Town of Highland, NY
Sullivan County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Highland by L.L. No. 10-2002. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Zoning — See Ch. 190.

§ 20-1 Title.

This chapter regulates the establishment of any adult-oriented business in the Town of Highland, Sullivan County, New York. This chapter may be referred to as the "Adult Oriented Business Law of the Town of Highland."

§ 20-2 Purpose.

The intent of this chapter is to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the Town by regulating the location and operation of adult-oriented businesses within the Town of Highland. Adult-oriented businesses can have serious negative impacts on surrounding areas, including declines in property values, degradation of neighborhoods, increases in crime and deterioration of community character. This has been substantiated by a number of studies conducted throughout the United States. The Town of Highland has considered the findings of these studies and those incorporated in the cases of; a) City of Renton v. Playtime Theatres, Inc., 475 U.S. 41 (1986); b) Young v. American Mini Theatres, 426 U.S. 50 (1976); and c) Northend Cinema, Inc. v. Seattle, 585 P.2d 1153 (Wash. 1978). The Town's intent in enacting this section is not to restrict speech protected by the First Amendment but rather to provide for it in a way that is consistent with the demands of the U.S. Constitution, as expressed in the referenced cases. It is also, however, intended to address, in a practical way, the very real secondary affects of adult-oriented businesses on the peace, good order and safety of Town residents.

§ 20-3 Definition.

An "adult-oriented business" is hereby defined, for purposes of this chapter, as the use of a building or property for a business which has adult materials as a significant portion of its stock-in-trade or involves the sale, lease, trade, gift or display of drug paraphernalia. Adult materials include any literature, book, magazine, pamphlet, newspaper, paper, comic book, drawing, computer or other image, motion picture, sound recording, article, instrument, display or any other written or recorded material which depicts or describes: a) any nudity as defined herein; or b) the specific sexual activities listed herein. The Town shall also rely upon the general meaning given to these two terms by the State of New York and in the various decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court referenced herein, should further clarification be required.

§ 20-4 License and standards.

So as to limit these impacts, all adult-oriented businesses shall require a license from the Town of Highland Town Board, which license shall be subject to renewal each calendar year based upon continued conformance with the requirements of this chapter. Such license shall be subject to fees to be established by the Town Board and only be initially issued upon the granting of a Special Use permit under the Town of Highland Zoning Law.[1] Adult-oriented businesses activities shall be subject to the following licensing standards:
Because adult-oriented businesses can lend themselves to ancillary unlawful and unhealthy activities, they shall be separated from other uses that could be severely impacted by their presence or which, in combination with the adult-oriented business, accentuate the negative impacts on the area. Adult-oriented businesses, therefore, shall not be located within 1,000 feet of any residence, residential facility, institution, health facility, church, synagogue, school, public or semi-public use, public park or recreation facility, any other establishment which sells alcoholic beverages or any other existing adult-oriented business. This setback is consistent with the open rural character of the Town within which numerous locations exist that can meet this standard.
Sale of alcoholic beverages at an adult-oriented business shall not be permitted unless the business is being operated as a bona-fide restaurant or eating and drinking establishment open to the general public.
No exterior display or interior display which is visible from outside the business shall be made to identify or portray the type of activity which occurs at an adult-oriented business excepting for one approved ground sign not to exceed a surface area of 32 square feet for both sides combined. Such sign shall be subject to all other Town limitations applicable to signs. It shall not incorporate any obscene material but shall be otherwise unlimited as to message.
No building or lot that does not conform with this chapter and the Town of Highland Zoning Law[2] shall be used for an adult-oriented business. No other existing building, lot or use shall be added to, enlarged, expanded in size or program or converted for purposes of conducting an adult-oriented business unless application to do so has been made pursuant to this section and the approval of the Town Board has been granted along with a special use permit under the Town of Highland Zoning Law.
Editor's Note: See Ch. 190, Zoning.
Because they are known to encourage prostitution, increase sexual assaults and attract criminal activity, the following activities shall not be permitted in any adult-oriented business within Highland Town:
Public appearance by a person knowingly or intentionally engaged in sexual intercourse, deviate sexual conduct or the fondling of the genitals of himself, herself or another person.
The knowing and intentional public appearance of a person in a state of nudity. Nudity means the showing of the human male or female genitals, pubic area, or buttocks with less than a fully opaque covering of any part of the nipple, or the showing of the covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state. These prohibitions are further based on the findings of the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Barnes v. Glen Theatre, 501 U.S. 560, 115 L.Ed 2d 504 (1991) and are intended to fulfill purposes identical to those upheld in that case. Moreover, there exists within Sullivan County, New York, substantial experience with these activities which indicates they, indeed, have the types of negative impacts on the community that the Indiana statute was designed to address and produce general deterioration of the character of the area in which they were located, leading to commercial and residential blight.
Editor's Note: See Ch. 190, Zoning.

§ 20-5 Interpretation.

The provisions of this chapter, in their interpretation and application, shall be held to the minimum requirements for the promotion of the public health, safety, and general welfare.

§ 20-6 Enforcement.

The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the Town of Highland Code Enforcement Officer and/or other law enforcement agencies as shall be appointed by the Town of Highland Town Board.

§ 20-7 Violations.

Any violation of this chapter is hereby declared to be an offense and shall render the violator or, if applicable, the owner of the land or the lessee, tenant or occupant, if his responsibility is fixed by contractual agreement, liable to a fine not to exceed $250.
Each and every day that any such violation continues after notification that such violation exists shall constitute a separate offense. Such notice shall be written by the Code Enforcement Officer and shall be served either by certified mail or by an appearance citation to the court, of courts appropriate jurisdiction, including the court of the Town Justice.
Should there be a conflict or provision between this chapter and any other local or state rules, regulations, codes or laws the more restrictive shall apply.