WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court today declined to hear a challenge to a long-running adult zoning case, Flanigan’s Enterprises Inc., et al v. City of Sandy Springs, Ga.
U.S. justices denied certiorari without comment, leaving intact an 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that sided with the city of Sandy Springs.
The 11th Circuit's decision in the eight-year-old case — involving Inserection, an adult video and sex toy and novelty store, and two strip clubs, Mardi Gras and Flashers — upheld a district court decision from a year ago that ruled the city’s ordinances involving adult entertainment businesses were not unconstitutional.
Controversy surrounding adult businesses in Sandy Springs started in December 2005 when the municipality was being incorporated while drafting its initial city codes.
The city created several regulations against adult businesses, including a ban on alcohol in the establishments and a ban on the public display of sex toys.
Sandy Springs also placed strong zoning restrictions on where these businesses could operate in the city.
Mardi Gras, Flashers and Inserection, however, existed within Sandy Springs before it became a municipality with its own city codes. The adult businesses were not grandfathered into the new code.
Throughout the eight years of legal action, both strip clubs have continued to sell alcohol. Intersection also has continued to display and sell sex-related products.
Last year, Sandy Springs’ city council moved to repeal language in an ordinance that labeled sex toys and novelties as "obscene." Council voted unanimously to rescind the law.
Attorney Cary Wiggins, who represented the adult businesses, told XBIZ: "We’re of course disappointed. Only a handful of people know why any particular petition is not granted. And here, we are not in the hand."
The Supreme Court's denial effectively gives the green light for the city of Sandy Springs to put the ordinance into effect.