Deal closes two adult business, keeps another open - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Deal closes two adult business, keeps another open

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RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) -

A deal struck by the Richland County Council will close two sexually-oriented businesses by year's end.  But the deal allows another similar business to stay open. 

That deal will also keep those businesses from opening in the middle of a hot spot for college activity again.

Some County Council members say it was the best compromise that could be reached, saving taxpayers from another expensive court battle.

Vagrants who loitered near the old Kmart on Bush River Rd. are being driven away by bulldozers readying the New Spring Church.

"We're making a about a 10 to 11 million dollar investment here on Bush River Road," said Michael Brown, the pastor of New Spring Church. "Not just solely for this community, but for the entire area, the entire city, and so it's our desire to reach this entire area."

They're not as concerned about the closing of Heartbreakers Adult Club, as other nearby businesses.

"For us it doesn't really matter what neighbors are around us so much," said Michael.

Others claim the business brought panhandlers who approach customers for cash.

Richland County has 12 sexually oriented businesses. None have a business license or meet the law to stay 1,000 feet away from churches, homes, schools, and parks.

Three years ago Councilman Seth Rose said Heartbreakers and Platinum Plus agreed to relocate. That deadline expired in 2011.

Recently council was approached by their lawyer, Tim Rogers, who said his client was prepared to relocate.

Council members said the new location would have been off Bluff Road in the shadow of Williams Brice Stadium. And they say that was unacceptable.

Council members Gwendolyn Davis Kennedy and Norman Jackson believe the deal reached to close Heartbreakers, and the neighboring lingerie store, while allowing out of the way Platinum Plus Adult Club to be grand fathered in and remain open, keeps that type of business away from the college traffic.

Both Jackson and Rose said the county needs to do more to enforce the laws for these businesses. When we asked why zoning hasn't done more, they couldn't explain why.

Council's 8-2 vote to accept a deal with the club's owners paves the way for the agreement to be put on paper. Heartbreakers and the lingerie store will close before December 31st.

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