[HISTORY: Adopted by the Representative Town Meeting of the Town of Branford 4-8-1998. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also superseded former Ch. 111, Adult-Oriented Establishments, adopted 10-8-1997.
This chapter shall be known as the "Adult-Oriented Establishment Ordinance for the Town of Branford."
This chapter is intended to protect and preserve the health, safety, general welfare and property values in the Town of Branford. The purpose of this chapter is to regulate certain uses which, because of their nature, are recognized as having potentially serious objectionable operation characteristics, particularly when concentrated under certain circumstances, thereby having a deleterious effect upon surrounding areas. These uses are referred to herein as "adult-oriented establishments" (AOE's). AOE's generate secondary effects which are detrimental to the quality and character of residential neighborhoods, including criminal activity. Therefore, special regulation of AOE's is necessary to ensure that these adverse effects will not contribute to the blighting or downgrading of Branford's neighborhoods. Supervision from the Town's public safety agencies is needed 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.
Studies performed and statistics derived therefrom in a substantial number of cities and towns in the United States indicate that many AOE's, especially those with closed booths, cubicles, studios and rooms, have been used by patrons for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts. Male and female prostitutes have been known to frequent such establishments in order to provide sex for hire to the patrons of such establishments within such booths, cubicles and rooms. The sexual acts can result in bodily fluids deposited on the interior walls and floors, to the detriment of the health and safety of any other persons who may come into contact with such deposits. The reasonable regulation and supervision of such AOE's tend to discourage such sexual acts and prostitution and thereby promotes the health, safety and welfare of the patrons of such establishments.
It is not the intention of the Representative Town Meeting, in enacting this chapter, to deny to any person rights to speech or equal protection of the law under the United States and/or Connecticut Constitution.
For the purposes of this chapter, the words and phrases 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 in conjunction therewith has facilities for the 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 of any adult-oriented motion pictures, live performance, display or dance of any, 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.
- 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 a principle emphasis on matters depicting, describing or relating to specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas, as defined below, for observation by patrons therein.
- ADULT-ORIENTED ESTABLISHMENT (AOE)
- Includes, without limitation, adult bookstores, adult motion-picture theaters, adult mini-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, when such adult entertainment is held, conducted, operated or maintained for profit, direct or indirect.
- Any and all persons, including independent contractors, who work in or at or render any services directly related to the operation of an AOE.
- Any person who provides entertainment within an AOE 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 East Shore Health District authorized and designated by the Director of Health, or the Zoning Enforcement Officer, or an employee of the Branford Building Department or a member of the Branford Police Department, or the Fire Marshal of any fire districts, or an agent of any or all of such persons who is designated to inspect premises regulated under this chapter, and to take the required actions authorized by this chapter 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 AOE.
- SEXUAL ACTIVITIES
- As used in this chapter, is not intended to include any medical publications or films or bona fide educational publications or films, nor does it include any art or photography publications that devotes at least 25% of its lineage 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 of 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 AOE shall allow or permit any minor entry into such establishment.
Every AOE doing business in the Town on and after April 8, 1998, shall be well lighted at all times and 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, 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 AOE's 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.
On or after April 8, 1998, the operator of each AOE shall be responsible for and shall provide that any room or other area used for the purpose of viewing adult-oriented motion pictures 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 at 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 that any patron is present in the premises.
Every act or omission by an employee constituting a violation of this chapter shall be deemed the act or omission of the operator if the act or omission is the result of the operator's negligent failure to supervise the employee's conduct.
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 AOE's shall be open to inspection at all reasonable times by the Branford Police Department, inspectors employed by the Town or such other persons as the RTM or Selectmen may designate.
No AOE shall be permitted on a site that is less than 500 feet from an area zoned residential.
No AOE shall be permitted on a site that is less than 1,000 feet from an existing AOE.
No AOE shall be permitted on a site that is less than 500 feet from any public, private or parochial school, day-care center, library, park, playground or other recreational facility, whether commercial or nonprofit. Nor shall any such business be located within 1,000 feet of the property line of any church, convent, monastery, synagogue or similar place of worship, or cemetery.
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.