[HISTORY: Adopted by the City of Norwalk Common Council 5-25-1999, effective 6-4-1999. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to regulate adult-oriented establishments in order to protect, preserve and promote the health, safety and welfare of the city's citizens. This chapter is intended to preserve the character, the order, and prevent the deterioration of the city's neighborhoods. The objective of the city is to maintain property values and ensure sanitary and safe public places. The provisions of this chapter have neither the purpose nor the effect of imposing a limitation nor restriction of any communicative materials, including sexually oriented materials. Similarly, it is not the intent nor effect of the city to restrict nor to deny access by adults to sexually oriented materials protected by the First Amendment, nor to deny access by the distributors and exhibitors of sexually oriented entertainment to their intended market.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall mean:
- ADULT BOOKSTORE
- A commercial establishment having more than 40% of its square footage and/or stock and trade in books, films, photographs, tapes, periodicals, video cassettes, magazines or other printed materials which are distinguished or characterized by their emphasis on matters depicting, describing or relating to "specified sexual activities" or "specified anatomical areas," as defined herein, and in conjunction therewith has facilities for the presentation of adult entertainment, as defined herein, and including adult-oriented films, movies or live entertainment, for observation by patrons therein.
- ADULT ENTERTAINMENT
- Any exhibition of any adult-oriented motion pictures, live performances, display or dance of any type which has as a substantial or significant portion of such performance any actual or simulated performance of "specified sexual activities" or exhibition and viewing of "specified anatomical areas." It also includes any amusement machine that is regularly used for presenting material distinguished or characterized by an emphasis on matters depicting, describing or relating to "specified sexual activities" or "specified anatomical areas," as defined herein, for observation by patrons thereof.
- ADULT MINI MOTION-PICTURE THEATER
- An enclosed building with a capacity of less than 50 persons regularly used for presenting material distinguished or characterized by an emphasis on matters depicting, describing or relating to "specified sexual activities" or "specified anatomical areas," as defined herein, for observation by patrons therein.
- ADULT MOTION-PICTURE THEATER
- An enclosed building with a capacity of 50 or more persons regularly used for presenting material distinguished or characterized by an emphasis on matters depicting, describing or relating to "specified sexual activities" or "specified anatomical areas," as defined herein, for observation by patrons therein.
- ADULT-ORIENTED ESTABLISHMENT
- Includes, without limitation, "adult bookstores," "adult motion picture theaters," "adult mini motion-picture theaters" and further means any premises to which the public, patrons or members are invited or admitted and wherein an entertainer provides adult entertainment, or which premises 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 wherein an entertainer provides adult entertainment, when such adult entertainment is held, conducted, operated or maintained for profit, direct or indirect. An "adult-oriented establishment" further includes any premises that are physically arranged and regularly used for adult entertainment whether advertised or represented as an adult entertainment studio, dance floor, stage, exotic dance studio, encounter studio, sensitivity studio, modeling studio or any other term of like import.
- BUFFER ZONES
- A distance of three feet or more between the torso of the entertainer and the patron.
- 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.
- 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 by an employee or independent contractor.
- The Director of Health, the Chief of Police, the Fire Marshal, their agent or representative, or any city employee designated to make inspections for health, fire, building safety, public safety, zoning purposes, violations of this chapter or for violations of other laws and ordinances of the City of Norwalk.
- Shall be deemed to refer to a person under the age of 18 years.
- Any person, partnership or corporation operating, conducting or maintaining an adult-oriented establishment.
- REGULARLY USED
- Used for the specified purposes more than eight hours per week.
- SEXUAL ACTIVITIES
- As used in this chapter is not intended to include any medical publications or films or bona fide educational publication or films, nor does it include any art or photography publications which devote 25% of the lineage of each issue or articles and advertisements dealing with subjects of art or photography. Nor does this definition apply to any new 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. Nor does this definition 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.
- SPECIFIED SEXUAL ACTIVITIES
- Simulated or actual:
No licensee, entertainer, operator or employee of an adult-oriented establishment shall perform or permit to be performed, offer to perform or allow patrons to perform any live performance or conduct featuring any of the "specified sexual activities" as defined in § 10-1.
No licensee, entertainer, operator or employee of an adult-oriented establishment shall allow or permit any minor to enter into, or in any way loiter in or about, any part of such establishment.
Every adult-oriented establishment doing business in the city on or after the effective date of this chapter shall be well-lighted at all times and be physically arranged in such a manner that the entire interior portion of the establishment, wherein adult entertainment is provided, shall be clearly visible from the common areas of the premises. It shall be a violation to block or obscure visibility by doors, curtains, partitions, drapes or any means whatsoever. It shall be a violation of this chapter to install enclosed booths, cubicles, rooms or stalls within adult-oriented establishments for any purpose in any way related to providing for the secluded viewing of adult-oriented motion pictures, or any other types of adult-oriented entertainment.
The licensee and/or operator of each adult-oriented establishment shall be required to equip and maintain his/her premises with overhead lighting fixtures of sufficient intensity to illuminate every place to which patrons are permitted access. The illumination of said fixtures would not be less than one footcandle as measured at the floor level. This requirement will be adhered to at all times any patron is present in the premises.
Every act or omission by an employee (as defined herein) constituting a violation of the provision of this chapter shall be deemed the act or omission of the licensee and operator. The acts and omissions referred to in this section shall be considered in the determination of license status.
All adult-oriented establishments shall be open to inspection by any inspector four times per year and/or upon a complaint.
No adult-oriented establishment shall open for business before 10:00 a.m.; and no adult-oriented establishment shall remain open after 1:00 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. No adult-oriented establishment shall be open for business after 2:00 a.m. on Friday and/or Saturday.
All adult-oriented establishments that provide live entertainment shall maintain buffer zones as defined herein during such performances. Buffer zones shall not apply to the taking of publicity and/or souvenir photographs in a supervised and lighted area.
Each adult-oriented establishment shall maintain a daily log, which should contain the name, address and photograph of each employee and/or independent contractor working at the establishment on that date. This log should include all aliases and should be open to inspection by the Chief of Police or his designee upon request.
Except as provided in § 10-3D below, from and after the effective date of this chapter it shall be unlawful for any person, partnership or corporation to engage in, conduct or carry on or permit to be engaged in, conducted or carried on, in or upon any premises in the city, the operation of an adult-oriented establishment without first obtaining a license to operate from the City of Norwalk City Clerk.
A license may be issued for only one adult-oriented establishment located at a fixed and certain location. Any person, partnership or corporation which desires to operate more than one adult-oriented establishment within the City of Norwalk must have a license for each.
It shall be a violation of this chapter for any entertainer, employer, owner or operator to knowingly work in or about, perform any service directly related to, the operation of any unlicensed adult-oriented establishment.
All existing adult-oriented establishments at the time of the passage of this chapter must submit an application for license within 60 days of the effective date of this chapter. If no application is filed within said sixty-day period, such existing adult-oriented establishment shall cease operations.
Each license shall be specific to a licensee and to a location and may not be sold, assigned or transferred in any way.
Upon the effective date of this chapter, the operator of any adult-oriented establishment shall be responsible for and shall acquire a license from the City Clerk, in accordance with § 10-5.
The operator of each adult-oriented establishment shall submit an application in triplicate to the City Clerk together with an application fee of $250 prior to the commencement of business or within 60 days of the effective date of this chapter for an existing establishment. The City Clerk shall date stamp all copies of the application and shall promptly deliver a copy of the application to the Chief of Police. The application shall be made upon an official form and disseminated by the City Clerk's office. In instances where a corporation or a partnership is the applicant, the application shall be signed and filed by a person having direct control or management of the proposed adult-oriented establishment.
The applicant for a license shall furnish the following information:
Name, address, driver's license or state identification number of the applicant, owner, operator, manager and/or other person(s) having control over or any financial interest in the adult-oriented establishment, including all aliases;
Written proof that the applicant is at least 18 years of age;
The exact nature of the entertainment to be conducted at the adult-oriented establishment;
The address of the adult-oriented establishment to be operated by the applicant;
Adult-oriented entertainment or similar business license, five-year permit history of the applicant, including but not limited to whether such person has previously operated in this or any other municipality, or is under license, or without license, or has had any such license revoked or suspended, the reason therefor and the business entity or trade name under which the applicant previously operated;
If the applicant is a corporation, the application shall specify the name of the corporation, the name of its president and secretary, the date and state of incorporation, and the name and address of the registered agent. If the applicant is a partnership or limited partnership it shall specify the name of each partner and the address of each general partner;
A notarized statement by the applicant that he or she is familiar with the provisions of this chapter and is in compliance with them;
Any criminal convictions of the applicant, owner, operator, manager and/or other person(s) having control over or any financial interest in the adult-oriented establishment, to any crime in any jurisdiction within five years of the filing of the application.
If a license to operate is granted, the information furnished in the application shall be updated within 30 calendar days of any changes. Said update shall be filed at the office of the City Clerk, who shall promptly forward the updated information to the Chief of Police.
The Chief of Police or his designee may prepare a background investigation report on the suitability of the application. The investigation may be conducted to confirm the qualifications of the applicant and to inspect the subject premises. The premises of the adult-oriented establishment may be inspected for compliance with all the provisions of this chapter and all local, state, and federal laws, codes and regulations. Said inspection may be completed and a report issued by the Chief of Police or his designee within 60 days of the filing of the application. The results of the investigation shall be put in writing and filed with the City Clerk and mailed to the applicant within 70 days after the date the application was filed.
The City Clerk shall issue the applicant a license to operate an adult-oriented establishment within 90 days from the date of the filing of an application if all requirements for an adult-oriented establishment described herein are met, unless (s)he finds any of the following:
That the applicant, owner, operator, manager and/or other person(s) having control over or any financial interest in the adult-oriented establishment has been convicted in this or any other state of a felony involving obscenity, sexual assault, assault, larceny, narcotics or any crime of violence, within five years of the filing of the application;
That the applicant previously violated this chapter within 18 months immediately preceding the date of the filing of the application.
Any failure to issue the license within 90 days from the date of the filing of the application shall constitute an approval of the license.
The City Clerk shall notify the applicant in writing, within 90 days of the filing of the application's denial, stating the reasons for such denial, including what, if any, measures can be taken to bring the application into compliance.
When an application is denied solely for reasons stated in this § 10-5, and such violation is correctable, the applicant shall be given an additional 30 days from the date of such notification of denial to bring the premises into compliance. Upon verification, by inspection, that the correction has been made, which shall be determined no later than five business days after receipt of written notice of correction, license shall be issued to the applicant so long as no new violations or other disqualifying factors have occurred within those 30 days.
As a condition of the license, the premises shall be open to random inspections, four times per year and/or upon a complaint. The inspector, including the Chief of Police or his designee, shall inspect, with or without a warrant, for compliance with this chapter. This inspection can take place during any and all hours the premises is open to the public.
The license, if granted, shall state on its face the name and residence address for the person to whom it is granted, the expiration date, the address of the adult-oriented establishment and the department or public official and telephone number to report any violation of this chapter. The license shall also include notice that the subject premises are subject to random inspections, four times per year and/or upon complaint.
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.
No license shall be issued if there are property taxes due to the City of Norwalk on the property on which the proposed adult-oriented establishment will be located.
In the case of an existing adult-oriented establishment, the business shall be permitted to continue in its current state during the application process.
Each license issued to a qualified applicant shall expire one year from the date of its issuance. In order to renew the license the licensee must submit a payment of $250 and an updated application. Such application and application fee shall be submitted by the licensee to the City Clerk at least 60 days but not more than 120 days before its expiration. Provided that the application complies with all licensing requirements as enumerated in § 10-5, renewed license shall be mailed by certified mail prior to the expiration date of the previous license. No establishment shall continue operations for more than 30 days after the expiration of its license, except in accordance with the provision of § 10-6B.
In the event that there are uncorrected violations of this chapter or Health, Fire, Zoning, Building or Safety Codes and/or regulations, of which the renewal applicant has received written notice, the license renewal shall be delayed for a maximum of 30 days to allow for corrections to be completed and inspections done to determine compliance. If the violations are not corrected within the thirty-day extension period, the license will not be renewed. A notice of nonrenewal shall be mailed to the licensee by certified mail, within five days after the thirty-day extension period has expired, stating the reasons for the nonrenewal.
Notwithstanding the provision of § 10-6B, no renewal shall be issued to a licensee that has had written notice of two or more violations of § 10-2, or one or more uncorrected violation of this chapter pending for more than 60 days. A written notice of nonrenewal shall be mailed to the licensee by certified mail, prior to the expiration date of the license, stating the reasons for the nonrenewal/revocation.
Should a license not be renewed for any violations provided for herein, then no license shall be issued for the same licensee for 18 months.
The Chief of Police may suspend a license for a period not to exceed 30 days upon his determination that a licensee, operator or employee has violated any part of this chapter. Suspensions shall be issued in writing and mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the licensee. An applicant may attempt to correct violations and submit them to the Chief of Police. The Chief of Police or Acting Chief of Police shall make a determination of compliance within 72 hours of its submission. Upon a satisfactory determination, the Chief of Police will reinstate the license. The business may continue to operate during the period of suspension. Any suspension still in effect after 30 days shall be deemed a revocation of the license subject to the provisions of § 10-8.
The Chief of Police or the Acting Chief of Police may submit a recommendation to revoke the license to the City Clerk. The City Clerk may revoke any license where it is determined that any of the following occur:
It is discovered that false or misleading information is contained in the application, or that data or material facts were omitted from any application;
Any cost or fee, required to be paid by this chapter, is not paid;
A licensee is no longer qualified due to conviction of any crime specified in § 10-4C(5) herein;
A licensee has one or more uncorrected violations of this chapter pending for more than 60 days;
A licensee failed to correct any violation within 30 days for which licensee's license was suspended pursuant to § 10-7;
The license or any interest therein is transferred in any way;
Once revoked no license shall be issued for the same licensee for 18 months.
At least 10 days prior to the revocation of any license, the City Clerk or Acting City Clerk shall send, by certified mail, written notice of the reasons underlying the revocation. The licensee shall be notified of the opportunity to make written application for a public hearing before the Board of License Appeals, at which time the licensee may present relevant evidence. If the licensee makes written application for a hearing within five days of receipt of the revocation notice, a hearing shall be scheduled to take place no later than 15 days from the date of the application for such hearing. A record shall be made of such hearing. A notice of hearing shall be posted not less than 10 days before the date of such hearing, in a conspicuous place on the property of the adult-oriented establishment. Within five days after such hearing, the Board of License Appeals shall either sustain or overrule the revocation. The revocation will be deemed overruled where the vote is evenly divided. Within five days after such hearing, the Board of License Appeals shall issue a final written notice of revocation or a notice of dismissal of revocation to the licensee by certified mail. All operations of the adult-oriented establishment shall be maintained, pending the final decision issued by the Board of License Appeals.
Any denial, nonrenewal or revocation of a license that is sustained in a written decision, after hearing, as provided in §§ 10-7A and D, shall be automatically stayed for a fifteen-day period, during which any aggrieved person may file an appeal to the Superior Court for the Judicial District of Stamford/Norwalk, if the aggrieved person so chooses. In the event that an appeal is filed to the Superior Court any denial of a renewal of a license or revocation of a license shall be stayed during the period the appeal is pending, unless otherwise ordered by the Superior Court.
Every person, corporation or partnership, whether acting as an individual, owner, operator, licensee or employee or agent of the adult-oriented establishment, who operates, maintains or conducts an adult-oriented establishment without first obtaining a license and paying the application fee to the city and/or who operates with a revoked or expired license or who violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall be fined a definite sum not exceeding $99 for each violation. Further, any violation of the provisions of this chapter shall subject the violator to arrest on an infraction charge pursuant to C.G.S. § 51-164p.
Each violation of this chapter shall be considered a separate offense, and any violation continuing more than one hour of time shall be considered a separate offense. Each day of operation without a license shall constitute a separate violation.
This chapter shall not preclude any additional enforcement action taken by any appropriate city, state or federal official conducted pursuant to any applicable ordinance, regulation and/or law of the City of Norwalk and/or State of Connecticut and/or the United States of America.
In addition to any fines or penalties imposed herein, this chapter may be enforced by injunctive procedure in the Superior Court.
There is hereby created a "Board of License Appeals" which shall have jurisdiction over any hearing requested pursuant to § 10-7D.
The Board of License Appeals shall be comprised of five electors of the City of Norwalk who shall be appointed by the Mayor with the approval of a majority of the Common Council. No member of the Police Commission, officer or employee of the Police Department or the City Clerk or employee in the City Clerk's Office shall serve on the Board of License Appeals.
The Mayor shall nominate five electors to the Board of License Appeals at the next regular Council meeting following the adoption of this chapter. The terms of said members shall terminate with the terms of the present members of the Common Council. Thereafter, the Mayor shall nominate five electors to the Board of License Appeals at the Council meeting held on the second Tuesday following the election pursuant to § 1-196 of the Code of the City of Norwalk for a term of two years.
Should any court of competent jurisdiction declare any section, clause or provision of this chapter to be unconstitutional, such decision shall affect only the subject section, clause or provision so declared unconstitutional and shall not affect any other section, clause or provision of this chapter.
In construing this chapter, masculine or neuter pronouns shall be substituted for those of feminine form and vice versa, and the plural of the singular and the singular of the plural shall be substituted in any case which the context may require.
This chapter shall be effective 10 days from its passage.