In the ever evolving story of CoCoDorm. In a hearing lasting more than 25 hours over three days, the Miami's Code Enforcement Board said it's not about the sex, it's about the residential neighborhood and have ordered the business shut down. Porn house illegal, Miami rules Benjamin said he intends to file an appeal within the next few days. ''But we're not sure where we're going to file the appeal yet,'' he said. ``We're not going to put our tail between our legs and go away. The activity is protected by the First Amendment.'' Mendez said the decision would not be enforced immediately.
The board voted 5 to 2 finding that the business is violating Miami city code in two ways: Operating an adult business in a residential area, and operating a business in a residential area.
So what does this mean for Flavaworks will they have to move again? Does the First Amendment protect Flavaworks and CocoDorm? If VoyeurDorm.com, a female version of CocoDorm operated in the nearby city of Tampa, was not guilty of similar violations, will Flavaworks get the same ruling in Miami? Only time will tell... and you know we will be watching.
BY LAURA MORALES as printed in the Miami Herald
The residents of Northeast 27th Street in Edgewater may not have neighbors like Pretty Ricky, Jerzey Flyrt and Nick Da Kannon for much longer.
After 10 hours of listening to evidence and arguments, Miami's Code Enforcement Board ruled late Monday that Phillip Bleicher's Flava Works, an Internet porn production and distribution company, is illegally running an adult entertainment business out of a single-family home at 503 NE 27th St. -- zoned for residential use -- and ordered that those operations cease.
''I think the city has met its burden of showing a link between the house on 27th Street and the website,'' board member Oscar Rodriguez Fonts said before moving to deny a motion, made by Flava Works attorney James Benjamin, to dismiss citations posted by city code inspectors in May.
The website is CocoDorm.com, where visitors can, for a fee, watch live video streams from the Edgewater house, where chiseled young males are paid $1,200, plus room, board and meals, to live in the two-story home for a month and have sex with each other on schedule.
Monday's hearing was the third in the sex-house case. Assistant City Attorney Victoria Mendez argued that Bleicher also was running an illegal rooming house, but that violation was dismissed. Benjamin argued that the house, leased by Flava Works from owner Angel Barrios, was not part of the adult entertainment operation. He cited a Tampa case where the 11th Circuit
Court of Appeals ruled that VoyeurDorm.com, a female version of CocoDorm, was not guilty of similar violations.
He also argued that business transactions don't happen at the house and that all sales and distribution take place at Flava Works' office at 2610 N. Miami Ave. ''No member of the public came to the location to view, buy, trade or obtain any adult entertainment,'' Benjamin said.
But Mariano Loret de Mola, the city's director of code enforcement, testified that, on one occasion, he saw a man he recognized as ''Dorm Dude'' Breion, who is prominently featured on the website's main page, walk up to the Edgewater house and punch in a code to let himself in.
That, and the differences between Miami's and Tampa's laws, scuttled Benjamin's argument. ''Miami's adult entertainment ordinance encompasses Internet activity in a way the Tampa ordinance did not,'' Rodriguez Fonts said.
''The city has no problem with giving them two weeks to get their business affairs in order,'' she said.
Porn house illegal, Miami rules
Benjamin said he intends to file an appeal within the next few days. ''But we're not sure where we're going to file the appeal yet,'' he said. ``We're not going to put our tail between our legs and go away. The activity is protected by the First Amendment.'' Mendez said the decision would not be enforced immediately.