[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Maple Shade 11-23-1999 by Ord. No. 1999-11. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to protect and preserve the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Township of Maple Shade and the patrons of such sexually oriented businesses. Although sexually oriented businesses as defined by N.J.S.A. 2C:33-12.2 are prohibited uses by virtue of Chapter 135, Article XIV, Section 5.6 of the Code of the Township of Maple Shade, it is acknowledged that certain such businesses and uses are in existence in the township.
It is accepted that certain sexually oriented activities may include prohibited acts and criminal offenses and these uses, by their very nature, are recognized as having serious objectionable operational characteristics particularly when located near residential zones or in other inappropriate locations or without sufficient showing that such uses in a specific location will comply with the conditions and standards for the location and operation of such uses.
It is further recognized that sexually oriented businesses, due to their nature, have a deleterious effect on existing businesses around them or in close proximity to one another, thereby contributing to urban and rural blight and adversely affecting the quality of life in the adjacent area. The Township Council desires to minimize and control these adverse effects to protect the health, safety and welfare of its citizens; protect the citizens from increased crime; preserve the quality of life; preserve the property values and character of surrounding neighborhoods and deter the spread of urban and rural blight.
While it is not the intent of this chapter to suppress any speech activities protected by the First Amendment but to enact content-neutral regulations which address the secondary effects of sexually oriented businesses, it is not the intent of the Township Council to condone or legitimatize the promotion of obscene material and the Council recognizes that pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:34-2b, New Jersey State law prohibits the dissemination of obscene materials to a person 18 years of age or younger either by sale, distribution, rental or exhibition and expects and encourages state enforcement officials to enforce the obscenity statutes against any such illegal activities in Maple Shade Township.
The purpose and intent of this chapter is to regulate sexually oriented businesses to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of the Township of Maple Shade, as well as the patrons of such businesses, and to establish reasonable regulations to prevent adverse effects of sexually oriented businesses within the township. The provisions of this chapter have neither the purpose nor effect of imposing a limitation or restriction on the content of any communicative material or speech activity, including sexually oriented materials or expressive speech activity. Similarly, it is not the intent nor effect of this chapter to restrict or deny access by adults to sexually oriented materials or activity protected by the First Amendment, or to deny access by the distribution and legal exhibition of these wares to their intended market.
The definitions set forth herein are adopted from N.J.S.A. 2C:33-12.2. As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- An individual, proprietorship, partnership, corporation, associations or other legal entity.
- A. A commercial establishment which as one of its principal business purposes offers for sale, rental or display any of the following: books, magazines, periodicals or other printed material, or photographs, films, motion pictures, video cassettes, slides or other visual representations which depict or describe a specified sexual activity or specified anatomical area, or still or motion-picture machines, projectors or other image-producing devices which show images to one person per machine at any one time, and whether the images so displayed are characterized by the depiction of a specified sexual activity or specified anatomical area; or instruments, devices or paraphernalia which are designed of use in connection with a specified sexual activity; or
- B. A commercial establishment which regularly features live performances characterized by the exposure of a specified anatomical area or by a specified sexual activity, or which regularly shows films, motion pictures, video cassettes, slides or other photographic representations which depict or describe a specified sexual activity or specified anatomical area.
A person commits an offense if he or she operates or causes to be operated a sexually oriented business within 1,000 feet of:
For the purposes of Subsection A, measurement shall be made in a straight line, without regard to intervening structures or objects, from the nearest portion of the building or structure used as a part of the premises where a sexually oriented business is conducted, to the nearest property line of the premises of a church or place of religious worship, or public or private elementary or secondary school, or to the nearest boundary of an affected public park, residential district or residential lot.
Any sexually oriented business lawfully operating in violation of Subsection A or B above, as of the enactment into law of this chapter, although nonconforming, shall be permitted to continue, within the parameters set forth herein unless it is voluntarily discontinued for a period of 30 days or more.
A sexually oriented business lawfully operating is not rendered illegal by the location, subsequent to the grant or renewal of the appropriate mercantile license, of a church or place of religious worship, public or private elementary or secondary school or public park. This provision applies only to the renewal of a valid license and does not apply when an application for a license is submitted after a license has expired or has been revoked.
Sexually oriented businesses, being nonconforming uses within the Township of Maple Shade are subject to the rules and regulations as set forth in the Municipal Land Use Law, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq., and any expansion, alteration, change, etc., shall be subject to the restrictions set forth under N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70d.
No sexually oriented business shall violate or suffer or permit or have upon its premises a person convicted of a violation of a crime, any statute, ordinance or regulation involving sexually oriented businesses or violate any other law pertaining to the operation of the premises or violate the provisions of this chapter. Any such infraction shall cause legal action against the business license of such business as set forth in the Code of the Township of Maple Shade.
A person who operates or causes to be operated a sexually oriented business shall comply with the following requirements:
Upon application for a mercantile license, the application shall be accompanied by a diagram of the premises showing a plan thereof specifying the location of one or more manager's stations and the location of all overhead lighting fixtures and designating any portion of the premises in which patrons will not be permitted. A manager's station may not exceed 32 square feet of floor area. The diagram shall also designate the place at which the permit will be conspicuously posted, if granted. A professionally prepared diagram in the nature of an engineer's or architect's blueprint shall not be required; however, each diagram should be oriented to the North or to some designated street or object and should be drawn to a designated scale or with marked dimensions sufficient to show the various internal dimensions of all areas of the interior of the premises to an accuracy of plus or minus six inches. The Township Council may waive the foregoing diagram for renewal applications if the applicant adopts a diagram that was previously submitted and certifies that the configuration of the premises has not been altered since it was prepared.
No alteration in the configuration or location of a manager's station may be made without the prior approval of the Construction Code Official or his or her designee.
It is the duty of the owners and operator of the premises to ensure that at least one employee is on duty and situated in each manager's station at all times that any patron is present inside the premises.
The interior of the premises shall be configured in such a manner that there is an unobstructed view from a manager's station of every area of the premises to which any patron is permitted access for any purpose excluding rest rooms. Rest rooms may not contain video reproduction equipment. If the premises has two or more manager's stations designated, then the interior of the premises shall be configured in such a manner that there is an unobstructed view of each area of the premises to which any patron is permitted access for any purpose from at least one of the manager's stations. The view required in this subsection must be by direct line of sight from the manager's station. Viewing booths must be separated at least 12 inches from the exterior walls of any other viewing booths by open space.
It shall be the duty of the owners and operator, and it shall also be the duty of any agents and employees present in the premises, to ensure that the area specified in Subsection A(4) remains unobstructed by any doors, walls, merchandise, display racks or other materials at all times that any patron is present in the premises and to ensure that no patron is permitted access to any area of the premises which has been designated as an area in which patrons will not be permitted in the application filed pursuant to Subsection A(1) of this section.
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 one footcandle as measured at the floor level.
It shall be the duty of the owners and operator, and it shall also be the duty of any agents and employees present in the premises, to ensure that the illumination described above is maintained at all times that any patron is present in the premises.
A sexually oriented business operating without a New Jersey alcoholic beverage license shall be permitted to conduct the sexually oriented business only between the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 midnight. A sexually oriented business operating with a New Jersey alcoholic beverage license shall be subject to the hours of operation of licensed liquor establishments as set forth in the Code of the Township of Maple Shade. This subsection governs the operation of the sexually oriented business as defined in this chapter, and does not control the hours of operation of other permitted uses on the premises. (Authority: N.J.S.A. 2C:33-12.2.)
For the prevention of the spread of sexually transmitted disease, no partitions between subdivisions of a room, portion or part of a building, structure or premises may have an aperture which is designed or otherwise constructed to encourage sexual activity between persons on either side of the partition.
No booths, stalls or partitioned portions of a room, or individual rooms, used for the viewing of motion pictures or other forms of entertainment shall have doors, curtains or portal partitions, but all such booths, stalls, partitioned portions of a room or individual rooms so used shall have at least one side open to an adjacent public room so that the area inside is visible to persons in the adjacent public room. All such described areas shall be lighted in such a manner that the persons in the areas used for viewing motion pictures or other forms of entertainment are visible from the adjacent public rooms, but such lighting shall not be of such intensity as to prevent the viewing of the motion pictures or other offered entertainment.
A person commits an offense if, in a sexually oriented business establishment open to persons under the age of 18 years, he or she permits obscene material to be disseminated to persons under the age of 18 years pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:34-3 et seq.
In this section, "display" means to locate an item in such a manner that, without obtaining assistance from an employee of the business establishment:
Defenses to prosecution under this section are provided in N.J.S.A. 2C:34-3e and shall be incorporated herein as if fully set forth.
This chapter shall be enforced by the Zoning Officer, Code Official and/or any law enforcement officers of the State of New Jersey.