Doc here with an update from our good friends, Alex and Lauren in Gastonia, NC. The have been on top of the Carolina Video Exchange situation since it reared it's head last summer. I received this update from them this morning.
Here is Alex and Lauren's update:
Good Morning Doc,
It looks like the "final" word on CVE will be heard on March 24. They have pushed this date back for months now, so we'll see what happens. There is a pretty good article in the local fish-wrapper: http://www.gastongazette.com/news/adult-55734-gastonia-video.html
City looks at how much sex adult businesses offer
An adult business owner this month will try to convince Gastonia officials that his two stores are not violating state and local laws that regulate sexually explicit establishments.
A Gastonia zoning inspector determined last year that Carolina Video Exchange, at 2308 N. Chester St., and Highway 74 Video, at 3510 W. Franklin Blvd., have each been operating as an adult “bookstore” and an adult mini motion picture theater. The combination of showing sexually explicit movies and selling adult videos and DVDs under one roof is against the law, because only one such use is permitted in a single business.
The city spells out that restriction in its Unified Development Ordinance, which mimics the state statute concerning adult uses, said Gastonia zoning administrator Drew Pearson.
Keith Brimbury, who owns both businesses, challenged the findings and directed his attorney, Jim Funderburk, to appeal.
“Both of my stores are completely legal,” he said after last year’s ruling.
When a property owner appeals a zoning decision by the city, the case goes before the Board of Adjustment. City Council appoints members to that panel, which meets a few times a year as needed.
The appeals concerning Carolina Video Exchange and Highway 74 Video were set to be heard last month, but the Board of Adjustment continued the matter, said assistant city attorney Melissa Magee. The hearing was rescheduled and will now be held at 9 a.m. March 24 at City Hall.
While the dispute with the city is being resolved, Brimbury has been allowed to continue operating his stores as he sees fit.
“Bookstore” is still a common term used to describe any adult business that sells sexually explicit videos or DVDs. A mini-motion picture theater is the formal name for private booths that have video screens, or arcade-style video booths. They may play adult titles on a loop or play specific, chosen titles when tokens, coins or other money is paid.
Carolina Video Exchange was found to have three adult uses during the 2010 inspection: a bookstore, mini motion picture theater booths, and a more traditional adult cinema, Pearson said. Highway 74 Video was found to have two adult uses.
Pearson inspected Brimbury’s businesses last summer after hearing reports that both had added adult uses since last being reviewed by the city. Rick Williams, the former owner of 321 News and Video at 1410 N. Chester St., lost a 16-year legal battle with the city that forced him to shut his adult business’ doors June 30.
But before closing, he alleged that his establishment was being singled out unfairly.
If the board upholds the ruling of a violation March 24, Brimbury would have to change how his businesses operate or be subject to civil fines and other penalties. He would still have the option of appealing the decision as well.
|Carolina Video Exchange|
Over the past several months, there have been some changes to the place. The couples room is gone (that would have been a fourth use, so I think they figured that would be easy enough to scratch). They have added more inventory to the lingerie section, in an effort to comply with a vague law that says an adult bookstore is one with a "preponderance" of pornographic inventory. For a few days they were even showing R-rated movies in the main theater. I don't know if there was another inspection at that time. If so they may have been trying to make the argument that only the booths fall under the "adult use" definitions.
I can tell you that couples traffic has suffered greatly. Most of the couples in our circle have simply decided not to return. That is not good news.
We'll all stay tuned for a couple more weeks. Unless, of course, that decision is appealed, too.
Doc here again... Thanks to Alex and Lauren for the update on what could be bad news in Gastonia. In the meantime, please visit Alex and Lauren's terrific blog (HERE) for a couples perspective on this thing of ours'.
It seems with every piece of good news that comes across the news desk here at The Journal, a piece of bad news follows. Let's keep the faith, kids.