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City now says Pandora's Box violates zoning

A Wilmington adult entertainment store may have to close its doors. The city zoning board says Pandora’s Box is violation of its ordinances. Despite the fact the business has been licensed and operating within city limits for four years, on Thursday, the assistant city attorney, and an attorney for the adult shop, presented their respective cases before the Board of Adjustment. The city says an adult establishment isn't zoned for the area of Oleander Driver where Pandora's Box operates. The store's attorney argues that only a small percentage of the store's merchandise falls within the "adult" category. A nearly identical situation forced the owner of Intimate Bliss to close his store on Market Street in March. He attended today's hearing. “We were informed that we were fine. Other businesses were informed. And there's a lot of money spent on our part when if the city is in error, well then they just walk away from it and say city officials can make errors. I'm sorry. In business people would be fired,” said Greg Sakas. This wasn't the first problem Greg Sakas ran into with a municipality. He recently won $175,000 in a lawsuit against the city of New Bern after the city was found guilty of wrongly confiscating adult videos from his store there. The Wilmington Zoning Board's hearing for Pandora's Box was continued until June 30th.

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Sad but true

From the story: "In business people would be fired,” said Greg Sakas."
The more incompetent you are, the higher you go in government. Want proof? Just look at our current president. The stunts government workers pull would never fly in private industry.

Fire the officials - keep the store & jobs

It is ridiculous when a City can change the rules of the game after the game has already started. The permit was issued for the store by the City. If the store is now required to move, then the City should pay for it. Stop wasting taxpayer money and focus on more important issues.

Shut down local businesses

Pandora's Box operated as the same store in downtown Wilmington for years before moving to the new location. If the city granted the business a permit to open a new store, it should have researched the legality of the location at that time! Personally I don't understand how proximity to a church affects a store that has some adult content. But that's another argument. My second point is that people who want pornography will get it. Shutting down a local business, putting honest people out of work in our already desperate job market is not going to solve any problems that certain people have with the filmed depiction of people doing what comes naturally. The people that want to view pornography will just get it on the internet instead and no-one wins.

Opening Pandora's Box

Well guess that's what happens when you open Pandora's box. The city isn't closing them down, just telling them that their current location is not zoned for what they are doing. The business is not illegal, just the address. And if you don't understand why the business shouldn't be allowed to operate near a church or school, let me remind you that we are living in the bible belt & that's the way it goes! They'd most likely do more business if they were closer to UNCW, anyway.

Personally, I don't think

Personally, I don't think adult stores should be located near churches or schools where there are young kids around to see it. Yes they will find a way to get a hold of porn no matter what, but we shouldn't make it readilly available, as that only adds fuel to the fire. I think you are on the right track with UNCW. Put it next to the university and see how the business booms.

If I wantd to say I don't

If I wantd to say I don't want a church located near my home....or a "ABC" store... in my neighborhood...What kind of response would I get there...It is the parents job to "curtail " what thier children see and do... and furthermore, there are children everywhere. Adult activities are not illegal, shameful. or wrong.... Why put a age limit to reach adulthood, if thier is nothing to look forward to when we get there....I always remeber this quote... Go forth and multiply.... Who said that????

city officials

My understanding is that John Fullerton is responsible for the zoning of the city. If it correct that permits were issued and he knew that theses stores had adult product and still issued them a license then he should be fired. I want to know how much this is costing the tax payers with all the officials that have to take part in closing stores down. Greg Sakas is right I would have been fired in my job why is he left to still make decisions.

John Fullerton

John Fullerton is a brilliant man and has been doing his job faithfully for years. I don't know the facts of the issue, but John makes the right decisions. If anyone knows the zoning code better, please volunteer for his job. Yeah, I though so.......


The only reason why Intimate Bliss was attacked by John Fullerton is because Greg Sakas had just won a lawsuit in the city of New Bern for his adult store. The award was won one week and the very next week they ( Fullerton and his crew) attacked another one of Greg Sakas' stores .. Intimate Bliss. Don't you find it ironic that once again, all of a sudden, a store is now too close to Blair Elementary? Did the school move? Did the store move? They measured 3 times to check distance and Intimate Bliss passed. All of a sudden the store is now in violation? It was attacked out of pure "get back" and the city knows this. It's amazing how corrupt the Zoning Office can be.

I agree that John Fullerton

I agree that John Fullerton is an expert at the zoning laws in Wilmington. I'm not sure of the specifics of this case, but I can tell you that John is the most pleasant and professional man you would ever want to work with. He has helped me with some zoning issues in my neighborhood and has never been anything short of stellar.