Town of North Branford, CT
New Haven County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of North Branford 1-21-1997 by Ord. No. 211, effective 2-18-1997. Amendments noted where applicable]

§ 101-1 Policy statement.

The North Branford Town Council hereby finds the following:
A. 
Adult-oriented establishments proposed or located in the Town of North Branford require regulation from the town's public safety agencies in order to protect and preserve the health, safety and welfare of the patrons of such establishments, as well as the health, safety and welfare of the town's citizens and especially the children. This is so because such businesses may and do generate secondary effects which are detrimental to the quality and character of residential neighborhoods, including criminal activity.
B. 
Statistics and studies performed by a substantial number of cities and towns in the United States indicate that:
(1) 
Large numbers of persons frequent such adult-oriented establishments, especially those which provide closed booths, cubicles, studios and rooms for private viewing of so-called "adult" motion pictures and/or video tapes and/or live entertainment.
(2) 
Such closed booths, cubicles, studios and rooms have been used by patrons, clients or customers of such adult-oriented establishments for the purpose of engaging in certain sexual acts.
(3) 
Male and female prostitutes have been known to frequent such establishments in order to provide sex for hire to the patrons, clients or customers of such establishments within such booths, cubicles and rooms.
(4) 
Doors, curtains, blinds and/or other closures installed in or on the entrances and/or exits of such booths, cubicles, studios and rooms which are closed while such booths, cubicles, studios and rooms are in use encourage patrons using such booths, cubicles, studios and rooms to engage in sexual acts therein with prostitutes or others thereby promoting and encouraging prostitution and the commission of sexual acts which cause blood, semen and urine to be deposited on the floors and/or walls of such booths, cubicles, studios and rooms, which deposits could prove detrimental to the health and safety of other persons who may come into contact with such deposits.
(5) 
The reasonable regulation and supervision of such adult-oriented establishments tends to discourage such sexual acts and prostitution and thereby promotes the health, safety and welfare of the patrons, clients and customers of such establishments.
C. 
The Constitution and laws of the State of Connecticut grant to the town powers and, in particular, police power to enact reasonable legislation and measures to regulate and supervise adult-oriented establishments, as hereinafter defined, in order to protect the public health, safety and welfare.
D. 
It is not the intent of the Town Council, in enacting this chapter, to deny to any person rights to speech or equal protection of the law as provided by the United States and/or State Constitution or to impose any additional limitations, restrictions or prior restraints on the contents of any communicative materials, including sexually-oriented films, video tapes, books, magazines, and/or other stock-in-trade. Further, by enacting this chapter, the Town Council does not intend to deny or restrict the rights of any adult to obtain and/or view any sexually-oriented materials or publications protected by the United States and/or State Constitution nor does it intend to deny or restrict any constitutionally protected rights that distributors or exhibitors of such sexually-oriented materials or publications may have to sell, distribute or exhibit such materials. Further, it is not the intent of the Town Council, in enacting this chapter, to restrict or regulate the viewing or exhibition of adult-oriented performances or displays in or on other than commercial buildings or premises.

§ 101-2 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the words and phrases used herein shall have the following meanings, unless otherwise clearly indicated by the context:
ADULT BOOKSTORE
An establishment having as a substantial or significant portion of its stock-in-trade, books, magazines and other periodicals and/or videos which are distinguished or characterized by their emphasis on matter depicting, describing or relating to specified sexual activities or anatomical areas or an establishment with a segment or section devoted to the sale or display of such material and/or videos whose dominant or predominant character and theme is the depiction of specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas. It is not intended to include any medical publications, films or bona fide educational publications or films nor does it include any art or photography publications which devote at least 25% of the lineage of each issue to articles and advertisements dealing with subjects of art or photography. This definition does not apply to any news periodical which reports or describes current events and which, from time to time, publishes photographs of nude or seminude persons in connection with the dissemination of the news. This definition does not apply to publications or films which describe and report different cultures and which, from time to time, publish or show photographs or depictions of nude or seminude persons when describing cultures in which nudity or seminudity is indigenous to the population.
ADULT ENTERTAINMENT
Any exhibition of any adult-oriented motion picture, live performance, display or dance of any type which as a significant or substantial portion thereof contains the actual performance of specified sexual activities or exhibition and viewing of specified anatomical areas.
ADULT ENTERTAINMENT CABARET
A public or private commercial establishment which is licensed to serve food and/or alcoholic beverages and which features topless or nude dancers or strippers or others whose acts are distinguished or characterized by their emphasis on specific sexual activities or specified anatomical areas for observation by patrons therein.
ADULT MINI MOTION-PICTURE THEATER
An enclosed building with a capacity of less than 50 persons used for presenting films whose dominant or predominant character and theme is the depiction of specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas for observation by patrons therein.
ADULT MOTION-PICTURE THEATER
An enclosed commercial building with a capacity of 50 or more persons used for presenting films whose dominant or predominant character and theme is the depiction of specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas for observation by patrons therein.
ADULT-ORIENTED ESTABLISHMENT
Adult motion-picture theaters and adult mini motion-picture theaters and any commercial premises to which the public, patrons or certain members of the public are invited or admitted and which are so physically arranged as to provide booths, cubicles, rooms, studios, compartments or stalls separate from the common areas of the premises for the purpose of viewing adult-oriented motion pictures or any commercial premises wherein an entertainer provides adult entertainment to a member of the public or a patron when such adult entertainment is held, conducted, operated or maintained for a profit, direct or indirect. An adult-oriented establishment further includes any commercial adult entertainment studio or any commercial premises that are physically arranged and used as such, whether or not advertised or represented as an adult entertainment studio, adult entertainment cabaret, exotic dance studio, massage parlor, nude modeling studio or other commercial enterprise which is sexually oriented and whose major business is the offering of a service which is intended to provide sexual stimulation or sexual gratification to its customers. Specifically excluded as adult-oriented establishments are businesses employing or operated by physicians, psychologists/psychiatrists or other licensed professionals or clothing stores. Any adult-oriented establishment serving liquor shall be subject to all the rules and regulations of the State Liquor Control Commission.
CHIEF OF POLICE
The Chief of Police of the town or his designated agent.
COUNCIL
The Town Council of the Town of North Branford.
EMPLOYEE
Any and all persons, including independent contractors, who work in or at or render any services directly related to the operation of an adult-oriented establishment.
ENTERTAINER
Any person who provides entertainment within an adult-oriented establishment, as defined in this section, whether or not a fee is charged or accepted for entertainment and whether or not entertainment is provided as an employee or as an independent contractor.
INSPECTOR
An employee of the East Shore District Health Department, the Zoning Enforcement Officer, an employee of the North Branford Building Department, the State Liquor Control Commission, a member of the North Branford Police Department, the North Branford Fire Marshal or an agent of any or all of such persons who is designated to inspect premises regulated under this chapter and to take the required actions authorized by this chapter in cases of violations being found on such premises and to require corrections of unsatisfactory conditions found on said premises.
LANDLORD
The person(s) or entity owning the building or premises in or on which an adult-oriented establishment is operated.
MINOR
A person under the age of 18 years.
OPERATOR
Any person who is a sole proprietor, a shareholder of a corporation owning at least 25% of the issued shares of any class of stock of a corporation, a partner in a limited or general partnership owning at least 25% of the partnership interest or a member of a limited liability company or partnership owning at least 25% of the company's interest of a business entity which is operating, conducting, owning or maintaining an adult-oriented business.
SPECIFIED ANATOMICAL AREAS
Less than completely and opaquely covered human genitals, pubic region, buttocks, female breasts below a point immediately above the top of the areola and human male genitals in a discernibly turgid state, even if completely opaquely covered.
SPECIFIED SEXUAL ACTIVITIES
Includes any of the following:
A. 
Human genitals in a discernable state of sexual stimulation or arousal.
B. 
Acts of human masturbation, sexual intercourse or sodomy.
C. 
Fondling or erotic touching of human genitals, pubic region, buttocks or female breasts.
TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP OR CONTROL
Regarding an adult-oriented establishment, includes any of the following:
A. 
The sale, lease or sublease of the business;
B. 
The transfer of securities which constitute a controlling interest in the business, whether by sale, exchange or similar means; or
C. 
The establishment of a trust, gift or other similar legal device which transfers the ownership or control of the business, except for transfer by bequest or other operation of law upon the death of the person possessing ownership or control.

§ 101-3 Responsibilities of operators and landlords; inspections; location.

A. 
Responsibilities of the operator.
(1) 
An operator of an adult-oriented establishment shall be responsible for the conduct of all employees while on the premises of such establishment, and any act or omission of any employee constituting a violation of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed the act or omission of the operator for purposes of determining whether the operator shall be subject to the penalties imposed by this chapter.
(2) 
No operator or employee of an adult-oriented establishment shall allow or permit any minor or intoxicated person to loiter in any part of such establishment, including parking lots immediately adjacent to such establishment used by patrons of such adult-oriented establishment.
(3) 
Every adult-oriented establishment doing business in the Town of North Branford shall be well lighted at all times and be physically arranged in such a manner that the entire interior portion of the booths, cubicles, rooms or stalls wherein adult entertainment is provided shall be clearly visible from the common areas of the premises. Visibility into such booths, cubicles, rooms or stalls shall not be blocked or obscured by doors, curtains, partitions, drapes or any other obstruction whatsoever. It shall be unlawful to install enclosed booths, cubicles, rooms or stalls within adult-oriented establishments for the purpose of providing for the secluded viewing of adult-oriented motion pictures or other types of adult-oriented entertainment.
(4) 
The operator of each adult-oriented establishment shall be responsible for and shall provide that any room or other area used for the purpose of viewing adult-oriented motion pictures or other types of live adult entertainment shall be well lighted and readily accessible at all times and shall be continuously open to view in its entirety. The premises shall be equipped with overhead lighting fixtures of sufficient intensity to illuminate every place to which patrons are permitted access at an illumination of not less than two footcandles, as measured at the floor level. It shall be the duty of the operator and its employees to ensure that the illumination described above is maintained at all times that any patron is present in the premises.
(5) 
The display of stock-in-trade or performances of adult-oriented establishments to the public view from outside such establishments is not permitted.
(6) 
The operator shall ensure compliance of the adult-oriented establishment and its patrons with the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Responsibilities of landlords. Any landlord who knowingly allows his property to be used by an operator in violation of this chapter shall be subject to the penalties and prosecution as hereinafter set forth in § 101-4.
C. 
Inspections. An operator or an applicant for a license to operate an adult-oriented establishment shall permit representatives of the Police Department, Health Department, Fire Department, Zoning Department, Building Department and/or any other inspector, as defined in § 101-2 of this chapter, to inspect the premises of an adult-oriented establishment for the purpose of ensuring compliance with the law at all reasonable times in the same manner and to the same degree as to that which other commercial establishments in the Town of North Branford may be subject or upon complaint or other reasonable cause or belief that there has been or exists a violation of this chapter or other law but not on an ad hoc or subjective basis so as to constitute harassment.
D. 
Location.
(1) 
No adult-oriented establishment shall be permitted on a site that is less than 200 feet from a residentially zoned area.
(2) 
No adult-oriented establishment shall be permitted on a site that is less than 400 feet from a public park, school, public building, church, synagogue or similar place of worship.
(3) 
No adult-oriented establishment shall be permitted in the same building in which an adult-oriented establishment already exists.

§ 101-4 Penalties and prosecution.

A. 
Any person, partnership or corporation who is found to have violated this chapter shall be fined the sum of $90 for each such violation.
B. 
Each violation of this chapter shall be considered a separate offense and any violation continuing more than one day shall be considered a separate offense for each day of violation.

§ 101-5 License required.

A. 
The operator of each adult-oriented establishment shall be responsible for and shall acquire a license from the Town of North Branford in the following manner:
(1) 
The operators, as defined in § 101-2, of each adult-oriented establishment shall submit an application to the Chief of Police upon a form to be provided by the Chief of Police. Within 45 days after receipt of a completed application for an adult-oriented establishment business license, the Chief of Police shall mail to the applicant a license or a notice of intent to deny. If the Chief of Police fails to do either, the license shall be deemed granted. The application shall be deemed complete when the Chief of Police has received the fees, all information required in § 101-6 below, photograph and fingerprints of the applicant and, in the case of a corporation or other business organization, photographs and fingerprints of all persons for whom information is required under § 101-6 of this chapter.
(2) 
The premises must be inspected by the East Shore District Health Department, North Branford Fire Department, North Branford Zoning Department and North Branford Building Department[1] within 30 days of receipt of the completed application. If the premises are not in compliance with state and local health, fire and building codes and zoning regulations, a license shall not be issued.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 40, Fire Department; Ch. 123, Building Construction; Ch. 232, Zoning.
B. 
An applicant shall be unqualified if one or more of the following is true:
(1) 
An applicant is under 18 years of age.
(2) 
An applicant is overdue in payment to the Town of North Branford of taxes, fees, fines or penalties assessed against him/her in relation to an adult-oriented establishment.
(3) 
An applicant has failed to provide information or has falsely answered a question or request for information on the application form.
(4) 
An applicant has been convicted of or has pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to a felony or a crime of moral turpitude including, but not limited to, a racketeering offense, a prostitution offense, a drug offense or a sexual offense as those offenses are defined in the Connecticut General Statutes or for conduct in another jurisdiction which would constitute an offense set forth above if carried out in Connecticut within the previous 60 months.
C. 
Notwithstanding the provisions of § 101-5B(4) above, an applicant shall not be deemed unqualified solely because of prior conviction of a crime; however, if the applicant has been convicted of a crime, the Chief of Police shall further consider the following when determining applicant qualification:
(1) 
The nature of the crime and its relationship to the granting of a license to operate an adult-oriented establishment.
(2) 
Information pertaining to the degree of rehabilitation of the convicted person.
D. 
If an applicant is deemed unqualified, said rejection shall be in writing and shall specifically state the evidence presented and the reason(s) for rejection and shall be sent to the applicant by registered mail, as further provided in § 101-11 of this chapter.
E. 
The license, if granted, shall state on its face the name of the person(s) or entity to whom it is granted, the expiration date and the address of the adult-oriented establishment. The license shall be posted in a conspicuous place at or near the entrance to the adult-oriented establishment so that it may be easily read at any time.

§ 101-6 License application information required.

A. 
The application shall include the information called for in Subsection A(1) through (9) below. If the applicant is an enterprise, it shall designate an officer or partner as applicant. In such case, in addition to the information in Subsection A(1) through (9) below, the application shall state the date of formation of the organization and the information called for in Subsection A(2) through (6) of this section with respect to each officer, director, general partner and all other persons with authority to participate directly and regularly in the management of the business, but such information need not be provided with respect to attorneys, accountants and other persons whose primary function is to provide professional assistance to the licensee.
(1) 
The name, business location, business mailing address and phone number of the adult-oriented establishment.
(2) 
The full true name and any other names, aliases or stage names used in the preceding five years.
(3) 
The current residential mailing address and telephone number.
(4) 
Written proof of age in the form of a birth certificate, current driver's license with picture or other picture identification document issued by a governmental agency.
(5) 
The issuing jurisdiction and the effective dates of any license or permit relating to an adult-oriented establishment or adult service, whether any such license or permit has been revoked or suspended and, if so, the reason(s) therefor.
(6) 
All criminal charges, complaints or indictments in the preceding five years which resulted in a conviction or a plea of guilty or nolo contendere.
(7) 
The name and address of the statutory agent or other agent authorized to receive service of process.
(8) 
The name(s) of the adult-oriented business manager(s) who will have actual supervisory authority over the operations of the business.
(9) 
An accurate, to-scale but not necessarily professionally drawn floor plan of the business premises clearly indicating the location of one or more manager's stations.
B. 
The information provided pursuant to Subsection A(5) and (6) above shall be supplemented in writing, by certified mail, to the Chief of Police within 10 working days of a change of circumstances which would render information originally submitted as false or incomplete.

§ 101-7 Fees.

A license fee of $500 shall be submitted with the application for a license. If the application is denied, 1/2 of the fee shall be returned.

§ 101-8 Renewal of license.

A. 
Each license shall expire one year from the date of issuance and may be renewed annually by making application as provided in § 101-5 of this chapter. Application for renewal should be made at least 30 days before the expiration date to allow town officials to review the application in a timely manner; however, when an application for renewal is made less than 30 days before the expiration date, the expiration of the license will not be affected.
B. 
An annual license renewal fee of $250 shall be submitted with the renewal application. In addition to the renewal fee, a late penalty of $50 shall be assessed against the applicant who files for renewal less than 30 days before the license expires. If the application for renewal is denied, 1/2 of the total fees collected shall be returned.
C. 
No adult-oriented establishment shall operate if its license expires by lapse of time; however, if an application for renewal has been filed prior to such expiration, the adult-oriented establishment shall be permitted to operate until notice of a decision not to renew such license has been received by the operator, manager, director or officer of the adult-oriented establishment.

§ 101-9 Suspension.

The Chief of Police may suspend a license for a period not to exceed 30 days if he determines that an operator or an employee of an operator has engaged in unlawful conduct or unlawful activities on the premises of the adult-oriented establishment.

§ 101-10 Revocation.

A. 
The Chief of Police shall revoke a license if he determines that:
(1) 
An operator gave false information as to a material fact during the application process;
(2) 
An operator or an employee of an operator has knowingly allowed possession, use or sale of controlled substances on the premises of the adult-oriented establishment;
(3) 
An operator or an employee of an operator has knowingly allowed or promoted prostitution on the premises of the adult-oriented establishment;
(4) 
An operator or an employee of an operator has knowingly operated the adult-oriented establishment during a period of time when the operator's license was suspended;
(5) 
An operator or an employee of an operator has knowingly allowed or as a result of his/her negligent failure to supervise has allowed any act of sexual intercourse, sodomy, oral copulation, masturbation or sexual contact to occur in or on the premises of the adult-oriented establishment; or
(6) 
An operator is convicted or pleads guilty or nolo contendere to an offense stated in § 101-5B(4).
B. 
Any operator whose license is revoked shall not be eligible to receive a license for one year from the date of revocation.

§ 101-11 Transfer of license.

A. 
An operator shall not transfer his/her license to another, nor shall an operator operate an adult-oriented establishment under the authority of a license at any place other than the address designated in the application.
B. 
The transfer of a license or any interest in a license or the operation of an adult-oriented establishment at any other place than the address stated in the license shall automatically constitute a revocation of such license without the necessity of any action on the part of the Chief of Police.

§ 101-12 Appeals.

If the Chief of Police denies the issuance of a license or suspends or revokes a license he shall within 10 days of his decision send to the applicant or operator at the address listed on the application, by certified mail, return receipt requested, written notice of his decision and shall further specifically state the evidence presented, the reason for the decision and the right to an appeal. The aggrieved party may appeal the decision to the Board of Police Commissioners within 30 days of receipt of the notice. The Board must render a decision within 45 days of receipt of the appeal. The aggrieved party may file an appeal from the Board of Police Commissioners directly to the Superior Court for the Judicial District of New Haven at New Haven within 15 days of issuance of notice of denial of the appeal from the Board of Police Commissioners. The filing of an appeal stays the action of the town in suspending or revoking a license until the Board of Police Commissioners makes a final decision and pending judicial review by the Superior Court. Nothing in this section shall prevent the town from proceeding with an injunction action pursuant to § 101-13 hereof.

§ 101-13 Injunction.

A person who operates or causes to be operated an adult-oriented establishment without a valid license is subject to a suit for injunction, in addition to such other penalties and sanctions as provided for in this chapter.

§ 101-14 Severability.

Should any court of competent jurisdiction determine any section, clause or provision of this chapter to be unconstitutional, unlawful or unenforceable, such decision shall affect only such section, clause or provision so determined unconstitutional, unlawful or unenforceable and shall not affect any other section, clause or provision of this chapter.