City of Oswego, NY
Oswego County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
Temporary permits may be issued by the Zoning 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 upon expiration of the permit, as follows:
(1) 
Temporary uses incidental to a construction project.
(2) 
Temporary real estate sales office incidental to a subdivision.
(3) 
Temporary roadside stand for sale of agricultural products raised on the property.
(4) 
Other similar temporary incidental uses.
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.
(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.
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.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection D, which regulated the placement of fence posts and other structural fence supports, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 7-25-1983.
D. 
All fences in public space shall require approval of the Common Council.
[Added 10-14-1997; amended 10-15-2013]
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 on public space in the City of Oswego, New York.
[Added 10-22-2001]
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 City Engineer, 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 Officer.
(3) 
The Health Department, Fire Department, and the City Code Enforcement Officer 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 City Engineer 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 City Engineer shall issue an adult use permit to the applicant.
(4) 
The City Engineer shall suspend the right to conduct such adult use by suspending an adult use permit for a period not to exceed 30 days if he 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 Officer 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 City Engineer 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 City Engineer within 10 days of receipt of said notice. The City Engineer 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 $250 for each such violation in addition to any other penalties otherwise imposed hereunder.