An Irvine sex shop is about to close after a fight over a biz license.


IRVINE, Calif. – Longtime sex shop Pink Kitty is scheduled to close its doors Saturday after a lengthy dispute with the city of Irvine over its business license.

“I did everything they asked me to do,” said Alicia Batchelder, 51.

Batchelder said she took over the 40-year-old business 15 years ago, renewing the license without any problems.

But in 2020, the city began fining Batchelder $3,000 a day, she said. She has a stack of 20 in her office that she avoided paying on the advice of her lawyer.

“That’s only a third of them,” she said.

Officials at the Planning Commission told Batchelder she had broken several rules.

Now, Batchelder and three of her employees will be out of a job.

“I am a single mother. “I have one child in college, another going away for the year, and I’m going to cut my income,” she said.

Batchelder serves as a guest speaker at half a dozen area colleges, including Irvine Valley College and California State University Fullerton.

The city declined an interview request with the Planning Commission, but released the following statement.

“This is a sexually oriented business (SOB) based on the merchandise they sell and the rooms they provide. This is not a ‘sudden zoning violation issue’ but an issue the city has been working with the property owner on for years. This business is located in a zoning that is sexually oriented.” It does not allow focused businesses,” the statement said.

However, Batchelder said Pink Kitty does not offer sex education, which is one condition she must meet to keep her license.

The main sticking point is her stuff. About 85 percent of her sales are sex toys or other items, which qualifies her store as a “sex-oriented business” along with toy clubs, sex clubs and prisons. The rest of her sales are underwear, which she says will never be enough to support the business due to competition from national and international brands.

“If people wanted to buy these things online, I’d be out of business,” she said. “Our presence is proof that people feel safer coming to us.”

Councilwoman Tammy Kim heard about the impending closure on Friday, July 22nd. In an interview with Spectrum News 1, she said Pink Kitty was discussed in closed session before the commercial license was chosen. Now, she wants to help clear up the confusion.

“As an employer, I feel like a business that was here. [and] That’s contributing, I absolutely support keeping the business going, and I support working with her,” Kim said.

Bachelor feels her options are running out, but expects a last-ditch effort from Kim.

“Honestly, I would feel better if my residents went to Pink Kitty instead of some sketchy place in Santa Ana or Costa Mesa,” Kim said. “Our residents are safe and sound in Irvine. [with Pink Kitty]He said.



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