Love Shack owner applies for license, buys time

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Thursday, Feb 28, 2008

cornetta globe    In a written order issued Thursday, a Fulton Superior Court judge told the owner of an adult video chain that he may not operate a sexually oriented business at its current Johns Creek location, and that he must have a regular business license or close his store.

   But John Cornetta, the owner of the Love Shack, bought himself more time by applying for a regular business license on Tuesday. The application carries a grace period of up to 30 days in which a business, including Cornetta’s, can operate without a license while the application is being processed.

   If city code inspectors find the store exceeds one of the thresholds used by the city to define a sexually oriented business, the city would ask the judge, Ural Glanville, to enforce the order, which could include closing the store or fining Cornetta — or even jailing him for contempt.

   “He is still subject to the judge’s order on not operating a sexually oriented business,” said City Attorney Bill Riley. “I believe the defendant will follow any orders issued by a judge.”

   Cornetta’s attorney, Cary Wiggins, said in a document filed with the court this week that the judge’s order fails to take into account First Amendment issues, which could signal another lengthy court battle, during which the store may remain open.

   Thursday’s order by Glanville represents a major victory for the city of Johns Creek, which has long argued that the Love Shack located at Jones and State Bridge roads is a sexually oriented store operating illegally in an area not zoned for adult businesses.

“It’s an absolute, total victory,” said Mayor Mike Bodker, “but it’s one step in a long process. It’s winning a battle, not the war. It’s a big battle. He’s at the end of a rope, holding on to the knot, and it’s about to slip.”
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