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Kentucky Blocks Hustler Store

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Jan 14, 2004 12:00 AM PST    Text size: 
LEXINGTON, Kentucky – The Urban City Council threw a wrench in Larry Flynt Publications' (LFP) plan to build a Hustler retail store along the interstate interchange where current zoning laws allow adult establishments like video stores, adult bookstores, and strip clubs to conduct business.

The city council reportedly has no problem with adult retail stores so long as they are contained within a specific area near Interstate 75, at least until Jimmy Flynt, brother of Larry Flynt, came to town.

Flynt had originally proposed a Hustler retail store that would feature the usual array of adult toys, videos, and periodicals, in addition to an adult-themed cabaret with a non-alcoholic juice bar.

Making its distaste clearly known for Flynt's plans, the city council swiftly approved a moratorium on the establishment of any new adult outlets near interstate interchanges, a gesture Jimmy Flynt found difficult not to take personally.

Flynt and his lawyers were equally swift in filing an appeal based on the unconstitutionality of the council's decision.

"They are denying us a permit to open at that location," Flynt told XBiz. "They are trying to block us in any way they can from opening a Hustler. The area has been zoned for adult and they are trying to change that because of Hustler. Their persecution is somewhat selective. Any time Hustler comes to town it sends up a red flag."

In addition to blocking the Hustler outlet from being built in the area where other adult outlets are stationed, the city council has also urged the Lexington planning commission to create a zoning amendment that would permanently prohibit any new adult stores from opening along interstates, the Herald-Leader reported Wednesday.

Several local politicians are concerned that too many adult stores along the highway and the billboards that typically stand on display will give the impression that Lexington is an adult entertainment hub.

The council has tried to convey that they are not trying to prohibit adult entertainment businesses from setting up shop in that area, only the ones that have proposed the placement of billboards along the highway.

According to the Herald-Leader, the moratorium could last for an entire year, although it is still pending two council readings before it is approved. The second reading is expected on Jan. 22.

"You usually have one or two politicians in a particular city that try to make political hay out of something like this," Flynt told XBiz. "Eventually, when they see that they don't have that support in the community as a whole, they have a tendency to back off. Some cities are just harder than others."

Flynt has so far established Hustler retail stores in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Cincinnati, Ohio.

LFP is still planning a retail rollout in San Francisco, Baltimore, New York, and St. Louis.

Larry Flynt was arrested for obscenity in Cincinnati in 1999. He avoided a trial and possible jail term by agreeing to a plea bargain deal with prosecutors. According to reports, the prosecution dropped 13 other charges stemming from the illegal sale in 1997 of an explicit video to a 14-year-old boy.

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