"Love Stuff" store fights to stay open - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

"Love Stuff" store fights to stay open

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Crisp County - Just off Interstate 75 in Crisp County lies "Love Stuff", a shop that sells sex novelty items and other non-explicit materials. Ben Binninger says, "I think it's fine. I don't see anything wrong with it. The place needs business, it brings in business and makes a lot of people happy."

But not everyone is smiling. County Administrator Gene Crapse says, "The difficulty that we have with the location they're in now, is it is violation of our zoning ordinance is that it puts them within 300 feet of a residential zone district."

The business was found to be in violation of that zoning ordinance, and ordered to make changes. Crapse says, "The judges order says they either cease operation, that's one option, change the character of their business, not to be an adult use, or third, move their business to an acceptable location within an acceptable zone in the county."

The county has provided 12 acceptable locations for the business to move, but lawyers for "Love Stuff" say they've trying to comply with the ruling by reducing the amount of sexually explicit material available. Now, both sides are awaiting the Supreme Court's ruling to find out if the store is in compliance or not.

"We're not trying to encroach on anyone's free speech," says Crapse. "That's well established and we think we have a well established zoning ordinance which allows them to operate freely in certain areas, but they just don't happen to be in one of those areas."

Binninger says, "I'm not saying it's a good business, but it is a prosperous business. We don't have enough prosperous businesses here."

But until the Supreme Court makes its ruling "Love Stuff", will continue to operate in Cordele. A decision in this case is expected in about three months.

posted by karen.collier@walb.com