Va. Adult Store Prevails in Case Against County

Rhett Pardon

DANVILLE, Va. — Shhh ... Intimacy on a New Level, the Virginia retailer selling erotic lingerie, sex toys and porn DVDs that was shut down by a local zoning board, has prevailed in its case.

The Pittsylvania County's Board of Supervisors this week ordered its zoning administrator to rescind an earlier decision to order the store closed because it sold sexually explicit and erotic content.

Lawrence Walters, the Florida-based adult entertainment industry attorney, who took on the case pro bono said that Shhh's operators are "thrilled with the outcome."

"[They look] forward to operating a successful adult business for years to come," Walters told XBIZ. "Fortunately, the county realized that a zoning ban on adult businesses would never be upheld by the courts and agreed to resolve this matter without expensive litigation. 

"Our client will be grandfathered into any future adult use ordinances adopted by the county, and will be refunded the fees incurred in filing the zoning appeal," he said. "Overall, this is a total victory for our client."

Pittsylvania County's zoning ordinance lists types of allowed stores and sales of items that are allowed, but it does not expressly forbid sex toys or porn. Officials earlier said that the sale of sex toys and pornography isn't allowed in the county.

Odie Shelton, the county's zoning administrator, said in a letter to Walters that authorities are working on drafting an ordinance amendment to bring the county in compliance with constitutional laws regulating adult stores.

View county's letter to attorney Lawrence Walters