NAPLES, FL – from www.abc-7.com- A risqué business in Naples is at the center of an ongoing debate as the owner fights to keep his business open.
According to Collier County’s ordinance regulating sexually-oriented businesses, prostitutes and criminals are the two types of people you tend to find at sexually-oriented businesses. The 56-paged ordinance is at the center of an ongoing controversy surround Flynt Sexy Gifts in Naples.
“I’ve yet to see one prostitute in North Naples or Naples. As far as hiring criminals, I haven’t seen any criminals, haven’t hired any criminals,” owner Jimmy Flynt said.
The ordinance states “It is recognized that sexually-oriented businesses, due to their nature, have serious objectionable operational characteristics…” and “The potential dangers are so great as to require the permitting of such sexually-oriented businesses.”
“What’s the difference between that place and Hooters down the street?” asked Naples resident John Garrett.
Flynt claims his shop is no strip club or typical sex store. He labels it a high-end adult boutique.
Collier County enacted the ordinance in 1991. It cites legal cases even farther back than that, leading some people to call it outdated.
Based in Ft. Lauderdale, attorney Daniel Aaronson is considered an expert in adult entertainment law.
“First of all I hate the term sexually-oriented business. The law was really never meant to apply to take-home places,” said Aaronson.
Aaronson referred to past Supreme Court rulings which he said allows local governments to regulate adult establishments; that is if they can prove potential negative side-effect.
“There are no reports whatsoever that stores of this nature cause any adverse secondary effects except boosting an economy,” said Aaronson.
Flynt said it’s business as usual until a judge says differently.
“I think I’m in compliance and we’ll just have to see what shakes out. If we go to court on the compliance issue, we will,” said Flynt.
While battling the county on compliance, Flynt also finds himself in a lawsuit from his brother Larry Flynt who is suing for use of the family name.