For Immediate Release:
It is and has always been the position and vision of Airport Express Video that “if” this adult entertainment ordinance passes we want to do everything within our power to be a proper corporate citizen, including relocation of our business, if that is what Planning Director Janet Carter, and the County’s Top Gun legal counsel Scott Bergthold would like to see happen.
In that regard they have left us with only one viable option and this is the 501 Corridor area of Carolina Forest. We have never said, suggested or indicated that we planned to relocate “inside” of Carolina Forest proper, due solely to the fact that the development agreement prohibits that until 2017.
Of course once that agreement expires then presumably it would open up several more developable locations for the clubs and stores which sell adult related merchandise. Having been a part of this community for many years, we truly feel that all property from Highway 31 West to the Carolina Forest Wal Mart is truly Carolina Forest, regardless of what specific roadway you are physically on.
Further, on that topic, if the County Planning Director, or County Council itself sees fit to “soft-peddle” this to the Carolina Forest Civic Association – by telling them that they can create overlays to prevent adult related businesses from the 501 corridor, they would simply be adding to our already valid argument that the law itself is already unconstitutional – due to the fact (quoting Councilman Marion Foxworth) “that you are taking the dynamic element out of the ordinance by restricting the businesses location to the HC (Highway Commercial) designation and you cannot zone to that classification as it was eliminated about eight years ago.”
In essence, Councilman Foxworth is exactly on point, and to add insult to injury – now we read that “an overlay” may be created whereby removing the very properties from the list of allowed sites which we contend is already too few.
More interestingly, Councilman Gary Loftus asked Attorney Bergthold at the original Infrastructure and Regulation Committee meeting when the presentation was given “this is a big county, 1,255 square miles — are you telling me that we have to reserve 5% or 55 square miles of the county for adult businesses to relocate to?”
Attorney Scott Bergthold answered “If that’s five percent at a minimum for it to stand up to a Constitutional challenge you would.” Our question for Scott and Janet then becomes, can you show us our 55 square miles in Highway Commercially zoned properties in Horry County that we are currently able to relocate to? Keeping in mind that you cannot re-zone to HC, are there even 55 square MILES of HC zoned property in the ENTIRE COUNTY?
Certainly each day brings more and more unanswered questions. Our position is that one bad decision got the County into the Gold Club federal court case which, based on those specific circumstances (and the admission of several prominent Councilmen) they will likely lose. Let’s not allow the same county staff that created that liability – to get us millions deeper in litigation expense on both sides of the isle; simply in an eleventh-hour attempt to cover up their own misdeeds and the original bad decision they made with that particular property decision.
In the learned words of former Council Chairman Liz Gilland, “slow down, take your time and let’s get this right.” It’s not right today, it will not be right tomorrow, and unfortunately Scott Bergthold doesn’t “want it right,” because that would PREVENT the very litigation upon which he will likely fund his retirement accounts.
Bergthold doesn’t want compromise, doesn’t want to sit down and prevent lawsuits. He doesn’t want to prevent the simple relocation of these businesses, because that would mean he came here to help Horry County draft a good, solid ordinance, and in all reality he came here to (in the now-famous words of Councilman Harold Worley) “get us over in Florence and get our pants sued off… get our clocks cleaned.” Because, after all folks, he’s not in the ordinance drafting business, he’s in the civil lawsuit defense business – so simply tell it like it is and stop soft-peddling it.
Airport Express Video, LLC