Love Shack Closes in Johns Creek, Georgia

Congratulations to our friends at Keep Johns Creek Safe. Love Shack, a large porn shop that tried to evade the new city’s adult zoning regulations, has decided to close. Owner John Cornetta claims he’s losing about $40,000 a month. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports today:

“I guess I could say we’re relieved,” said Kitty Garrison, owner of North Atlanta Dance Academy, across the street from the Love Shack.

“It was the issue of a sexually oriented business close to a residential area, a school bus stop, and 400 young dancers that made the community nervous,” Garrison said…

One Johns Creek resident, Don Kennedy, expresses dismay that the city pressured a small business to close. He may not be aware of how adult businesses can depress the economic life of surrounding businesses and stimulate criminal activity. These are called “secondary effects”, and they are why proactive cities regulate adult businesses through zoning:

of Minnesota, Report of the Attorney General’s Working Group on the
Regulation of Sexually Oriented Businesses, Office of the Attorney
General (June 6, 1989)

This is a seminal work which investigates the secondary effects of
adult businesses from a number of different research perspectives. Not
only is the effect on crime included, so is the effect on neighborhood
disorganization and disorder, as are the effects on property values
addressed. The New York study also concluded that business locations
with adult-oriented businesses had a significant loss of sales tax
collections (42%) as compared to control areas. Studies of Minneapolis,
St. Paul, Indianapolis, Phoenix, and Los Angeles are cited. RICO and
organized criminal elements of the industry are also discussed. It was
found that dramatic increases in crime rates were directly associated
with the introduction of adult-oriented businesses into any community
studied. Evidence is articulated indicating that property crimes were
forty to fifty percent higher, and sex-related crimes were found to be
seventy to as much as 500 percent higher–depending upon the
municipality. Other non-crime community issues are also discussed.

Springfield, MA is quite familiar with secondary effects, as discussed in Capital Video’s Springfield Porn Shop Repels Sought-After Businesses and Springfield
Police Commissioner: “…it is fair to say that ‘Amazing’ constitutes
an attractive nuisance that contributes to blighted conditions there”

That secondary effects occur is no surprise when you consider the attitude of many porn shop operators to their communities. Here is Mr. Cornetta in 2007:

Aspen Newspapers: “Johns Creek takes another crack at Shack”, 6/27/07
Creek filed a petition last week in the Superior Court of Fulton County
to declare Love Shack in violation of city ordinances and order it to
comply or close…

Cornetta said the petition is ‘no big deal,’
citing his more than 15 years of traveling down this road. This is just
another day, he said.

“This is what I do for a living. I chew up and spit out local municipalities like Popeye chewed spinach,” said Cornetta.

See also:

Struggle Over “Love Shack” in Georgia; New City Adopts State-of-the-Art Adult-Use Ordinance (12/22/06)
The Johns Creek SOB ordinance
( PDF, 5.9 MB ) was adopted this month. In many aspects it appears to
be the ‘state of the art’ in adult-use regulations. It cites the latest
relevant court cases and many recent secondary effects studies, and
addresses some of the dodges adult businesses have used to try to get
around ordinances elsewhere (see “Spanish Popeye”).

Yes, Let’s Talk about Jobs
We are not in favor of “banning” porn (except child porn, which is
already banned). We are trying to get people to not want it. But let’s
talk about jobs. Studies show that many adult enterprises are ‘vampire’
businesses that suck the economic life out of their surroundings.

San Francisco: Loss of Porn Shop Brings Hope to Tenderloin District
When an art gallery moves to the worst block in the Tenderloin, times
are clearly changing. This is particularly true when the prior use of
the site was a large porno emporium that contributed mightily to the
community’s negative image.

The SRO’s with the worse conditions tend to be those above porno shops.
These businesses frequently have drug dealers doing business outside,
and take no action to remove them…

Past experience shows that making the Tenderloin safer and more
desirable requires these types of physical changes to sites, not more
police. And eliminating such problem spots not only costs no taxpayer
money, but it actually increases the city’s revenue when vacant and
underutilized sites are developed.

The Evidence of Relationships Between Adult-Oriented Businesses and Community Crime and Disorder

Prosperous Minneapolis Commercial Area Blighted by Proliferation of Adult Enterprises

New York City Porn Shops Depress Demand for Neighboring Properties

Des Moines, WA: Adult Uses Cause Business Failures, Scare People Away

Porn Merchant Implies: Host Community Put at Risk So Outsiders Might Enjoy Themselves
a November 17 newspaper article, Mr. Porter is quoted as making light
of citizen concerns and suggesting that the store’s customers will
mostly come from out of town:

“We’ll be helping the community, maybe not Berlin, but
surrounding communities,” Porter said jokingly, “community service is
what we’re all about.”

Porter said they have been delayed
between three to four months, and believes the store will open in
September rather than July as was previously expected.

Mr. Porter’s arrogance may be noble in the sex shop and novelty world,
it does not serve him well in the town of Berlin,” [Berlin mayor Adam]
Salina said.

Capital Video Representative Swears at NoPornNorthampton During Public Meeting