Love Shack, Johns Creek Trade Blows

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — The city of Johns Creek has sent retail outlet the Love Shack a letter of intent to deny its 2008 business license. The letter was hand-delivered by Code Enforcement Office Reginald Miller April 10.

Love Shack responded on April 16 with an ante litem notice to Johns Creek, requesting compensation for lost profits and offering to settle for a payment of $668,000 and the issuance of a sign and banner permit.

A hearing on the business license denial has been scheduled for May 7. Love Shack owner John Cornetta and his attorney Cary S. Wiggins have said they will be present.

“We look forward to the hearing on May 7 before the city of Johns Creek,” Cornetta said in a press release. “We stand proud knowing that we are right, and we look forward to receiving our 2008 Johns Creek business license shortly. I said a long time ago that this was nothing more than a witch hunt by Mayor Bodker and the Johns Creek government, and that we’d prevail when this was all over. That time will shortly be upon us.”

Cornetta's press release claims,"[it] appears that all of the facts, findings and research were conducted prior to the Feb. 28 decision by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville that the Love Shack was an adult business operating in a nonadult zoned area ... Since that Feb. 28 decision by Judge Glanville, the Love Shack in Johns Creek reevaluated its inventory, shuffled around some items and reapplied for a 2008 business license in the city of Johns Creek."

On April 16, Cornetta attorney Cary S. Wiggins issued an ante litem notice to Mayor Mike Bodker of Johns Creek to request compensation for lost profits, citing the city’s Oct. 16, 2007 "final" denial of a sign permit for the Love Shack. The notice contained an offer to settle the dispute for a payment of $668,000 and the issuance of a sign and banner permit.

In the letter to Mayor Bodker, Wiggins wrote, “I am using October 16, 2007 as the beginning injury date. (I say ‘beginning’ because the injury is, or injuries are, continuing.) This is the date when the city’s decision to deny Love Shack’s applications became ‘final.’ The extent of the injury is pervasive and centers on lost profits. If, as Love Shack contends, the city’s motive in denying the permit applications was to make it difficult for patrons to find the store, a considerable amount of lost profits is foreseeable damage.”

A press release from Cornetta Enterprises telling about the ante litem notice said that the letter's offer to settle the sign-permit matter between Love Shack and the City of Johns Creek "has nothing to do with the Love Shack’s other ongoing cases against the City of Johns Creek and Fulton County."