Editorial Sides With Jimmy Flynt Over Fla. Zoning Case

Rhett Pardon

NAPLES, Fla. —  Flynt' s Sexy Gifts just got a boost from the local Naples Daily News, which said in an editorial that it is skeptical over the contention made by county officials that the shop is just as sexually explicit as a strip club.

The store, operated by Jimmy Flynt, has been imperiled by county officials who say that it is operating not within the bounds of its ordinance for sexually oriented businesses.

The newspaper in its editorial yesterday asked county officials to clarify the ordinance and bring it up to contemporary standards.

"Good grief," the paper said. "Is this store really worth all the fuss. Is the store causing crime, diseases, urban blight and decreased property values .... Is there anything in the store that is  not available at stores with adult, sexually oriented merchandise — some of the stores are nationally known chains — elsewhere in the city of Naples and Collier County."

Open for only three months, Flynt' s Sexy Gifts sells lingerie, shoes, oils and marital health-and-wellness devices but no adult DVDs and hardcore novelty items.

But Flynt' s Sexy Gifts has been on the county's radar since the get go, and officials here have found Flynt's store noncompliant with the 1991 ordinance that forbids videos, novelties and books that include depictions of genitalia, buttocks and nipples. The law also limits sexually oriented to 25 percent of a store's inventory.

So far, Collier County officials have made six inspections at the store located in a strip mall, and each one of them have failed to gain approval from zoning inspectors. As a result, Flynt's landlord has sued him seeking eviction.

Flynt says Collier County's 1991 ordinance he's subject to is outdated and antiquated and that the county should amend it or scrap it altogether.

Flynt told XBIZ on Friday that the store is facing another inspection next week, and he doesn't think it will be any different than the previous six.

"On Monday, they are going to come in here doing the Nazi walk pointing out what's offensive, and they are going to ask me to remove certain merchandise," Flynt said. "Well, I won't."

  

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