Adult store closed by Commission fights back

By: Chris Thomas Email
By: Chris Thomas Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock, October 29, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---You've probably driven by the abandoned adult bookstore with the big American flag. After nearly four years out of business, store owners are fighting to re-open.

Denise Arrington worked at X-Mart for 8 months. She says she looks forward to the day when the doors re-open. "It's a great place. It's not just what society thinks it's about as far as sex is concerned. It's more than that."

It is an adult entertainment store the city shut down back in 2003, citing zoning issues. But last month, a three judge panel ruled zoning issues would no longer fly. This puts owners one step closer to opening back up.

"If you take your daughter in there to teach her about her body it's a good thing," Denise said.

The city says a not so good thing is the location of the store.

"One of my biggest problems is just the fact that it's a gateway into the city, and that's the first impression that people get coming in from the airport," said Mayor Deke Copenhaver.

"It's a win-win situation for both of us, because the area is in growth mode," said local hotel owner Ray Usman. "I think as they open it will generate more traffic and it will generate more business for my business."

But first, X-Mart attorneys tell News 12 they will proceed with a previously filed suit for damages and attorney fees in federal court. They say the outcome of that will determine the next course of action.

Augusta Commissioner Marion Williams says the whole thing is going too far. "We're going to end up losing a lot of money now if we don't go ahead and just say, 'Ya'll stay to yourself.' If people don't support it, they're going to go out of business."

The city licensing department tells News 12 they would have recommended not granting the store a license. In a letter to the store's attorney the city says the store is too close to school bus stops and too close to what they call a city gateway. Another issue: alleged sex acts at the store in 2003.

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  • by Rebecca Location: Georgia on Apr 7, 2009 at 07:11 AM
    Adult store help people. Doctors and marriage counselors often refer people to these types of store to help out with problems. These types of stores are needed whether some people want to believe it or not!
  • by Steve B Location: Aiken on Jan 21, 2009 at 03:07 PM
    Love it when others try to interfere with our rights as Americans as to where we can shop (sarcasm mode: on). Either way, my gal and I buy our stuff local anyways at & we wont get judged there!
  • by Jem Location: Ksma on Aug 17, 2008 at 01:19 PM
    Why to close adult store? its make more fun for the sex life. I like vibrators and I will always buy it. vibrators4women
  • by MATTHEWS Location: AUGUSTA on Nov 4, 2007 at 01:53 PM
    Impression? Have you driven J.B.BLD to get to the river walk
  • by chad Location: augusta on Oct 30, 2007 at 08:41 PM
    That is far from the gateway of augusta ,it should be called crackhead roww.the run down motels and the trash on the road is bad , augusta should be glad to have some new buisness in that part of the county.
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