[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Schodack 1-12-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Zoning — See Ch. 219.
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former Ch. 74, Adult Entertainment, adopted 8-24-2000 by L.L. No. 3-2000.
This local law shall be known and may be cited as "A Local Law Regulating Adult Business in the Town of Schodack."
The purpose of this chapter is to promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the residents of the Town of Schodack, to provide standards for the safe provision of adult businesses, and to minimize any potential adverse effects which may result from adult businesses.
This regulatory strategy is designed to avoid the negative secondary effects associated with a concentration of adult businesses, and to insulate residential areas and sensitive uses. The Town of Schodack wishes to minimize the negative secondary effects adult business uses have on the quality of life in the Town, on the crime rate, on its reputation and the perception of others and the associated straining of services.
It is not the intent of the Town of Schodack in adopting this chapter to:
Deny any person the right of free expression guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the New York State Constitution as may be expressed and presented in the form of goods and services offered by adult businesses; or
Impose upon any person any additional limitations or restrictions upon the right of free expression, guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the New York State Constitution, as may be expressed and presented in the form of goods and services offered by adult businesses beyond those granted to the Town under the United States Constitution, the New York State Constitution and the laws of the State of New York regarding the time, place and manner of that free expression; or
Impose upon any person any additional limitations or restrictions upon the right to obtain, view or partake of any communications guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the New York State Constitution as may be expressed and presented in the form of goods and services offered by adult businesses, beyond those granted to the Town under the United States Constitution, the New York State Constitution and the laws of the State of New York regarding the time, place and manner of that free expression; or
Estimate, decide, determine, resolve, consider, conclude, judge or qualify in any manner or fashion the quality or value of the content, nature, message, form, format, appearance, substance or presentation of the free expression guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the New York State Constitution as may be expressed and presented in the form of goods and services offered by adult businesses.
The Town of Schodack undertook a study to identify possible negative secondary effects that the Town might reasonably expect as a result of the location of an adult business within its borders and how these effects can be addressed. A negative secondary effect is one that happens to be associated with a type of speech, such as the deterioration of neighborhoods in relation to the presence of adult businesses, but is not the direct result of the speech itself. The concern that triggered this study was the possible negative secondary effects of adult businesses and not the materials and services provided by such establishments. The study looked at the negative secondary effects of adult businesses documented by other communities and applied them to the Town of Schodack.
Based on studies performed by other municipalities, Schodack can expect to see residents' quality of life deteriorate with the unplanned addition of adult businesses. As with other rural areas, the shock of noise, parking problems, lights, nighttime activity and litter will be more acutely felt than in a larger municipality. Schodack can expect to see an increase in crime, including prostitution, causing its resources to be strained by the increased demand on police services. The lack of anonymity in rural areas that is found in more urban settings can increase residents' fear of reprisals and recriminations if they complain. Studies have found that the character of a neighborhood can change dramatically when there is a concentration of adult businesses, including those that serve alcohol, adjacent to residential property. Additionally, housing values are lower in areas with three or more adult businesses than they are in areas with only one such business.
For the purpose of this chapter, certain terms or words used herein shall be interpreted as follows:
- ADULT BOOKSTORE, ADULT VIDEOSTORE, and ADULT NOVELTY SHOP
- A public or private establishment having as a portion of its stock-in-trade books, magazines, marital aids or novelties, films for sale/rent or viewing on premises, periodicals or materials or on-premises modeling of clothing and/or accessories; where such goods or services 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, rental or display of such goods or services.
- ADULT BUSINESS
- Includes an adult bookstore, adult video store, adult novelty shop, adult entertainment cabaret, adult motion-picture theater, adult drive-in theater, adult physical contact establishment and adult mini-motion-picture theater.
- ADULT DRIVE-IN THEATER
- A drive-in theater utilized for the presentation of materials distinguished or characterized by their emphasis on matter depicting, describing or relating to specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas for observation by patrons therein.
- ADULT ENTERTAINMENT CABARET
- A public or private establishment which permits or suffers or allows topless dancers, go-go dancers, exotic dancers, strippers, male or female impersonators, or similar entertainers whose performances are characterized by specified anatomical areas.
- ADULT MINI-MOTION-PICTURE THEATER
- A public or private establishment in an enclosed building with a capacity of fewer than 50 persons 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 MOTION-PICTURE THEATER
- A building with a capacity of 50 persons or more used for presenting material distinguished or characterized by its emphasis on matter depicting, describing or relating to specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas for observation by patrons therein.
- ADULT PHYSICAL CONTACT ESTABLISHMENT
- Any establishment which offers or purports to offer massage or other physical contact to patrons of either gender by employees or staff of either gender. Medical offices, offices of persons licensed or authorized under the Education Law to practice massage therapy, offices of persons licensed or otherwise authorized by the Education Law as a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant and electrolysis, karate, judo and dance studios are not to be considered adult physical contact establishments under this section.
All adult businesses shall be subject to the following restrictions:
Adult businesses shall be permitted in that portion of the PD-1 Zone as defined in Chapter 219, Zoning, as follows: all those lands bounded and described as follows: beginning at the intersection of the Columbia County line and running in a northerly direction along, east of US Route 9 to the southern boundary of lands owned by the New York State Thruway Authority, commonly known as the "Berkshire Spur," for a depth not to exceed 500 feet from the easterly right-of-way of US Route 9 and as more particularly described on the attached map entitled "Exhibit A."
Editor's Note: Exhibit A is on file in the Town offices.
Adult businesses shall comply with the following setback, frontage and lot size dimensional requirements pursuant to Town Code § 219-37:
All buildings shall be set back not less than 100 feet from the public right-of-way. The one-hundred-foot setback area shall be landscaped with grass, trees, and shrubs and shall be curbed at the street. No parking will be allowed in this area. Pedestrian circulation, utility facilities, and accessways shall be allowed in this area.
All buildings shall have side and rear yards that are a minimum of 50 feet.
Minimum lot widths for an adult business shall be 250 feet, and the building or other structures on the lot shall not cover more than 50% of the gross area of the lot.
No building shall have a height greater than 35 feet.
Adult businesses shall comply with the following distancing requirements:
No adult business use shall be permitted on a parcel which has a boundary within 500 feet of the parcel boundary of another existing adult business.
No building or structure associated with an adult business shall be located within 100 feet of any boundary of the Residential/Agricultural, Residential Multifamily, Highway Commercial or other Planned Development Zoning District as defined in Chapter 219, Zoning.
No building or structure associated with an adult business shall be located within 500 feet of existing residential dwelling units, churches or places of worship, private or public schools, preschools or day-care centers.
Adult businesses shall comply with the following site planning requirements:
No adult business shall be conducted in any manner that permits the observation of any material that depicts, describes, or relates to specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas from any public right-of-way or from any property not registered as an adult business. This provision shall also apply to any display, decoration, sign, show window, or other opening.
Only one on-site sign shall be permitted. Said sign shall only display the business name and/or hours of operation, and shall otherwise be in compliance with all other requirements of Chapter 219 of the Town of Schodack Code and by approval of the Planning Board.
Adult businesses shall provide a minimum of one parking space for each 100 square feet of gross floor area, and one parking space for each employee. A parking space shall not be less than 10 feet by 20 feet. Parking for more than 50 vehicles shall delineate fire lanes and handicapped parking.
No driveway shall be located less than 50 feet from an intersection, less than 20 feet from a property line, and be less than 20 feet in width.
Adult businesses shall provide commercial refuse container(s) placed on a concrete slab which is screened from view and is located so as to permit safe and easy removal of refuse by hand or truck.
All exterior lighting shall be approved by the Planning Board.
Fencing shall be provided along all side and rear lot lines to minimize visual conflicts with adjacent land uses, and shall be in compliance with all requirements of Chapter 219 of the Town of Schodack Code. Fencing shall be of material sufficient to screen adjoining properties and not be less than six feet in height nor more than eight feet in height in side or rear yards nor more than three feet in height when erected within 25 feet of the front lot line or highway right-of-way.
Driveways, accessways, parking lots, and walkways shall be paved with asphalt or concrete and shall be curbed.
No adult business shall sell, deliver or give away or cause or permit or procure to be sold, delivered or given away any alcohol beverage for consumption on or off the premises.
No person under the age of 18 shall be permitted within the premises of an adult business.
No person shall engage in, conduct, or carry on an adult business in the Town of Schodack unless a complete application therefor has been submitted, approved, and a permit is issued by the Town of Schodack Building Department and a certificate of occupancy has been issued.
Each application for an adult business shall be submitted to the Director of Planning and Zoning for review by the Town of Schodack Planning Board, containing all the information described below, and be accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee of $2,500. If the applicant is a corporation or a partnership, the following information shall be provided for each partner or officer or director of the corporation and each of the stockholders owning more than 10% of the stock of the corporation:
The name, residential street address, and residential mailing address (if different) of the applicant.
The street address and mailing address (if different) of the proposed adult business.
All other residences of the applicant for the three-year period immediately preceding the date of the application.
The business, occupation, or employment of the applicant for the three-year period immediately preceding the date of the application.
Written proof that the applicant is 18 years of age or older.
A complete set of the applicant's fingerprints.
A description of the facilities and services to be available on the premises of the proposed adult business.
The history of the applicant in the operation of similar establishments of businesses, including, but not limited to, whether or not the person, if previously operating in this state or another city or state under license, has had such permit revoked or suspended and the reason therefor, and the business activity or occupation subsequent to such action or suspension or revocation.
The criminal record, if any, other than traffic violations, of the applicant; if the applicant is an association or partnership, the criminal record of each associate or partner.
Upon receipt of a complete application and fee as provided for above, the Director of Planning and Zoning shall make or cause to be made a thorough investigation of the applicant's criminal record, and shall, within 30 days, submit the application to the Town of Schodack Planning Board for review.
Permit approval. A permit application may be denied by the Planning Board where it appears that the applicant has  been convicted of any offense involving, promoting or permitting prostitution; promotion of obscenity; dissemination of indecent materials to minors or public display of offensive sexual material, or  has made a false statement on an application for a permit, or  has previously owned or operated an adult business which resulted in suspension or revocation of permits or licenses, or  has committed an act in violation of this chapter. The Planning Board shall give the applicant written notice specifying the grounds for permit denial.
Permit suspension. A permit may be suspended by the Zoning Enforcement Officer where it appears that the permit holder has committed an act in violation of this chapter. The Zoning Enforcement Officer shall give the permit holder a written notice which shall: direct the permit holder to immediately cease operation of the business; specify the grounds for suspension; specify the action(s) that the permit holder must undertake to correct the violation; designate a ten-day time period from the date of said notice for all violations to be corrected to the satisfaction of the Zoning Enforcement Officer; and specify that if the violations are not adequately corrected within the ten-day time period, the permit shall be immediately revoked. The permit holder may, within 10 days from the date of suspension, file a written request with the Zoning Board of Appeals for a hearing. The Zoning Board of Appeals shall make a determination within 62 days of the hearing. If the Zoning Board of Appeals determines the permit was properly suspended, the adult business shall continue not to operate, and the permit holder shall have 10 days from the date of receipt of the Zoning Board of Appeals' determination to correct the violation(s) to the satisfaction of the Zoning Enforcement Officer. If the violation(s) are adequately corrected, the Zoning Enforcement Officer shall immediately reinstate the permit and the adult business shall be allowed to resume operation. If the violation(s) are not adequately corrected, the Zoning Enforcement Officer shall immediately revoke the permit following the procedures described below.
Permit revocation. A permit may be revoked by the Zoning Enforcement Officer where it appears that the permit holder has not corrected violations pertaining to a previously issued suspension notice, or has committed an act in violation of this chapter. A permit shall be automatically revoked if the permit holder receives more than three separate suspensions. The Zoning Enforcement Officer shall give the permit holder a written notice directing the permit holder to immediately terminate operation of the business and shall specify the grounds for revocation.
A violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute a violation, and shall be subject to suspension of the permit and punishable by a fine of $350 for the first suspension; $750 for a second suspension; and $1,000 for a third and final suspension. A permit shall be automatically revoked if the permit holder receives more than three separate suspensions.
If an adult business operates without a permit, or unlawfully operates after a permit was properly suspended or revoked, such violation shall be punishable by a fine of $1,000 and/or by imprisonment for up to 15 days. Each day such a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.