[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Ellington effective 4-16-1994. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Zoning — See Ch. 230.
The legislative body of the Town of Ellington, Connecticut finds:
Adult-oriented establishments require special supervision from the Town's public health and 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.
Statistics and studies performed by a substantial number of cities and towns in the United States indicate that:
Large numbers of persons, primarily male, frequent adult-oriented establishments, especially those which provide closed booths, cubicles, studios and rooms for the private viewing of so-called "adult motion pictures" and/or live entertainment;
Closed booths, cubicles, studios and rooms have been used by patrons, clients or customers of adult-oriented establishments for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts;
Male and female prostitutes are known to frequent such establishments in order to provide sex for hire to the patrons, clients or customers within the booths, cubicles and rooms;
Doors, curtains, blinds and/or other closures installed in or on the entrances and/or exits of such booths, cubicles, studios and rooms are closed while such booths, studios, cubicles and rooms are in use and encourage patrons using such booths, cubicles, studios and rooms to engage in sexual acts therein with prostitutes and/or other members of the same sex, 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, creating risk to the health and safety of other persons who may come in contact with such deposits; and
The reasonable regulation and supervision of such adult-oriented establishments tend to discourage such sexual acts and prostitution and encourage safe use of said premises and thereby promote the health, safety and welfare of the patrons, clients and customers of such establishments.
Unregulated operation of adult-oriented establishments is and would be detrimental to the general welfare, health and safety of the citizens of Ellington.
The Constitution and laws of the State of Connecticut grant to the Town powers, especially 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.
It is not the intent of the body enacting this chapter to deny to any person rights to speech protected by the United States and/or State Constitution, nor is it the intent of this body to impose any additional limitations or restrictions on the contents of any communicative materials, books and/or other materials. Further, by enacting this chapter, this body does not intend to deny or restrict the right of any adult to obtain and/or view any materials protected by the United States and/or State Constitution, nor does it intend to restrict or deny any constitutionally protected rights that distributors or exhibitors of such materials may have to sell, distribute or exhibit such materials.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ADULT BOOKSTORE
- An establishment having a substantial or significant portion of its stock and trade in books, films, video cassettes, magazines, other periodicals or other film or electronic media which are distinguished or characterized by their emphasis on matter depicting, describing or relating to specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas, as defined below, and in conjunction therewith having facilities for presentation of adult entertainment, as defined below, and including adult-oriented films, movies or live entertainment for observation by patrons therein.
- ADULT ENTERTAINMENT
- Any exhibition or any adult-oriented motion picture, live performance, display or dance of any type which has as a significant or substantial portion of such performance any actual or simulated performance of specified sexual activities or exhibition and viewing of specified anatomical areas, removal of articles of clothing or appearing unclothed, pantomime, modeling or any other personal services offered customers.
- ADULT MOTION-PICTURE THEATER
- An enclosed building regularly used for presenting material distinguished or characterized by an emphasis on matter depicting, describing or relating to specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas, as defined below, for observation by patrons therein.
- ADULT-ORIENTED ESTABLISHMENT
- Includes, without limitation, adult bookstores and adult motion-picture theaters and further means any premises to which the public, patrons or members 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 wherein an entertainer provides adult entertainment to a member of the public, a patron, or a member, whether such adult entertainment is held, conducted, operated or maintained for a profit, direct or indirect. "Adult-oriented establishment" further includes, without limitation, an adult entertainment studio or any premises that are physically arranged and used as such, whether advertised or represented as an adult entertainment studio, rap studio, exotic dance studio, encounter studio, sensitivity studio, modeling studio or any other term of like import.
- Any and all persons, including independent contractors, who work in or at or render any services directly to patrons of or assist in the operation of facilities regulated by this chapter.
- 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 an independent contractor.
- An employee of the North Central Health Department authorized and designated by the Director of Health, or an employee of the Department of Inspections and Permits authorized and designated by the Director of said Department, or the Ellington Zoning Enforcement Officer, Building Official, Fire Marshal, Town Engineer or a member of the Connecticut State Police Department to inspect premises regulated under this chapter in case of violations being found on such premises and to require corrections of unsatisfactory conditions found on said premises.
- LEGISLATIVE BODY or BODY
- The Town Meeting of the Town of Ellington, Connecticut.
- A person under the age of 18 years old.
- Any person, partnership or corporation operating, conducting or maintaining an adult-oriented establishment.
This chapter is not intended to apply to any medical publications or films; nor to any bona fide educational publications or films; nor to 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; nor 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; nor 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.
No operator or employee of an adult-oriented establishment shall allow or permit any minor to be a patron, employee, or independent contractor working at such establishment or to loiter in any part of the establishment, including parking lots immediately adjacent to such establishment used by patrons of such adult-oriented establishment.
Every adult-oriented establishment doing business in the Town on and after the effective date of this chapter shall meet all of the following requirements:
The establishment shall be well lighted and 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 each of the following levels: floor level; 30 inches above floor level; and 50 inches above floor level. It shall be the duty of the operator and its agents to ensure that the illumination described above is maintained at all times that any patron is present in the premises. Lighting shall not be controlled from within any booth.
The establishment shall 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 whatever purpose, but especially for the purposes of providing for the secluded viewing of adult entertainment. Any room or other area used for the purposes of viewing adult entertainment shall be readily accessible at all times and shall be continuously open to view in its entirety.
Upon the effective date of this chapter, the operator of each adult-oriented establishment shall be responsible for and shall acquire a permit and assure that its business and premises comply with all of the requirements of this chapter.
Every act or omission by an employee constituting a violation of the provisions of this chapter shall be presumed the act or omission of the operator, as such act or approval of the operator is presumed to be the result of the operator's negligent failure to supervise the employee's conduct, and the operator shall be punishable for such act or omission in the same manner as if the operator committed the act or caused the omission.
An operator shall be responsible for the conduct of all employees and independent contractors and patrons while on the licensed premises, and any act or omission of any employee constituting a violation of the provisions of this chapter shall be presumed to be the act or omission of the operator for purposes of determining whether the operator shall be subject to the penalties imposed by this chapter.
All adult-oriented establishments shall be open to inspection during any of their hours of operation as well as the normal workday by inspectors as defined in this chapter.
No adult-oriented establishment shall be permitted on a site that is closer than 500 feet to an area zoned residential.
No adult-oriented establishment shall be permitted on a site that is closer than 1,000 feet to an existing school, church, or Town facility.
Any person, partnership or corporation who or which is found to have violated this chapter shall be fined a definite sum not to exceed $100 for each such violation.
Each violation of this chapter shall be considered a separate offense, and any violation continuing for more than one hour shall be considered a separate offense for each hour of violation.
Each operator or owner shall apply for and obtain a license for the operation of the regulated business.
Application shall be made to the Zoning Enforcement Officer on such form as may be prescribed by him together with an application fee of $100.
The Zoning Enforcement Officer shall review the application and refer it to all such other departments as may be required by this chapter to review the application and/or facility. Only after receiving affirmative responses from all such departments shall the Zoning Enforcement Officer issue the permit.
All permits shall be valid for a period of one year or until September 1, whichever first occurs. All such permits will renew on September 1.
Renewal permits shall require the same application and application fee and shall be reviewed in the same manner by the Zoning Enforcement Officer. Failure of the applicant to file his application at least 30 days before the permit expires shall be grounds for the Zoning Enforcement Officer to decline to reissue the permit for a period not exceeding the delay, and the facility shall not operate without a permit.
Each person who works at such a facility in any capacity shall apply for an adult worker permit.
Application shall be made to the Zoning Enforcement Officer.
Application shall be on a form prescribed by the Zoning Enforcement Officer which shall include personal identification, personal work history, criminal record, and position to be held, including a description of the work to be performed.
Permit shall be valid until September 1.
An application fee of $25 shall be paid with initial application. Renewal permits shall require an application fee of $10.
Each permit shall be valid to work only at a single designated facility. If the permittee moves to another facility another permit shall be required which shall require an application fee of $10.