Adult stores could be coming to Clay County

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Residents in Clay County residents could soon see novelty stores catering to adults looking to spice up their bedrooms.

Clay County commissioners are discussing the possibility of allowing them, which is stirring debate.

The idea scares Michelle Washington, a mother of two.

"I totally disagree. We already have stuff on social media and Internet access for the kids; they don't need to see that," she said.

"It's inappropriate for a lot of stores to be like that around here," resident Chris Nicholas added. "They are going to think of this part of town as a rough part of town."

One woman who didn't want to be identified disagrees.

"I think it enhances marriages and I think it's a good idea to have it," she said. "There's nothing wrong with it, and if you don't want to go into it, then just don't go by it."

County leaders began considering the idea recently after a businessman requested to bring an adult store to Clay County. And because there is no specific ordinance on the books regarding the issue, Commissioner Wendall Davis said his staff researched the matter and found adult stores are protected under the U.S. Constitution.

Davis' staff is now trying to draft an ordinance to allow these types of shops to operate in unincorporated areas of Clay County, a proposal he says commissioners would vote on later this year.

"If, in the end, the ordinance that is presented is represented by our council to be reasonable and reasonably expect the courts to uphold it, then yes, I don't see any other choice," Davis said.

The ordinance proposal is expected to be ready for review toward the end of the year. There will be at least two public hearings on this issue around that time.