Adult store to open June 17

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 6, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Despite the city’s best efforts, an adult entertainment store – Intimate Desires – is likely to open for business on June 17 in the downtown community.

Attorneys for North Carolina businessman Gregory Sakas and the city struck a settlement last week that will allow Sakas to open in the 1,000-square-foot storefront he’s had leased at Suffolk West Shopping Center since May 2003.

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The settlement comes less than a month after U.S. District Court Judge Henry C. Morgan ruled that the city must issue Sakas a conditional use permit within 11 days of his posting an injunction bond. Had a settlement not been reached, Sakas would have pursued his federal case challenging the constitutionality of proposed amendments to zoning regulations related to adult-use businesses, said his attorney, Robert C. Barclay IV of Portsmouth.

Under the settlement terms, the city will issue the conditional use permit after the planning commission and City Council vote on it at their June 15 and June 16 meetings respectively, Barclay said.

Dennis Craff, city spokesman, said he doesn’t expect the city to delay approval of the permits. &uot;I don’t think we are going to fight it,&uot; he said.

Morgan is expected to approve the settlement this week, said Barclay.

Meanwhile, Sakas said he’s looking forward to finally getting the store open.

&uot;We’re going to be a good neighbor in the city,&uot; he continued. &uot;I believe we are going to do fine in Suffolk …and I believe the city is going to be a lot happier with us that with some other individuals in this business.&uot;