exceeding the 1,000 square foot cap for this location, unsanitary conditions inside or outside the store (e.g. discarded used condoms), practices that endanger public health (e.g. unsafe sex on or around the premises), noise at night, illegal offensive signage (see PDF of Northampton signage ordinance), prostitution, reduced values for nearby properties, reduced commerce for area businesses, reduced pedestrian traffic, and other harms that have been termed secondary effects.
Not all of these problems fall under the purview of the building inspector. Some might be matters for the police, others for the Board of Health, and still others for the mayor and city council. When in doubt, the mayor’s office can direct you to the appropriate official.
If you are a homeowner, business or organization near 135 King Street, and you feel Capital Video’s porn shop is interfering with the use and enjoyment of your property, your safety, your ability or desire to walk in the area, your commercial activities, your service to your clients, or your economic standing, please share your concerns with NoPornNorthampton. See the Contact Us box at left.