Friday, April 18, 2003

Hustler sign along I-75 to face fine

By Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer

To Hamilton County officials, Larry and Jimmy Flynt's makeshift Hustler Hollywood sign off of Interstate 75 is a zoning issue.

To Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) officials, the giant banner advertising the Hustler Hollywood store is a safety issue.

But to Jimmy Flynt, brother of Hustler magazine founder Larry and business partner in the company, the sign tied to the side of a building is a free-speech issue.

"They wouldn't be doing anything about this if it didn't have the Hustler name on it. It's all about the content of the advertising," Flynt said Thursday. "We're going to sue over it."

Next week ODOT officials will begin fining Hustler Hollywood-Ohio Inc. and MSV Properties, which owns the building at 125 City Center Drive next to I-75 in Carthage, $100 per day. ODOT now joins Hamilton County zoning officials in trying to remove the banner, which advertises the Hustler Hollywood store in Monroe.ODOT officials say the sign violates state law prohibiting highway signs within 500 feet of an interchange, with the idea drivers should not be distracted at such junctures.

Hustler and MSV officials are appealing a county finding that the banner violated seven county zoning laws.


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