By: Andy Powell, Staff Writer
MURRELLS INLET, SC — The popular adult boutique stocked with some of the hottest brands in lingerie and negligees, party favors, adult DVDS, games and even greeting cards, have been going through a legal challenge with Horry County and after 18 months of litigation, there could be a light at the end of this long journey.
County zoning authorities first went after the Badd Kitty Adult Store located at 11774 Frontage Rd, after receiving complaints that the store by filing a lawsuit to force its closure back on January 8, 2016.
The county claims that the owner of the Badd Kitty adult store, John Gaik, was operating an adult entertainment establishment, “specifically a sex paraphernalia store” as specified under our zoning regulations.” said a county spokesperson.
The lawsuit filed states the following:
“When Mr. Gaik applied in 2010 for a certificate of zoning compliance, he signed an adult entertainment disclaimer in which he specifically attested that his business ‘shall not meet the definition of’ an adult bookstore or video store.”
Badd Kitty argued in the lawsuit that this store existed before the zoning regulations were changed and should be grandfathered in.
Which would mean that the Badd Kitty had to abide by the fact that 50 percent of the revenues from merchandise sold could not come from adult books, adult magazines, ault film, adult videotapes or sexual paraphernalia.
The lawsuit file by the city claimed that the Badd Kitty was based too close to residential areas. The stand-alone boutique sits on Frontage Road, and is surrounded by other retail businesses including home furniture stores, auto repair shops, a radio station, and a spa.
The closest residential area is Kings Grant, which is hidden from the highway but backs up to a second street of commercial businesses behind Frontage Road.
The Badd Kitty stated in the lawsuit that the store stocks a small section of said products which are partitioned off in the rear of the store. As a matter of fact, there are only two racks of Adult DVDs and several racks and shelves of adult sex toys.
The vast majority of the merchandise being sold out of Badd Kitty are clothing and products that are available in most mall lingerie boutiqus across the country.
After 18 months of litigations, both parties recently agreed to settle the lawsuit, but neither side is releasing details ont he settlement or how the settlement is going to affect future zoning enforcements for such businesses.
“The settlement has not been signed or finalized, but the judge noted there would be a settlement for that,” said Lisa Bourcier, Horry County spokeswoman. “As for the outcome, we won’t know until we see it,” said Bourcier said.
In addition to the Murrells Inlet location, Badd Kitty operates brick & mortar stores based located in Myrtle Beach and Atlantic Beach.
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