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Adult Shop Vindicated

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May 24, 2005

Cordele - In January, the Court heard a case between Crisp County and the adult novelty store Love Stuff. The ruling allows the store to remain where it is.

Love Stuff sells sex novelty items, and other non-explicit materials. Roger Welk is an employee , he used to be a partial owner. He says, "We had to sell out, and a new company took over." Sold out because he couldn't afford litigation against the county.

The county said the store was too close to a residential zone, but this week the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that ordinance was too vague. Welk says, "It just opens up more doors for us as far as comfort and feeling that we're an asset to the community rather than a blemish."

He says the store adds something that married couples appreciate. "They need some variety, they need some spice, they need to put that romance back into their marriage," says Welk. And the ruling by the courts assures the relationship between "love stuff" and the county will continue.

Here is the summary of the opinion, courtesy of the Georgia Supreme Court Website:

The Supreme Court has unanimously reversed a Crisp County Superior Court judge in 105 Floyd Road, Inc. v. Crisp County, S05A0373.

Justice Carol W. Hunstein wrote for the Court. At issue in this case is a county ordinance designed to regulate the sale of “‘services, . . . or materials in print or in any photographic or recorded media that [involve or depict certain defined sexually-explicit activities or anatomical areas], with the intent of providing sexual stimulation or gratification to the customer.’" Businesses “that meet the definition of a sexually-oriented adult use may only operate in certain designated zoning districts upon approval of a special use permit.”

The trial court “reject[ed] appellant's constitutional challenges to the development code, including the assertion that the language was unconstitutionally vague, both facially and as applied to appellant, [and] permanently enjoined appellant from operating its business.” In reversing the trial court, the Supreme Court has ruled that the wording of the ordinance “is too vague to be enforced and is, therefore, unconstitutional under the due process clauses of the Georgia and United States constitutions.”

Attorneys for Appellant: Alan I. Begner; Katie K. Wood

Attorneys for Appellee: Peter R. Olson; Brandon L. Bowen

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