Council votes 6-1 for store

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 17, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

With a 6-1 vote, the Suffolk City Council on Wednesday set the stage for the opening of the city’s first adult entertainment store.

With the exception of Vice Mayor Leroy Bennett, council members voted to issue a conditional use permit allowing Greg Sakas, owner of the North Carolina-based Casual Fun Products Inc., to open the adult and novelty shop at Suffolk West Shopping Center.

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The West Constance Road shop – named Intimate Desires – will open at 11 a.m. today, Sakas said.

The city’s approval of the permit is part of a recent settlement agreement reached between Sakas and the city after several trips to court over the past year. The city has spent months trying to prevent the store from opening by saying it was not covered in the Unified Development Ordinance, the city’s growth-management tool.

On May 18, U.S. District Court Judge Henry C. Morgan J. ruled that the city’s actions violated Sakas’ right to free speech and ordered an injunction to let him open the store.

Both Councilmen Curtis Milteer and Charles Brown indicated they supported the project because of the court’s findings.

&uot;What’s coming to Suffolk is not in my best interest but we all must follow the law,&uot; said Brown.

Bennett said he voted against the project because he is morally opposed to it.

&uot;I don’t believe in it,&uot; he said. &uot;I can’t vote for something I don’t believe in.&uot;