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Stop showing live video by Monday or expect legal action, Tarpon Springs says.
By KATHERINE GAZELLA
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 24, 2001
TARPON SPRINGS -- City officials have told the company that runs a voyeur Web site to stop showing live video of women living in a waterfront home in Tarpon Springs or face legal action.
In letters to the registered agent of ucanwatch.com and the owner of the home, Planning and Zoning director Walter Fufidio said the business violates four city ordinances.
"Unless this use ceases and desists by 8 a.m. on (Monday), the city is prepared to pursue any and all legal remedies," Fufidio wrote.
Fufidio said Friday that possible avenues include taking the matter before the Code Enforcement Board, which can levy fines of up to $250 a day until the company comes into compliance. He will talk to police Chief Mark LeCouris and City Attorney John Hubbard to find "the quickest way to resolve this matter," he said.
The ordinances cited by Fufidio require adult-use businesses to have adult-use permits and all businesses to obtain occupational licenses. Ucanwatch.com has neither, Fufidio said.
The other ordinances state that no adult use business can be in a zoning classification other than the highway business district, and that an adult business is not permitted within a residential/single family zoning district.
An attorney for ucanwatch.com sent a letter to Fufidio denying that the house violates the cited ordinances.
"My client maintains that none of the mentioned violations alleged in your letter are occurring" at the house overlooking Kreamer Bayou, attorney Jerry Theophilopoulos wrote.
Mike Schriver, the owner of ucanwatch.com, has said that no business operates out of the house. The house simply is where the women live rent-free, but the business operations and computer server are located in other places, Schriver has said.
"Nothing has changed," Theophilopoulos said. "The residents continue to live in that house."
Fufidio's letter is based partly on information gathered by the Tarpon Springs Police Department's investigation of ucanwatch.com, LeCouris said. He said the Police Department is continuing to investigate the business.
"We've still got some avenues from a law enforcement aspect," LeCouris said.
About 12 women live in the 7,000-square-foot home and are shown on the Web site through live video feeds, Schriver has said.
The Web site encourages subscribers to chat with "an actual female," watch naked women roam the house and "see their fantasies, hear their fantasies."
Fufidio's letter was sent to Stephen Shutt, owner of the house, and to state Rep. Larry Crow, R-Palm Harbor. Crow is listed as the registered agent in state records, although he recently said he only filed the corporate papers for the company and will have nothing more to do with them. Theophilopoulos is an attorney in Crow's Tarpon Springs law firm.
- Staff writer Katherine Gazella can be reached at (727) 445-4182 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Legislator reconciles beliefs, business (February 11, 2001)
Crow washes hands of voyeur Internet site (February 7, 2001)
County targets voyeur sites (February 1, 2001)
Men drawn to neighborhood of voyeur site (January 30, 2001)
Crow is lawyer for nude Web site (January 27, 2001)
Risque business goes online from Tarpon (January 26, 2001)