Neighbors in the Southpoint area of Durham are greatly perturbed by the planned construction of an Adam & Eve retail outlet at the northwest corner of Fayetteville Road and N.C. Hwy 54. A petition is gathering signatures — more than 1,150 so far — protesting the sale of lingerie and sex toys at what neighbors describe as “the gateway” to many residential communities in South Durham.

We ask that ‘Adam and Eve” be asked to situate themselves in a commercial environment, like the one from which they are moving, and not infiltrate our family communities with their value system.

The petition addresses “Durham elected officials,” but they say they can’t help. Because the shop doesn’t fall under the category of “adult business” — Adam & Eve sells stuff, not live “entertainment” — the city can’t stop the retail business from opening, city attorney Patrick Baker has told the unhappy citizens.

Today Jim Wise reports on his N&O blog Bull’s Eye that City Council member Howard Clement has expressed a willingness to help neighbors negotiate with store owners about window displays and other issues.

Maybe if the store offered gift certificates? No, bad idea?

For some history on the Hillsborough-based company, which has fought tougher opponents than neighbors with pitchforks, check out this 2001 story, “The siege of Adam & Eve.”