[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Colchester 9-12-1996. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Ordinance enforcement — See Ch. 93.
The Town Meeting of the Town of Colchester, Connecticut, finds:
Adult-oriented business require supervision from the Town's public safety and zoning enforcement 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.
This chapter is designed to protect retail trade, prevent crime, maintain property values, preserve the quality of neighborhoods and residential districts and address related concerns about littering, traffic and public indecency.
Statistics and studies performed by a substantial number of cities and towns in the United States indicate that:
A large number of persons, primarily male, frequent adult-oriented businesses, especially those which provide closed booths, cubicles, studios and rooms for the private viewing of so-called adult motion pictures and/or video tapes and/or live entertainment.
Closed booths, cubicles, studios and rooms within adult-oriented businesses have been used by patrons, clients or customers of such adult-oriented businesses for the purpose of engaging in certain sexual acts.
Male and female prostitutes have been known to frequent such establishments in order to provide sex for hire to the patrons, clients or customers of such establishments within such booths, cubicles, studios and rooms.
Doors, curtains, blinds and/or other closure installed in or on the entrances and/or exits of such booths, cubicles, studios and rooms that are closed while such booths, cubicles, studios and rooms are in use encourage patrons using such booths, cubicles, studios and rooms to engage in sexual acts therein with prostitutes, thereby prompting and encouraging prostitution and the commission of sexual acts that cause blood, semen and urine to be deposited on the floors and/or walls of such booths, cubicles, studios and rooms, which deposits could prove detrimental to the health and safety of other persons who may come into contact with such deposits.
Persons under the age of 18 may be attracted to adult-oriented businesses and seek to enter or loiter about them without the knowledge or permission of their parents and guardians.
When adult-oriented businesses are in the immediate proximity to other adult-oriented businesses, residential areas or other uses of public assembly, there can be a deleterious effect upon adjacent areas. Special regulation of these adults uses is therefore necessary to ensure that these adverse effects will not contribute to the blighting or downgrading of the surrounding neighborhood.
The continued unregulated operation of adult-oriented businesses, including, without limitation, those specifically cited in the definition of "adult-oriented business" in § 4-2 hereof, is and would be detrimental to the general welfare, health and safety of the citizens of Colchester,
The reasonable regulation and supervision of adult-oriented businesses tends to discourage such sexual acts and prostitution, and thereby promotes the health, safety and welfare of the patrons, clients and customers of such establishments.
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 businesses in order to protect the public health, safety and welfare.
It is not the intent of the Town Meeting, in enacting this chapter, to deny any person rights to speech protected by the United States and/or state constitutions, nor is it the intent of the Town Meeting to impose any additional limitations or restrictions on the contents of any communicative materials, including sexually oriented films, video tapes, books and/or other materials. Further, by enacting this chapter, the Town Meeting 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/or state 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 for observation by patrons.
- ADULT BOOKSTORE
- An establishment having a substantial or significant portion of its stock-in-trade in books, films, video cassettes, compact disks or magazines and other periodicals that are distinguished or characterized by their emphasis on matter depicting, describing or relating to specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas, or an establishment with a segment or section devoted to the sale or display of such material. This definition shall not apply to any establishment in which such materials are concealed so as not to permit the observation of specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas.
- ADULT ENTERTAINMENT
- Any exhibition of any motion pictures, videotapes, live performances, displays or dances 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.
- 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 for observation by patrons therein.
- ADULT-ORIENTED BUSINESS
- Includes, without limitation, adult bookstore, adult motion-picture theater and commercial establishments containing one or more adult amusement machines. In addition, "adult-oriented business" 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 entertainment when such establishment is operated or maintained for profit, direct or indirect.
- 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 or whether or not electronically operated.
- 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 business.
- Any person who provides entertainment within an adult-oriented business, 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.
- A person under the age of 18 years.
- Any person, partnership or corporation operating, conducting or maintaining an adult-oriented business.
- TOWN MEETING
- The Town Meeting of the Town of Colchester, Connecticut.
Before operating an adult business in the Town of Colchester, the operator shall receive approval of its application for a special use license in accordance with § 4-4 hereof.
No operator or employee of an adult-oriented business shall allow or permit any minor to enter into such establishment or to loiter upon the grounds and parking lots of such establishment.
Every adult-oriented business doing business in the Town on and after 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, 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. After the effective date of this chapter, it shall be unlawful to install enclosed booths, cubicles, rooms or stalls within adult-oriented businesses for the purpose of viewing adult entertainment.
On and after the effective date of this chapter, the operator of each adult-oriented business shall be responsible for and shall provide that any room or other area used for the purpose of viewing 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 1.0 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 on 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, and shall be deemed the act or omission of the operator for purposes of determining whether the operator's license shall be revoked, suspended or renewed.
The operator shall conform in all respects with Section 11-17 of the Zoning Regulations of the Town.
This section shall not be deemed to prohibit any use preexisting the enactment of this chapter.
Any person, partnership or corporation desiring to secure a license shall make application to the Town Clerk. Seven copies of the application shall be filed with, and dated by, the Town Clerk. Copies of the application shall be distributed promptly by the Town Clerk to the Colchester Police Department, the Board of Selectmen, the Building Official, the Director of Health, the Zoning Enforcement Officer and the Planning and Zoning Commission.
The Town Clerk shall grant the application if all the standards for application in § 4-5 are satisfied and upon written certification from the First Selectman, Colchester Police Department, the Building Official, the Director of Health, the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Zoning Enforcement Officer that all applicable requirements have been met.
The application for a license shall be upon a form provided by the Town Clerk. The applicant for a license, which shall include all general partners of a partnership adult-oriented business, all officers and directors of a corporate adult-oriented business, all managers of an adult-oriented business and any other person involved in the management of an adult-oriented business, shall furnish the following information:
Name and address.
Written proof that the applicant is at least 18 years of age.
Whether the applicant previously operated in this or any other county, Town, city or state under an adult-oriented business license or similar business license, whether the applicant has ever had such a license revoked or suspended, the reason therefor and the business entity or trade name under which the applicant operated that was subject to the suspension or revocation.
Whether the applicant has been convicted, forfeited a bond or pled nolo contenderes to any crime involving moral turpitude, prostitution, obscenity or other crime of a sexual nature in any jurisdiction within five years immediately preceding the date of the application.
The address of the adult-oriented business to be operated by the applicant and the exact nature of the use to be conducted in the adult-oriented business.
If the applicant is a corporation, the applicant shall specify the name of the corporation, the date and state of incorporation, the name and address of the registered agent and the name and address of all officers and directors of the corporation.
Within 75 days of receiving an application for a license, the Town Clerk shall notify the applicant whether the application is granted or denied.
Whenever an application is denied, the Town Clerk shall advise the applicant in writing of the reasons for such action. If the applicant requests a hearing within 10 days of receipt of notification of denial, a public hearing shall be held within 30 days thereafter before the Board of Selectmen, as hereinafter provided. The Board of Selectmen must render a decision within 45 days of receipt of the notice of appeal.
Failure or refusal of the applicant to give any information relevant to the investigation of the application, or the applicant's refusal or failure to appear at any reasonable time and place for examination regarding said application, or the applicant's refusal to submit to or cooperate with any investigation required by this chapter shall constitute an admission by the applicant that the applicant is ineligible for such license and shall be grounds for denial thereof by the Town Clerk.
The Town Clerk shall grant an application if all of the following requirements have been met:
The applicant shall conform in all respects to the provisions of this chapter.
The applicant shall not make a material misrepresentation of fact in the application.
Neither the applicant if an individual, nor the manager, officer, director, if a corporation, nor a general partner if a partnership, nor any other person interested directly in the operation of the proposed business has been convicted of, pled nolo contenderes or guilty to any crime involving moral turpitude, prostitution, obscenity or other crime of a sexual nature in any jurisdiction within five years. The fact that a conviction is being appealed shall have no effect on this provision.
The applicant has not had a license similar to the one issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter issued by another local authority suspended or revoked for cause within the five-year period immediately preceding the date of the filing of the application.
The proposed business complies with all applicable sections of the Zoning Regulations of the Town.
The applicant shall be at least 18 years of age.
No license shall be issued unless the Colchester Police Department has investigated the applicant's qualifications to be licensed. The result of that investigation shall be filed in writing with the Town Clerk no later than 60 days after the date of the application.
A license fee of $250 shall be submitted with the completed application for a license. If the application is denied, 1/2 of the fee shall be returned.
Every license issued pursuant to this chapter will terminate at the expiration of one year from the date of issuance, unless sooner revoked, and must be renewed before operation is allowed in the following year. Any operator desiring to renew a license shall make application to the Town Clerk. The application of renewal must be filed not later than 60 days before the license expires. The application for renewal shall be filed in triplicate with and dated by the Town Clerk. A copy of the application for renewal shall be distributed promptly by the Town Clerk to the Colchester Police Department and to the operator. The application of renewal shall be upon a form provided by the Town Clerk and shall contain such information and data as is required for an application for a new license.
A license renewal fee of $250 shall be submitted with the application for renewal. In addition to the renewal fee, a late penalty of $100 shall be assessed against the operator who files for a renewal less than 60 days before the license expires. If the application is denied, 1/2 of the total fees collected shall be returned.
No license shall be renewed unless the Colchester Police Department conducts an investigation and determines that the applicant continues to meet all the standards for issuing a license as designated in § 4-5 of this chapter. The result of that investigation shall be filed in writing with the Town Clerk no later than 60 days after the date of the application for renewal.
The Board of Selectmen shall revoke a license or permit for any of the following reasons:
Discovery that false or misleading information or data was given on any application or material facts were omitted from any application.
The operator or any employee of the operator violates any provision of this chapter; provided, however, that in the case of a first offense by an operator where the conduct was solely that of an employee, the penalty shall not exceed a suspension of 30 days if the Board of Selectmen shall finds the operator had no actual or constructive knowledge of such violation and could not, by the exercise of due diligence, have had such actual or constructive knowledge.
The operator becomes ineligible to obtain a license or permit.
Any cost or fee required to be paid by this chapter is not paid.
Any intoxicating liquor or cereal malt beverage is served or consumed on the premises of the adult-oriented business.
The Board of Selectmen, before revoking or suspending any license or permit, shall give the operator at least 10 days written notice of the charges and the opportunity for a public hearing before the Board of Selectmen within 30 days after receipt of the notice.
A license shall be personal to the applicant and may not be transferred.
Any operator whose license is revoked shall not be eligible to receive a license for one year from the date of revocation. No location or premises for which a license has been issued shall be used as an adult-oriented business for six months from the date of revocation of the license.
The Board of Selectmen shall give notice to the Town Clerk of any revocations or suspensions.