Swingers club shut down in Florence County

The Florence County Planning Department served a stop-work order to the Beaver Lodge on Hazel Drive in Florence, according to planner Jay Graham, saying it was in violation of a county ordinance.

The Beaver Lodge, according to its website, operates under the Benevolent Order Of Beavers, which is a private adult entertainment membership club.

The website says its members can engage in legal sexual activities on site.

Graham says the Beaver Lodge is in violation of a county ordinance on sexually oriented businesses, because it's located within 1,000 feet of a church and residential community.

The business also didn't also obtain zoning and building permits as required by the ordinance, Graham said.

Some neighbors on Hazel Drive say they're elated the club has been shut down.

"Everyone is on board. This is not something we want in this neighborhood," said Karen McCall.

"I'm extremely happy," Britt King said, "And I'm sure everybody on the street and around here is happy."

Palmetto Commercial Real Estate leased the building to the lodge and released this statement to WPDE NewsChannnel 15.

"Both Palmetto Commercial Real Estate and the building's owner sincerely regret leasing 1611 Hazel Drive to the Benevolent Orders of Beavers. We were misled as to the intended use for the property. The President of the organization compared their club to an Elks-type club which is obviously a misleading comparison. Had we known their intended use, we would not have assisted in this lease. The lease agreement, however, clearly states that no use maybe conducted in the premises that is contrary to any municipal law or ordinance."

Robert Carr is the President of the Benevolent Order of Beavers.

He says he didn't think his business had to comply with zoning regulations.

"I was told because it was in an non-zone area, we would not have to worry about it, zoning regulations. But I guess, I was misinformed," said Carr.

Carr says he filled out the necessary paperwork Tuesday to reopen, this time as a social club instead of a sexually oriented one.

Carr says he even took down sexual content from his website to reflect the new status of the lodge.

"Our website inadvertently overstressed adult entertainment component of our organization. If it's going to be a problem, we'll just drop that aspect and maintain it as a social club. We will no longer hold ourselves out as an organization that our make up is geared toward sexual activity," Carr explained.

Carr says his group recently organized and so far has 10 members.