Town of Coventry, RI
Kent County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Coventry as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Licenses — See Ch. 153.
Shows, performances and exhibitions — See Ch. 196.
[Adopted 6-19-1995 by Ord. No. 1-95-0197 (Ch. 8, Art. VII, of the 1991 Code)]

§ 85-1 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ADULT BOOKSTORE
Any commercial establishment, which does not otherwise qualify as a theater or nonprofit free lending library, that either:
A. 
Has 5% or more of its stock on the premises, or has 5% or more of its stock on display, in stories, periodicals, photographs, drawings, sculpture, motion pictures, films or other visual representations which depict sadomasochistic abuse, sexual conduct or sexual excitement, as defined by R.I.G.L. § 11-31-1; or
B. 
Has on the premises one or more mechanical devices intended for viewing such materials.

§ 85-2 Compliance required; purposes; requirements.

A. 
In order for an adult bookstore to operate in the Town of Coventry, the requirements of this section shall be met (in addition to any other applicable requirements of the Zoning Ordinance).
B. 
The purposes of this section are:
(1) 
To protect children, who may be attracted to these establishments; and
(2) 
To prevent or control detrimental effects upon neighboring properties and existing and proposed land uses in the general area.
C. 
All adult bookstores shall meet the following requirements:
(1) 
All windows, doors and other apertures shall be blackened or obstructed so as to prevent anyone outside the establishment from viewing its interior, notwithstanding provisions of Chapter 153, Licenses, § 153-3, of the Code of the Town of Coventry.
(2) 
Advertising shall be limited to one business sign.
(3) 
The proprietor, owner or personnel of the establishment shall prohibit access to the premises by any person who is under 18 years old.
D. 
An adult bookstore must obtain a special use permit.

§ 85-3 Approval of special use.

A. 
A special use may be approved if:
(1) 
The proposed use is in conformance with all the applicable requirements and regulations of this article;
(2) 
The proposed use will not substantially impair the integrity of the Town Comprehensive Plan;
(3) 
The proposed use will not adversely affect the health, safety or welfare of residents or workers in the area; and
(4) 
The proposed use will not be detrimental to the use or development of adjacent properties or the general neighborhood.
B. 
In addition to all other requirements, no special use permit shall be issued for an adult bookstore unless the following requirements are met:
(1) 
The subject structure shall be located at least 1,000 feet from any Residential Zone, land proposed to be used for residential purposes on the Town Comprehensive Plan, or property associated with any of the following: school, library, park, playground, recreational facility, church, convent or monastery.
(2) 
As a part of the special use approval, the Town may restrict advertisement, outdoor display and the location of merchandise, and may impose other reasonable requirements deemed necessary to safeguard the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the community.
(3) 
The proprietor, owner or personnel of the establishment shall prohibit access to the premises by any person who is under 18 years old.
[Adopted 4-8-1996 by Ord. No. 1-96-0200 (Ch. 8, Art. IV, Div. 3, of the 1991 Code)]

§ 85-4 Purpose.

The purpose of this article is to prohibit certain acts of commercial exploitation of human sexuality in commercial establishments within the Town of Coventry where alcoholic beverages are served or offered for sale for consumption on the premises and to reduce the likelihood of criminal activity, moral degradation, disturbances of the peace and good order of the community which may occur when such commercial exploitation is permitted in such places.

§ 85-5 Findings.

The Town Council finds that there is an increasing commercial exploitation of human sexuality by owners and operators of commercial establishments within the State of Rhode Island where alcoholic beverages are served or offered for sale for consumption on the premises. Such exploitation takes place in the form of employing or permitting persons to perform or exhibit their nude or seminude bodies to other persons as an inducement to such other persons to purchase alcoholic beverages. The direct results of such exploitation are criminal activity, moral degradation and disturbances of the peace and good order of the community. In addition, such commercial exploitation of such nude and seminude acts is adverse to the public's interest in the quality of life, tone of commerce and total community environment of the Town of Coventry.

§ 85-6 Prohibited acts.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person or persons maintaining, owning or operating a commercial establishment located within the boundaries of the Town of Coventry, Rhode Island, at which alcoholic beverages are offered for sale for consumption on the premises:
(1) 
To suffer or permit any female person, while on the premises of said commercial establishment, to expose to the public view that area of the human female breast at or below the top of the areola thereof.
(2) 
To suffer or permit any female person, while on the premises of said commercial establishment, to employ any device or covering which is intended to give the appearance of or simulate such portion of the human female breast as described in Subsection A(1).
(3) 
To suffer or permit any person or persons, while on the premises of said commercial establishment, to expose to public view his or her genitals, pubic area, buttocks, anus or anal cleft. For purposes of this article, "buttocks" is defined as the area at the rear of the body which lies between two imaginary lines running parallel to the ground when a person is standing, the first or top such line drawn at the tip of the cleavage of the nates (i.e., the prominence formed by the muscles running from the back of the hip to the back of the leg) and the second or bottom line drawn at the lowest visible point of this cleavage or the lowest point of the curvature of the fleshy protuberance, whichever is lower, and between two imaginary lines on each side of the body, which lines are perpendicular to the ground and to the horizontal lines described above, and which perpendicular lines are drawn through the point at which each nate meets the outer side of each leg. The article would be violated, therefore, if any portion of this area is visible from any vantage point.
(4) 
To suffer or permit any person, while on the premises of said commercial establishment, to employ any device or covering which is intended to give the appearance of or simulate the genitals, pubic area, buttocks, anus and anal cleft.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any female person, while on the premises of a commercial establishment located within the boundary areas of the Town, at which alcoholic beverages are served or offered for sale for consumption on the premises, to expose to public view that area of the human female breast at or below the top of the areola thereof, or to employ any device or covering which is intended to give the appearance of or simulate such areas of the female breast as described herein.
C. 
It shall be unlawful for any person, while on the premises of a commercial establishment located within the boundaries of the Town, at which alcoholic beverages are offered for sale for consumption on the premises, to expose to public view his or her genitals, pubic area, buttocks, anus or anal cleft.

§ 85-7 Violations and penalties.

The penalty for any violation of § 85-6 or a subsection thereof shall be a fine not exceeding in amount $500 or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days in a jail or house of correction.