The newly-incorporated city of Johns Creek has denied retailer John Cornetta's business license application for his controversial adult superstore, The Love Shack.
In a March 8 letter to Cornetta, City Manger John Kachmar wrote: "The application contains materially false information…The city's business license application form asks 'Will your business be an adult business establishment [sexually oriented business] . . . You responded in the negative. This is materially false..."
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Kachmar's letter also stated that "the Love Shack is not authorized to operate at its location at Jones Bridge and State Bridge roads, and […] that a judge found that the business was operating illegally."
In light of the city's decision to deny the Love Shack's license, Mayor Mike Bodker now says that Cornetta must either comply with the law and stop selling adult material, ask that the property be rezoned, or move to a location where adult businesses are permitted. The letter does not explain the standards by which the city classified the Love Shack as an adult business.
"They're picking on the wrong gunslinger," Cornetta reportedly said.
Cornetta has been fighting Fulton County since The Love Shack opened on November 29, 2006. Local authorities attempted to padlock the store in December, but Cornetta was able to adjust his inventory to meet the county's requirements for a non-adult business license.
Cornetta is still awaiting the outcome of his federal case against Fulton County. In the meantime, the Journal report stated, the county has "washed its hands" of the case since Johns Creek became a city on Dec. 1. Johns Creek reportedly hired a team of lawyers to draft a zoning ordinance to eliminate any loopholes that would allow The Love Shack to operate in its current location.
Cornetta's attorney Cary Wiggins speculated that the city's denial of Cornetta's business license means "they're either not going to tax us, or try to shut us down," he said. "And I don't think they're going to let us operate for free."
A hearing on the Love Shack case is set for April 2.