[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Wethersfield 5-20-1996. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The statement of intent of this chapter shall be to regulate adult-oriented establishments.
The Town Council of the Town of Wethersfield, Connecticut, finds that adult-oriented establishments in the Town of Wethersfield require special supervision from the Town's public safety agencies in order to protect and preserve the health, safety and welfare of the Town's citizens.
The continued unregulated operation of adult-oriented establishments is and would be detrimental to the general welfare, health and safety of the citizens of Wethersfield and especially its youth.
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 Town Council in enacting this chapter to deny to any person rights to speech protected by the United States and Connecticut Constitutions, nor is it the intent of the Council to impose any additional limitations or restrictions on the contents of any communicative materials, including sexually oriented films, videotapes, books and/or other materials. Further, by enacting this chapter, the Town Council does not intend to deny or restrict the rights of any adult to obtain and/or view any sexually oriented materials protected by the United States and Connecticut Constitutions, nor does it intend to restrict or deny any constitutionally protected rights that distributors or exhibitors of such sexually oriented materials may have to sell, distribute or exhibit such materials.
For the purpose of this chapter, the words and phrases used herein shall have the following meanings, unless otherwise clearly indicated by the context:
- ADULT AMUSEMENT MACHINE
- Includes any amusement machine that is 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 BOOKSTORE
- An establishment having a substantial or significant portion of its stock and trade in books, films, video cassettes or magazines and other periodicals 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 including adult-oriented films, movies or live entertainment, for observation by patrons therein.
- ADULT ENTERTAINMENT
- Includes any exhibition of any adult-oriented motion pictures, videos, 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 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 matter depicting, describing or relating to specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas, as defined below, 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 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, adult motion-picture theaters, adult video galleries, 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 to a member of the public, a patron or a member, when such adult entertainment is held, conducted, operated or maintained for a profit, direct or indirect, 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. An adult-oriented establishment further includes, without limitation, any 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.
- AMUSEMENT MACHINE
- Includes any machine which, upon the payment of a charge or upon the insertion of a coin, slug, token, plate or disk, may be operated by the public for use as a game, entertainment or amusement, whether or not registering a score and whether or not electronically operated, and shall include but not be limited to such devices as pinball machines, skill ball, mechanical grab machines, electronic baseball, football, hockey or basketball machines, any and all air-propelled machines or games, pool tables, shooting games, any and all video games and all other games, operations similar thereto under whatever name they may be indicated, including video-monitoring machines. This definition shall not apply to those items generally described as jukeboxes or billiard tables or pool tables in billiard or pool parlors solely designated as such and permitted under the Zoning Ordinance.
- The Town Council of the Town of Wethersfield, Connecticut.
- 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 as an employee or independent contractor.
- An employee of the Town of Wethersfield authorized and designated by the Director of Health or the Zoning Enforcement Officer, or an employee of the Wethersfield Building Division or a member of the Wethersfield Police Division, or the Fire Marshal of the Town of Wethersfield, or an agent of any or all of such persons who is designated to inspect premises regulated under this chapter or any other ordinances, state or federal laws in case of violations being found on such premises, and to require corrections of unsatisfactory conditions found on said premises.
- Refers to a person under the age of 18 years.
- Any person, partnership or corporation operating, conducting or maintaining an adult-oriented establishment.
- 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 to articles and advertisements dealing with subjects of art or photography. Nor does this definition apply to any news periodical which reports or describes current events and which, from time to time, publishes photographs or 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.
No operator or employee of an adult-oriented establishment shall allow or permit any minor to loiter in any part of such 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 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 booths, cubicles, studios, rooms or stalls, wherein adult entertainment is provided, shall be clearly visible from the common areas of the premises. Visibility into such booths, cubicles, studios, 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, studios, rooms or stalls within adult-oriented establishments for whatever purpose but especially for the purpose of providing for the secluded viewing of adult-oriented motion pictures or other types of adult-oriented entertainment.
The operator of each adult-oriented establishment shall be responsible for and shall provide that any room or other area used for the purpose of viewing adult-oriented motion pictures, videos or other types of live adult entertainment shall be well lighted and readily accessible at all times and shall be continuously open to view in its entirety. The premises shall be equipped with overhead lighting fixtures of sufficient intensity to illuminate every place to which patrons are permitted access in an illumination of not less than one footcandle as measured at the 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 when any patron is present in the premises.
Every act or omission by an employee constituting a violation of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed the act or omission of the operator if such act or omission occurs either with the authorization, knowledge or approval of the operator, or as a result of the operator's negligent failure to supervise the employee's conduct, including any act or omission, 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 while on the licensed premises, and any act or omission of any employee constituting a violation of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed 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 at all reasonable times by the Wethersfield Police Division, inspectors employed by the Town and/or the Health District or such other persons as the Town Council may designate.
No adult-oriented establishments shall be permitted on any site that is less than 1,000 feet from any school, church or any area zoned residential.
No adult-oriented establishment shall be permitted on a site that is less than 1,000 feet from an existing adult-oriented establishment.
Said one-thousand-foot distance shall be measured by taking the nearest straight line between the respective lot boundaries of said sites.
Any future adult-oriented establishments will be prohibited from having any on-premises cubicles, booths or segregated areas for the private viewing of adult-oriented entertainment, and no existing adult-oriented establishment may create or increase the number of such on-premises cubicles, booths or segregated areas for the private viewing of adult-oriented entertainment.
Any person, partnership or corporation who or which is found to have violated this chapter shall be fined a definite sum not exceeding $100 for each such violation.
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 for each hour of violation.
Should any court of competent jurisdiction declare any section, clause or provision of this chapter to be unconstitutional, such decision shall affect only such section, clause or provision so declared unconstitutional and shall not affect any other section, clause or provision of this chapter.