Grass Not Greener in Greene County For Adult Businesses

STAUNTON, Va. – Greene County currently has no sex shops, but county officials are on the move to make sure the rules are clear in the event one might open.

To that end, The Greene County Board of Supervisors along with the county's Planning Commission will gather at 7:30 tonight at the County Administration Building to discuss adding a section to the county code that will specify exactly where an adult-oriented business may open its doors.

According to a story in the Daily Progress, Greene County Administrator Barry Clark noted that the recent controversies in Staunton are what led to the push for zoning clarification.

For those playing without a scorecard, Staunton is the location of After Hours Video, an adult-oriented establishment which opened last fall. Not long after the store opened its doors, owner Rick Krial was charged with 16 felony and 8 misdemeanor counts of obscenity. Last month, store employee Tinsley Embrey was charged with six felony and four misdemeanor counts of obscenity.

According to the Progress, Clark said that although Greene County can't ban a business, he noted that it could set up rules to ensure an adult-oriented business isn't located near churches or schools.

"I think the community and the public kind of want to guide where these things go. We'd like those types of businesses to be a little bit more discreet, "Clark said.

By "discreet," Clark indicated to the Progress that adult businesses could not be located within 500 feet of a church or school, and that Greene County's industrial areas would be the best locations for sexually-oriented businesses.

Debbie Orme who manages Videos Etc. in nearby Crozet told the Progress she agreed that adult business shouldn't be located next to schools, but added that people who don't want to see adult material won't see them if the store in question is run carefully. Orme noted that at Video Etc., adult items are kept behind a closed door located in the rear of the store and store policy demands identification from anyone who looks underage.

Orme said, "I think it's better for people to come into a video store rather than go out to a bar and cheat."

Sadly, that's half the fun of going to bars.