Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Neighbors Oppose Adult Store; Adam & Eve Franchise Set to Open in Yulee

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Neighbors Oppose Adult Store; Adam & Eve Franchise Set to Open in Yulee

Article excerpt

Byline: ALISON TRINIDAD, Nassau Neighbors staff writer

Nassau County commissioners have set two public hearings in the next three weeks to consider putting restrictions on "sexually oriented" businesses in the county.

The hearings were scheduled due to public outcry about the proposed opening of an adult toy and clothing store in a strip mall in Yulee. The Adam & Eve store is slated to open in January, franchise owners said.

More than 100 citizens, many carrying signs that decried pornography, attended a County Commission meeting Monday to demonstrate their opposition to the store's opening. While the room was so full that citizens spilled out into the parking lot, only four people addressed the commission during the 30-minute discussion. No one spoke in favor of allowing Adam & Eve, or any similar businesses, to open in the county.

"We don't have to have this in our community," said the Rev. Robert Goyette, pastor of Living Waters World Outreach Center in Yulee. "I don't even know personally what the timeline is for this store eventually coming on line, but be assured that, as it does, we are going to move to action. . . . I just believe we can send this serpent elsewhere if we so choose."

Although there are county laws that restrict nude dancing establishments, the county has no laws that regulate the sale of adult items, such as massage oils, games or books, County Attorney Michael Mullin said. There is no legal way to delay or stop Adam & Eve from opening in Nassau County, he said.

Mullin recommended that commissioners have public hearings to compile testimony relevant to "sexually oriented" businesses and their effects on communities they inhabit. He said the county cannot act against any specific stores; it must address the issue in a general manner.

"The courts have indicated that you must take an overall approach to sexually oriented businesses in order to determine the best manner to control them," Mullin said in a prepared statement. …

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