City of Oswego, NY
Oswego County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Unless otherwise expressly provided in this chapter, temporary uses and structures are permitted subject to the standards hereinafter established.
A. 
Permits for temporary uses and structures may be issued by the Permit Administrator for a period not exceeding one year for incidental nonconforming uses, provided that such permits are conditioned upon agreement by the owner to remove the structure or use within 30 days upon expiration of the permit. No temporary use or structure shall be sited prior to the issuance of a permit.
B. 
The Permit Administrator shall set forth in the permit any conditions or requirements applicable to the temporary use or structure, such as conditions related to setbacks, parking, signage, buffers, lighting, water, hours of operation and duration of operations.
C. 
Except as permitted below, temporary structures shall not be used as sales offices.
D. 
Temporary structures shall not be used as places for human habitation.
E. 
The following temporary uses and structures are permitted, subject to the conditions described below:
(1) 
Temporary art and craft, festival, show, exhibit or sale by not-for-profits.
(a) 
A temporary outdoor art and craft, festival, show, exhibit or sale may be permitted in any district by any not-for-profit organization when approved by the Permit Administrator on the basis of the adequacy of the parcel size, parking provisions and traffic access and the absence of any undue adverse impact on surrounding properties and districts. Such use shall be limited to a period not to exceed three days per event.
(b) 
A temporary indoor art or craft show, festival, exhibit or sales may be permitted in any nonresidential district or in any public park in a residential district subject to prior approval by the Permit Administrator. Such use shall be limited to a period not to exceed three days per event.
(2) 
Real estate office, contractor's office, equipment shed and construction staging areas.
(a) 
Real estate offices containing no sleeping or cooking accommodations unless located in a model dwelling unit may be permitted in any district when accessory to a new housing development are permitted.
(b) 
Contractors' offices, equipment sheds and construction staging areas containing no sleeping or cooking accommodations may be permitted in any district when accessory to a construction project. Temporary storage shall be allowed as an accessory use to the contractor's office or equipment shed.
(3) 
Seasonal sales and temporary roadside agricultural sales.
(a) 
Seasonal sales and roadside agricultural sales may be permitted in any nonresidential district when approved by the Permit Administrator on the basis of the adequacy of the parcel size, parking provisions and traffic access and the absence of undue adverse impact on surrounding properties and districts.
(b) 
The duration of a permit for seasonal sales shall not exceed 60 days.
(c) 
No permit for roadside agricultural sales shall be issued outside of the period between April 15 and November 15 during any calendar year.
(4) 
Temporary outdoor sales for businesses.
(a) 
A temporary outdoor sale may be permitted on the lot where a business occupies the lot with a primary use in nonresidential districts when approved by the Permit Administrator on the basis of the adequacy of the lot size, parking provision, traffic access and the absence of any undue adverse impact on the surrounding neighboring properties and districts.
(b) 
Such use shall be limited to a period not to exceed seven consecutive calendar days.
(5) 
Other similar temporary uses.
(a) 
A permit for a similar temporary use may issue in nonresidential districts when approved by the Permit Administrator on the basis of the adequacy of the lot size, parking provision, traffic access and the absence of any undue adverse impact on the surrounding neighboring properties and districts. Such uses include, but are not limited to, carnivals, festivals, fairs, and circuses.
F. 
A temporary use shall be operated only during those hours or on any days of the week as specified in this section or as otherwise approved by the Permit Administrator on the basis of the nature of the temporary use and the surrounding uses.
G. 
No temporary storage facility shall be maintained within any district, except as accessory to an ongoing and approved construction site.
H. 
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as prohibiting private garage and yard sales or requiring the issuance of a permit therefor, provided that the following standards are met:
(1) 
No such sale shall last longer than three consecutive calendar days.
(2) 
No premises shall be the site of more than two such sales within one calendar year.
(3) 
All sales shall be conducted on the owner's property. Multiple-family sales are permitted, provided that the sale is held on the property of one of the active participants.
(4) 
No goods purchased for resale may be offered for sale.
(5) 
No consignment goods may be offered for sale.
(6) 
No directional or advertising sign associated with the sale shall exceed four square feet in area.
(7) 
No directional or advertising sign shall be displayed more than 24 hours prior to the sale, and each such sign shall be removed immediately upon completion of the sale.
It is the intent of this section to encourage quality landscape design, construction and maintenance for the purposes of environmental preservation; heat, glare and wind reduction; site beautification; and buffering or screening. For purposes of this section, the landscaped area shall include the area required or permitted, under this section, to be devoted to landscaping, water features and environmental improvement, which may include existing and new vegetation, berms, lighting, site and street furnishings and ornamental features which are integrated with the vegetation. The following are the minimum landscaping requirements:
A. 
Along any district boundary where a nonresidential district abuts a residential district, there shall be provided within the nonresidential district a landscaped area at least 20 feet wide, which shall be suitably landscaped and maintained to provide visual screening from adjacent residential properties.
B. 
Where any nonresidential land use in a residential district abuts any residential land use, there shall be provided by the nonresidential use a landscaped area at least 15 feet wide, which shall be suitably landscaped and maintained to provide visual screening from adjacent residential properties.
C. 
In any Planned Unit Development District, landscaping shall be provided as required by the Planning Board.
D. 
Specifications.
(1) 
Required landscaping shall consist of shade trees, deciduous shrubs, evergreens, well-kept grassed areas and ground cover.
(2) 
One shade tree at least eight feet in height and at least two inches in diameter measured at a point six inches above finished grade level shall be planted no nearer than five feet to any lot line for each 500 square feet of required landscaped area; and one deciduous shrub or evergreen shall be planted for every 200 square feet of required landscaped area.
(3) 
All such landscaping shall be maintained in a healthy growing condition with ground cover or grassed areas. Dead material shall be replaced, and plant material shall be regularly pruned and nourished to maintain health.
(4) 
The Planning Board may require fencing or suitable landscaping to provide adequate screening of property. Such fencing shall be erected so that the finished or smooth side faces the public.
(5) 
In nonresidential areas, erosion control plans shall be incorporated into all landscape plans.
E. 
Bufferyards.
(1) 
In addition to standard setbacks and the planting requirements outlined in this section, additional bufferyards shall be used to establish a greater separation where dissimilar land uses are located adjacent to each other. Careful site planning can minimize the need for constructed bufferyards by the preservation of natural topographic features, preservation of vegetation and sensitive location of site improvements and land uses.
(2) 
The type and extent of plantings, fencing and walls required for bufferyards shall be proportionally greater for increased degrees of incompatibility among adjacent land uses.
A. 
In residential districts, fences, hedges and walls not exceeding a height of four feet in a front yard or six feet in a side or rear yard shall be permitted. Fences, hedges and walls up to eight feet in height may be permitted by the Board of Appeals anywhere on a lot when it finds that:
(1) 
They will contribute to the aesthetic appearance of the neighborhood and are an integral part of the premises.
(2) 
They will not adversely affect the access of adjoining lots to light and air.
B. 
In nonresidential districts adjoining residential districts, fences, hedges and walls shall not exceed eight feet in height along the boundary; elsewhere there shall be no restriction on the height of fences, hedges or walls.
C. 
No obstructions higher than two feet above an adjacent curb elevation shall be permitted on a corner lot within a triangular area consisting of intersecting street lines and a line connecting points on the street lines, 30 feet from the point of intersection.
D. 
All fences in public space shall require approval of the Common Council.
E. 
Unless specified otherwise, the regulations in this article apply to districts not covered by the Design Standards.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The Design Standards are on file in the City offices
Outdoor use or storage of any upholstered furniture, including mattresses, manufactured primarily for indoor use shall be prohibited from being visible on the property from any public space, sidewalk, street or highway. Outdoor use or storage of such furniture as aforesaid shall also be prohibited on any unenclosed porch which is located, in whole or in part, on public space in the City of Oswego, New York.
Where the use of a head shop is allowed within this Code, it shall be unlawful to establish or maintain any head shop within 500 feet of any area zoned for residential use.
A. 
Purpose. It is the purpose of this chapter to regulate sexually oriented businesses in order to promote the health, safety, morals and general welfare of the citizens of the City. The provisions of this chapter have neither the purpose nor effect of imposing a limitation or restriction on the content of any speech, including sexually oriented speech. Similarly, it is not the intent nor effect of this chapter to restrict or deny access by adults to speech protected by the First Amendment and New York Constitution, or to deny access by the distributors and exhibitors of sexually oriented speech to their intended market. Neither is it the intent nor effect of this chapter to condone or legitimize the distribution of obscene material.
B. 
Findings. The Mayor and members of the City Council of the City of Oswego are all residents of the city and represent one of the seven wards in the city or the city-at-large. The Mayor and members of the Council are familiar with the city and the issues raised by sexually oriented businesses in the city and throughout the country. The Mayor and Council are also cognizant that AIDS, hepatitis and other sexually transmitted diseases are serious health concerns in the local community. Based on the Mayor and Council's local knowledge and evidence concerning the impacts or secondary effects of adult uses on the community, as presented in reports made available to the Council, on findings involving the effects of sexually oriented businesses and public nudity incorporated in judicial decisions such as, but not limited to, Town of Islip v. Caviglia, 73 N.Y.2d 544 (1989); Stringfellow's of New York, Ltd. v. City of New York, 91 N.Y.2d 382 (1998); City of Erie v. Pap's A.M., 146 L. Ed.2d 265 (2000); City of Renton v. Playtime Theatres, Inc., 475 U.S. 41(1986); U.S.v. O'Brien, 88 S.Ct. 163 (1968); Steam Heat vs. Silva, 230 A.D.2d 800 (2nd Dept. 1996); and Barnes v. Glen Theatre, Inc., 501 U.S. 560 (1991); and on studies in other communities, including, but not limited to: Kansas City, Missouri (April 1998); Whittier, California (July 1994); Denver, Colorado (January 1998); and Newport News, Virginia (March 1996), and from publications such as the New York Planning Federation article "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Adult Entertainment Regulations," and the Adult Use Manual of Massachusetts Chapter APA & City Solicitor & Town Counsel Association; the Mayor and Council find:
(1) 
Sexually oriented businesses lend themselves to ancillary unlawful and unhealthy activities that are not properly controlled by the operators of the establishments. Further, there are not adequate legal provisions making the owners of these establishments responsible for the activities that occur on their premises.
(2) 
Employees of sexually oriented businesses engage in or may be requested to engage in sexual behavior as a result of the type of employment in which they are engaged.
(3) 
Sexual acts, including masturbation, occur at sexually oriented businesses, especially those which provide private or semi-private booths or cubicles for viewing films, videos or live sex shows.
(4) 
The "entertainment" offered at sexually oriented businesses often encourages sexual activities, which create unhealthy conditions.
(5) 
Persons frequently visit sexually oriented businesses for the purpose of engaging in sexual activities within the premises of such sexually oriented businesses.
(6) 
Communicable diseases may be spread by sexual activities, including, but not limited to, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), AIDS, hepatitis B, and venereal diseases.
(7) 
AIDS, HIV, hepatitis B and venereal diseases are serious health concerns in the local community.
(8) 
Sanitary conditions in some sexually oriented businesses are unhealthy, in part, because the activities conducted there are unhealthy, and, in part, because of the unregulated nature of the activities and the failure of the owners and the operators of the facilities to regulate those activities and maintain those facilities.
(9) 
Numerous studies and reports have determined that semen is found in certain areas of sexually oriented businesses, particularly where persons view adult-oriented films or adult entertainment.
(10) 
The Council further determines that sexual encounter centers, as defined herein, do not serve a legitimate purpose, offer a location at which sexual activities and acts of prostitution can readily occur, and provide a location at which sexually transmitted diseases may be spread. The Council thus determines that sexual encounter centers should be prohibited.
(11) 
The Council further determines that adult hotels or motels, as defined herein, offer a location at which sexual activities and acts of prostitution can readily occur due to the offering of short-term or hourly rooms with beds, and provide a location at which sexually transmitted diseases may be spread. The Council thus determines that adult hotels or motels should be prohibited.
(12) 
The general welfare, health, morals and safety of the citizens of the city will be promoted by the enactment of this chapter.
C. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated hereinafter; the definitions contained within § 280-11 of this chapter shall also apply.
ESTABLISHMENT
Includes any of the following:
(1) 
The opening or commencement of any sexually oriented business as a new business.
(2) 
The conversion of an existing business, whether or not a sexually oriented business, to any sexually oriented business.
(3) 
The additions of any sexually oriented business to any other existing sexually oriented business.
(4) 
The relocation of any sexually oriented business.
PERMITTED ADULT USES
Shall be limited to adult arcades, adult bookstores or adult video stores, adult cabarets, adult motion-picture theaters, adult theaters, escort agencies, and nude model studios.
PERMITTEE
A person in whose name a permit to operate a sexually oriented business has been issued by the Permit Administrator, as well as the individual listed as an applicant on the application for a permit.
PERSON
An individual, proprietorship, partnership, corporation, association or other legal entity.
SUBSTANTIAL ENLARGEMENT OF A SEXUALLY ORIENTED BUSINESS
The increase in floor areas occupied by the business by more than 25%, as the floor areas exist on date of enactment.
TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP OR CONTROL OF A SEXUALLY ORIENTED BUSINESS
Includes any of the following:
(1) 
The sale, lease or sublease of the business.
(2) 
The transfer of securities which constitute a controlling interest in the business, whether by sale, exchange or similar means.
(3) 
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 the ownership or control.
D. 
Uses permitted. The following uses as hereinbefore defined, adult arcades, adult bookstores or adult video stores, adult cabarets, adult motion-picture theaters, adult theaters, escort agencies, and nude model studios, shall be designated "permitted adult uses." Adult uses shall be a permitted use in AO-IN Adult Overlay of the Industrial District only, provided that:
(1) 
A permitted adult use may not be operated within 500 feet of:
(a) 
A church, synagogue or regular place of worship.
(b) 
A public or private elementary or secondary school.
(c) 
A boundary of any residential district.
(d) 
A public park adjacent to any residential district.
(2) 
A permitted adult use may not be operated within 500 feet of another adult use or on the same lot or parcel of land.
(3) 
A permitted adult use may not be operated in the same building, structure or portion thereof containing another adult use.
(4) 
For the purpose of this article, 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 part of the premises where an adult use is conducted to the nearest property line of the premises of a church or public or private elementary or secondary school, or to the nearest boundary of an affected public park, residential district or residential lot.
(5) 
For purposes of Subsection D(2) of this section, the distance between any two adult uses shall be measured in a straight line, without regard to intervening structures or objects, from the closest exterior wall of the structure in which each business is located.
(6) 
All adult uses shall be conducted in an enclosed building with a setback from any public street of at least 100 feet. Regardless of location or distance, no one who is passing by any enclosed building having a use governed by these provisions shall be able to visually see any specified anatomical area or any specified sexual activity by virtue of any display which depicts or shows said area or activity. This requirement shall apply to any display, decoration, sign, window or other opening.
(7) 
Under no circumstances shall sexual encounter centers or adult hotels or motels as defined herein be permitted uses.
E. 
Inspection requirements.
(1) 
A person may operate an adult use business only within an AO-IN Adult Overlay of the Industrial District of the City of Oswego only in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(2) 
Prior to the commencement of any adult use business or upon any transfer of ownership or control, the premises must be inspected and found to be in compliance with all laws, rules and regulations of the Health Department, Fire Department and City Code Enforcement Office.
(3) 
The Health Department, Fire Department, and the City Code Enforcement Office and other code enforcement officials shall complete their certification that the premises is in compliance, or not in compliance, within 20 days of the inspection of the premises by such officials. The certification shall be promptly presented to the Permit Administrator and within 10 days of the receipt of all required certifications verifying that the premises is in compliance, together with a completed application for an adult use permit and permit application fee of $25, the Permit Administrator shall issue an adult use permit to the applicant.
(4) 
The Code Enforcement Office shall suspend the right to conduct such adult use by suspending an adult use permit for a period not to exceed 30 days if it determines that the owner and/or operator or an employee of the owner and/or operator has:
(a) 
Violated or is not in compliance with any section of this chapter.
(b) 
Engaged in illegal use of alcoholic beverages while on the adult use business premises.
(c) 
Refused to allow an inspection of the adult use business premises as authorized by this chapter.
(d) 
Knowingly permitted gambling by any person on the adult use business premises.
(e) 
Knowingly allowed possession, use or sale of controlled substances on the premises.
(f) 
Knowingly allowed prostitution on the premises.
(g) 
Knowingly allowed any act of sexual intercourse, sodomy, oral copulation, masturbation or other sexual conduct to occur in or on the permitted and/or licensed premises.
(5) 
An owner or operator of a sexually oriented business shall permit representatives of the City Police Department or any other law enforcement agencies having jurisdiction, Health Department, Fire Department, Code Enforcement Office or other city departments or agencies to inspect the premises of an adult use business for the purpose of ensuring compliance with the law at any time it is occupied or open for business.
(6) 
Prior to any suspension, the Permit Administrator shall provide to the owner and/or operator a notice stating the grounds for the suspension. The notice stating the grounds shall be provided to the owner and/or operator in writing. The owner and/or operator has the right to appeal this notice in writing to the Permit Administrator within 10 days of receipt of said notice. The Permit Administrator may not suspend the right to conduct such adult use until 15 days after the notice is given to the owner and/or operator or until after receiving the owner's and/or operator's response, whichever is sooner.
F. 
Enforcement.
(1) 
A person who knowingly owns, manages, operates, conducts or maintains any of the uses governed by these provisions in any way which is contrary to those regulations shall be subject to criminal prosecution under this Code or by civil injunction by the City Attorney in any court of competent jurisdiction.
(2) 
The continuation of a violation of the provisions of this section shall constitute, for each day the violation is continued, a separate and distinct offense hereunder.
(3) 
Each violation of the provisions of this section shall subject the owner and/or operator to a fine in the amount of $1,000 for each such violation in addition to any other penalties otherwise imposed hereunder.