X-Mart loses to city in court

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The business owners who want to open an adult video store in Augusta lost another round to the city this week.

The owners of X-Mart Adult Supercenter have been waging a legal battle since 2002 to open on Gordon Highway.

They lost their legal challenge initially but won on appeal when the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that U.S. District Court Senior Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr. was wrong in finding that X-Mart did not qualify for grandfather status under a new zoning ordinance.

On Tuesday Judge Bowen noted that the federal appeals ruling also stated that X-Mart would still have to abide by other city ordinances and that's where X-Mart's effort fails.

The city's licensing ordinance limits certain businesses from operating along the city's gateway corridors. The location on Gordon Highway is on a gateway corridor.

Because X-Mart could not have opened without the business license in 2002, the owners' damages were limited to the period from April 11 through July 18, 2002, Judge Bowen wrote.

X-Mart owners sought damages from 2002 to the present.

The city commissioners halted the store's opening in July 2002 by passing a new zoning ordinance designed to keep X-Mart out. The zoning change was deemed unconstitutional, and X-Mart briefly opened its doors in 2003. Then the city revoked its business license.

Though property owners have certain rights and protection from zoning rules, a license is a privilege, not a right, Judge Bowen wrote.

In the ruling the judge granted the city partial summary judgment. Further discovery and a trial are not needed, the judge ruled.

The only issue remaining is the amount of damages.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.

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APiratesLife4Me
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APiratesLife4Me 03/26/09 - 01:30 am
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They don't want the x mart

They don't want the x mart but they allow the homotel with all the rainbow flags on the beautiful gateway to the city? That is a lame excuse. Just state the real reason and be done with it. Most citizens will agree with you but don't dance around the gateway thing.

Brad Owens
4094
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Brad Owens 03/26/09 - 05:06 am
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Well, look on the four

Well, look on the four corners and tell me who you want as a neighbor. A crackhead by-the-hour motel on two of them, a run down brick warehouse on the third, and a super clean and well keep adult entertainment shop on the last one. Buccaneer is right, just up the road we have gay bath house, a semi tractor repair shop, a burned down sawmill, a meat packing facility, Crazy Boy Ballards junk yard (which is awesoome, no kidding I, love that place and he is an Augusta original), a browns feild grant chemical contaminated area of Hyde Park, Goldbergs toxic waste dump, and a slew of other stuff...how in the WORLD can these idiots say that Adult Entertainment BRINGS DOWN THE AREA? Nothing I have seen could do that. This is just a bunch of spineless politicians pandering to the God-squad for votes.

dhd1108
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dhd1108 03/26/09 - 05:18 am
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for the first time this year

for the first time this year brad, i think we're in agreement

politicallyNcorrect1
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politicallyNcorrect1 03/26/09 - 05:58 am
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This is why Augusta is a hick

This is why Augusta is a hick town. Our leaders try to make Augusta a place for convention's. OK here's a fact when men go out of town with other men co-workers for a convention? The go to strip clubs (most do) there will always be (some) who don't but (most) do! Now you can stick your head in the sand & say it's not so but if you do? You are in denial! I'm a man & no matter what you think & no matter how well you (think) you know the men in your life (your wrong) Every man who got caught doing something like this or worst the whole community say's: I just can't believe it, he is such a family man & does so much for his fellow man. I would never have thought..? How you heard that before? Sure you have & guess what? You'll hear again! In a time where money is in short supply only a hick town would turn money down. Ask you commissioners how many millions in legal fee's have been spent in the last 20 years trying to shut down strip clubs in Augusta? Millions & Millions & what have they acomplished? A couple local Attorney's have great retirement account's given to them. Guess what? Our money was being given away long before Obama arrived on the scene.

politicallyNcorrect1
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politicallyNcorrect1 03/26/09 - 06:10 am
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Ask you commisioners how much

Ask you commisioners how much money in tax they get from strip clubs? A senator yesterday on the news said it would not be many years before gays/homosexuals get the same rights as everyone else. Why because young people today are tollerant, he also said the OLD people are the only ones that have a problem with these groups. He's right as soon as us OLD people die this country will be more tollerant, relaxed & not so much hate. My point they will not have a problem with strip clubs either. You don't like this do you? You don't have to, you'll be dead & what you think will not count! Sorry life's tough & the young are just waiting for the OLD prejudice foogies to die so they can get things in order. Is their way of thinking better than the OLD people's? Don't know but I do know we've had our time of being in charge & it's almost over. Right or wrong it's almost their time! Deal with it.

politicallyNcorrect1
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politicallyNcorrect1 03/26/09 - 06:18 am
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This OLD people prejudice

This OLD people prejudice refers to racial hatred also. Young people don't have a problem with mixed races, gays,etc..The US is going to drasticly change very soon & all that past hate will be just that..PAST!

Riverman1
78381
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Riverman1 03/26/09 - 07:21 am
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It is interesting that most

It is interesting that most of us, conservative and liberal, join here believing shutting down the X-mart was wrong. Freedom of something another was violated there. Politicians in their rush to play up to the church voters break their necks closing a place like that. Wrong....and the county will pay eventually.

justsaying
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justsaying 03/26/09 - 07:31 am
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What do I do with all these

What do I do with all these tokens!

ripjones
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ripjones 03/26/09 - 07:42 am
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I'll chime in here as well.

I'll chime in here as well. Brad -- you are absolutely correct. If Gordon Highway is believed to be the Gateway to Augusta, Heaven help us all.

curly123053
4011
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curly123053 03/26/09 - 08:14 am
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The Discoteche and other

The Discoteche and other strip joints on Broad St are on the "Gateway" to downtown. Maybe they could use this law to shut them down too.

APiratesLife4Me
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APiratesLife4Me 03/26/09 - 08:30 am
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PoliticallyNcorrect, Not

PoliticallyNcorrect, Not exactly because in 100 years from now the whites would still have allowed "immigrants" to work for them back in the 1800's and ealry 1900's. Let me restate that, the whites would have owned slaves way back when. The new set of ancestors will still demand compensation from the whites, for their ancestors being offered a job instead of living out of a trash can. Nothing changes, just new faces. Ummm, I mean just new hands being held out for a free ride.

APiratesLife4Me
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APiratesLife4Me 03/26/09 - 08:31 am
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Brad, That post was

Brad, That post was brilliant! Austin should use that as his morning commentary.

peonynut
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peonynut 03/26/09 - 08:32 am
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Not since the reversal of the

Not since the reversal of the death penalty in the 70's have I heard of a law being retroactive. I bet those same commissioners surf porn on their home computers if not at work. Gimme a break.
You go Brad, you are so right.

politicallyNcorrect1
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politicallyNcorrect1 03/26/09 - 08:38 am
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curly123053 ...The world will

curly123053 ...The world will be a much nicer place when people like you don't exsist. You & people like you have want to cram your morality standards down everyone's throat. Whether they like or not, your the same one's who think women should not be allowed to have abortions. Homeless children are in the hundreds of thousands & if you all had your way there would be 10 times that number by forcing women to have unwanted children. I am so glad Obama has more sense than you bible thumpers. The iceing on the cake is, I get extreme pleasure knowing this really chaps your Butt's. Don't like it? That's tuff cause you can't do anything about it. And NO ONE is going to cram their better than the world morality down my throat. :) Can you hear me laughing at you? Good!

purmkinhed
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purmkinhed 03/26/09 - 08:40 am
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"The city's licensing

"The city's licensing ordinance limits certain businesses from operating along the city's gateway corridors. The location on Gordon Highway is on a gateway corridor." Yup they're right it is. Right next too the crack and gay motels! Now all those prostitutes, crackheads and flaming gay prostitutes walking the street are sure not an eyesore along the "city's gateway corridor"!!! As a matter of fact that whole section of town looks like crap! And that includes all the businesses located there!

purmkinhed
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purmkinhed 03/26/09 - 08:42 am
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Oh and Brad; RIGHT ON!!!!

Oh and Brad; RIGHT ON!!!!

InChristLove
22407
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InChristLove 03/26/09 - 09:09 am
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PoliticallyNcorrect...man

PoliticallyNcorrect...man dude, you have a chip on your shoulder. I didn't see anything wrong with the comment curly123053 made...it's just his opinion. Don't see where he was cramming his morality standards down your throat. Yeah, I'm one of them bible thumping, morality cramming, individuals you're ranting about...and who is the final judge on morality. Is it whatever you feel is right by your standards just as the next guy's is based on what he feels the standards should be. Who makes the final decision on what is right and what is wrong. By your way of thinking, it's any thing goes. Well let's just say it's okay for incest to exist, how about let's do away with the law against public nakedness...we'll all walk around nude. Lets say it's morally okay for us to beat our kids, lets go back to animal sacrafices, or even better yet...How about our first born child, let's just offer them up to any god that will suit our fancy. You know I'm so sick and tired of hearing negative comments concerning my Christian beliefs. One day you will stand before a mighty and awesome God and you know what..sad to say..you won't be having the last laugh..but hey, your entitled to your opinion

FedupwithAUG
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FedupwithAUG 03/26/09 - 09:16 am
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All the sex offenders in the

All the sex offenders in the area need some place to shop. Open it up already.

politicallyNcorrect1
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politicallyNcorrect1 03/26/09 - 09:24 am
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InChristLove ...What a silly

InChristLove ...What a silly response, your speaking of laws..breaking laws. How do you connect that? I'm speaking of a legal business that employee's people & pays tax's. And some would shut them down because they think it's wrong. It's not illegal & that's the bottom line. You statement is just silly because you don't have any legitimate facts to show why a strip club should be outlawed. How can you compare your statement with anything rational? Your talking about incest who in the world would want to have that? being naked ( against the law ) I'm saying leave legal business's alone. When they are outlawed that will be a different story. That's what's bible thumper's hate. They think it's wrong & to them that's all that matters. Laws are laws son don't come back with silly & very serious crimes & compare them to a legal business. How can anyone take a guy like you serious comparing such fifth as incest to a legal strip club.

Brad Owens
4094
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Brad Owens 03/26/09 - 09:30 am
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Well, thanks guys. I just

Well, thanks guys. I just call it like I see it these days. You know who voted aginst this originally? Willie Mays when he was still on the commission. He made a point that Riverman1 made about this being an issue of freedom. He said that the comission was making a mistake in punishing one type of business for reasons of opinion about that business. By the way, politicallyNcorrect 05:58 post is right on too. If we are to be a convention town for REAL we need more and BETTER exotic dancing clubs. We are losing money here while they raise our taxes to pay for [filtered word] we don't need. The comission runs off good revenue generating businesses like this one and adds insult to injury by running up HUGE legal fees associated with defending this position in court. Want to see what the commission REALLY thinks of this area, look no further than projects like the lakes at Regency Mall...complete WASTE of dollars we NEED in other places. I will just refer everyone who wants Adult related items to a much nicer Augusta gateway, the SC side of Hwy 1, where all your Adult Entertainment needs can be met.....M.A.E.'s is reday when you are!

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 03/26/09 - 09:33 am
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So where are the " Sex

So where are the " Sex offenders' shopping now?@FEDUP

HYPOCRITES 08
7
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HYPOCRITES 08 03/26/09 - 09:35 am
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I thought Bowen had it wrong

I thought Bowen had it wrong the first time? Why should his decision be trusted on it this time around?

politicallyNcorrect1
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politicallyNcorrect1 03/26/09 - 09:35 am
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You say your tired of the way

You say your tired of the way you thumpers are treated, look at your statement. That is some warped thinking to compare such offensive violations of the law & to make a statement like anyone..would want to do that. Your the sick one to even jokelingly say such warped thinking. And you wonder why people make fun of you..lol..you make it easy ..real easy.you don't need any help making yourself look stupid.

InChristLove
22407
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InChristLove 03/26/09 - 09:41 am
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PNC, you may have started off

PNC, you may have started off talking about whether a business has a legal right to open or not but then you went off on a tangent about bible thumpers trying to cram their better than the world morality down your throat. Truthfully, I'd rather not see the store open but if they determine it legal, so be it. As for bible thumper's hate...we don't hate, we're just trying to follow God's laws. If you prefer to call standing up for what we feel is right in the eyes of God, hate, then that's your problem. My line of reasoning for the earlier comment was if you start lowering your moral standards for this type of business to open, why not other issues society thinks is morally wrong. There's more than enough corruptness on that road as it is, why would you want to add more.

Tell it like it is
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Tell it like it is 03/26/09 - 09:44 am
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Be more concerned with the

Be more concerned with the drug traffic, the gang related shootings and leave the Xmart alone. The only reason that the city won't allow them a license is because it would take business away from the downtown strip joints. Lets keep the record straight. The Augusta Mafia dosen't want that.

politicallyNcorrect1
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politicallyNcorrect1 03/26/09 - 09:45 am
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InChristLove ...I swear I

InChristLove ...I swear I wonder where people like you come from? I bet you don't even have a clue how ignorant your statement is? Speaking of incest, being naked & anything goes. Where can you even remotely read between any lines & find that anyone would want to do what you suggested? You really need to go see the Wizard!

politicallyNcorrect1
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politicallyNcorrect1 03/26/09 - 09:51 am
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Brad & TellIt..than you I

Brad & TellIt..than you I feel better knowing I'm not the only one in town with a clue.
For Thumpers:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference....Try to excerise this every now & then. It really does make life easier when you accept these things.

InChristLove
22407
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InChristLove 03/26/09 - 09:51 am
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PNC, what is warped is

PNC, what is warped is worldly views that think it's okay to buy, sell, and view pornography. It's just my opinion, and you may think it's okay. I was not joking about our society getting to the point where we lower our standards so much that things that repulse us become common place...yes, it is getting to that point. And talk about me having a warped sense of mind, who's the one that said "The world will be a much nicer place when people like you don't exsist." Me mentioning incest and you taking it that is my approval, is like you saying you wish curly didn't exist and I think you are out to commit murder. Geez...talk about who sounds stupid now.

YESWECAN
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YESWECAN 03/26/09 - 09:55 am
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I enjoyed the xmart when it

I enjoyed the xmart when it was here in Augusta...i just don't understand the big deal. I think that opening an Adult store is a business move. Lets be real ppl u know all know what goes down behind close doors...lol..and everybody always wants to spice things up and stuff so to open a store on what is suppose to be a gateway to the city is a good idea. Im all for it!!! Maybe I can invest??!!

elliottness
2
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elliottness 03/26/09 - 09:56 am
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the sex offenders are

the sex offenders are shopping online so i hear.it's called hooked on freakonomics.ups will deliver it to you after their drivers have secretly opened your order.if you notice most male ups drivers look like perverts.if they circle your house 4 or 5 times it's because they're looking for somewhere to park and indulge in your paid for porn,before delivering it to you.now what will those deputies who used to sit across the road from this store watching with binoculars,and taking pictures do now? talk about a job to die for!

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