Rapid City is paying almost $300,000 to the owner of an adult-themed store to settle a dispute that began four years ago.
The City Council denied a conditional-use permit for Dick & Jane’s Super Spot in 2017. The owner, David Eliason, filed a lawsuit.
A judge ruled that portions of the city’s laws against sexually oriented businesses are unconstitutional. If City Council members were surprised, City Attorney Joel Landeen was not.
“I don't think it was any secret that our office advised them that the denial was probably not a good idea, and it would probably not turn out well for us in court,” Landeen said.
The judge’s ruling in 2019 did not resolve the case. The two sides continued fighting over damages until recently. Landeen said the city whittled the amount down from the store owner’s request for more than $500,000.
“We always knew once the court had ruled against us on the denial that we were going to pay him something, because his business was delayed in opening,” Landeen said, “and that's really what his damages were, was the delayed opening of his business.”
The actual amount of the settlement is $287,500. The city is paying $75,000 from public funds. Insurance covers the rest.
The owner of Dick & Jane’s did not respond to a message seeking an interview.
-Contact reporter Seth Tupper by email.