Tuesday, April 25, 2000

Monroe votes anew on Hustler store

By David Eck
Enquirer Contributor

        MONROE — Larry and Jimmy Flynt, who last week thought they had the go-ahead to build a controversial Hustler store at Ohio 63 and Interstate 75, are facing one last, unexpected hurdle.

        The Monroe Planning Commission will vote again today on the Hustler store site plan because a member was absent last week when the commission voted 2-1 to approve it. The commission will meet at 6 p.m.

        City officials Monday said a majority of members currently on the commission needs to approve the project.

        Last week, commission members James Collins and Michael Morris voted to approve the plan, while Jeffrey Norris voted against it. Glenn F. Dixon was absent for the vote but came to the meeting later.

        A 2-2 tie during today's revote likely would constitute a denial of the plan, a city official said.

        “I would say it's the same as a failure,” Monroe City Manager Donald Whitman said. “It's got to be a majority of those seated.”

        Mr. Dixon could not be reached for comment Monday.

        But if the plan is ultimately denied, the city should expect a court fight, the Flynts' legal adviser said.

        “If they would vote otherwise ... I think that would be a travesty,” said attorney Louis Sirkin. “I think it would be public officials acting contrary to law, and I think they would know it. There's no basis to deny us our site plan. We've met all the requirements, and I believe they absolutely know we've met all the requirements.”

        Mr. Sirkin said he expects to be at today's meeting, but is not anticipating any difficulty. “We consider it a mere formality.”

        He thinks last week's approval by a majority of the members at the meeting was sufficient.

        The Hustler plan calls for a 7,200-square-foot, single-story building.

        Jimmy Flynt hopes to have the store open this summer.


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