Georgia Towns Target Tokyo Valentino Owner Via Zoning, Licensing

Georgia Towns Target Tokyo Valentino Owner Via Zoning, Licensing

MARIETTA, Ga. — The saga of Georgia municipalities targeting adult retail businessman Michael Morrison through supposed zoning and license violations continued this week with the revocation of the license for one of his Tokyo Valentino stores in Marietta.

“Tokyo Valentino, at 345 Cobb Parkway South, just across the street from The Marietta Diner, had its license revoked after the city found last week that the store was not authorized to sell as much as 90% of its inventory,” reported the Marietta Daily Journal (MDJ).

The Marietta revocation order questioned the store’s “general merchandise” license as “similar to a license that would be issued to Wal-Mart.”

Police officers were sent by the city to “investigate” Tokyo Valentino, by taking numerous photographs of the store and its adult merchandise, fixating on “total male and female frontal nudity” and “sex toys and sex paraphernalia too extensive to summarize.”

“During two separate visits,” the Marietta Daily Journal reported, “police officers purchased sex toys and adult videos.”

Armed with the shocking evidence that an adult products shop sold adult products, the city moved to shutter the Marietta Tokyo Valentino.

Who Inspects the Inspectors?

Yesterday, Morrison told the MDJ  that “there is no reason why the Marietta store should be closed.”

He said he’s "not sure why the city revoked the business license, but it will definitely be worked out in court.”

The Tokyo Valentino owner announced he will appeal the license revocation and suggested “the inspectors should look at their own code. There is no definition for adult toys/novelties. There’s a definition for adult book store/adult video store.”

Another Tokyo Valentino location in East Cobb which Morrison opened last week is also being targeted by local authorities claiming “it sits less than a mile from an elementary school and near a church.

Morrison told the MDJ that “under county code, a Tokyo Valentino is authorized to operate, so long as it sells only up to 25% adult toys and novelties.”

He added that “the store will stick to that threshold and offers clothing, lingerie, smoke supplies and other items.”

As XBIZ reported last month, Morrison — who is regularly targeted by "morality"-minded Georgia officials — was most recently found in contempt by a DeKalb County judge.

Superior Court Judge Mark Anthony Scott ordered the arrest of the pleasure product store owner over a dispute with the city of Brookhaven, which has attempted to put him out of business using zoning regulations and exorbitant fines.

The Brookhaven case highlighted the prosecution of Morrison and his stores as instances of local officials using zoning laws to achieve their ultimate goal: to stamp out adult retail spots on moral grounds.

“We can’t expect quality, community-focused redevelopment around adult-oriented business," local politician Joe Gebbia told the Atlanta Journal Constitution at the time, celebrating the local disruption of Morrison's business. "It took seven years but with this victory justice has been duly served and the future of Buford Highway looks even brighter.”

Brookhaven had “investigated” the Morrison-owned Stardust by sending an undercover inspector to count the sex toys on display.

During a February hearing, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported, “a Brookhaven code compliance officer testified that he visited Stardust and found at least 200 sexual devices on display.”

He “stopped counting at 200,” the officer testified.

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