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Town of Suffield, CT
Hartford County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Suffield 5-17-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-01. Amendments noted where applicable.]
A. 
Adult-oriented establishments, as hereinafter defined, require special supervision from public safety agencies in order to protect and preserve the health, safety and welfare of the Town's citizens.
B. 
Unregulated operation of adult-oriented establishments, including, without limitation, those specifically defined in § 134-2 hereof, would be detrimental to the general welfare, health and safety of citizens of Suffield, and especially its youth.
C. 
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.
D. 
It is not the intent of this chapter to deny any person rights to speech protected by the Constitutions of the United States and of the State of Connecticut nor is it the intent of this chapter to impose any additional limitations or restrictions on the contents of any communicative materials, including sexually oriented films, videotapes, books or other materials. Further, this chapter does not intend to deny or restrict the rights of any adult to obtain or view any sexually oriented materials protected by the Constitutions of the United States and of the State of Connecticut nor 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, videocassettes, 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 having 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
Includes any exhibition of any adult-oriented motion pictures, videos, live performance, display or dance of any type which has 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 fewer 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 and 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 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.
[Amended 12-19-2019]
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 the 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, Skee-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 and 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 Chapter 315, Zoning Regulations.
EMPLOYEE
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
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.
INSPECTOR
The Zoning Enforcement Officer, Fire Marshal, Director of Health, any designee of the foregoing, or any police officer or constable of the Town of Suffield, or any other employee or agent of the Town of Suffield authorized to inspect premises regulated under this chapter or to take action authorized by this chapter, any other ordinance or regulation of the Town of Suffield, or any state or federal law or to require correction of unsatisfactory conditions on any such premises.
[Amended 12-19-2019]
MINOR
Shall be deemed to refer to a person under the age of 18 years.
OPERATION
Any person, partnership, corporation or other legal entity operating, conducting or maintaining an adult-oriented establishment.
SEXUAL ACTIVITIES
As used in this chapter, is not intended to include the publication, sale or distribution of any medical publications or films or bona fide educational publications or films; any art or photography publications which devote 25% of the lineage of each issue to articles and advertisement dealing with the subject of art or photography; 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; or any 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.
A. 
Less than completely or opaquely covered:
(1) 
Human genitals or pubic region;
(2) 
Buttocks; or
(3) 
Female breasts below a point immediately above the top of the areola; and
B. 
Human male genitals in a discernibly turgid state, even if completely opaquely covered.
A. 
The display of human genitals in a state of sexual stimulation or arousal.
B. 
Acts of masturbation, sexual intercourse or sodomy.
C. 
Fondling or erotic touching of human genitals, pubic region, buttocks or female breasts.
A. 
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.
B. 
Every adult-oriented establishment doing business in the Town 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. It shall be unlawful to install enclosed booths, cubicles, 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.
C. 
The operator of each adult-oriented establishment shall be responsible to ensure that any room or other areas 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 their 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 when any patron is present in the premises.
D. 
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 express or implied authorization, knowledge, or approval of the operator, including any act or omission as a result of the operator's negligent failure to supervise the employee's conduct; 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.
E. 
An operator shall be responsible for the conduct of all employees while on the 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.
F. 
All adult-oriented establishments shall be open to inspection at all reasonable times by any inspector of the Town.
G. 
Advertisements, displays or other promotional materials displaying or depicting specified anatomical areas or specified sexual activities shall not be shown or exhibited so as to be visible or audible to the public from adjacent streets, sidewalks or walkways or from other areas outside the establishment, and all building openings, entries and windows for adult-oriented uses shall be located, covered or screened in such manner as to prevent the interior of such premises from being viewed from outside the establishment.
H. 
The premises shall be open for business no earlier than 10:00 a.m. nor later than 12:00 midnight.
I. 
Any person seeking to become an operator of an adult-oriented establishment must first obtain a special use permit from the Suffield Planning and Zoning Commission.
A. 
Any applicant for a special use permit must be a citizen of the United States at least 18 years of age.
B. 
Such applicant shall not have been convicted in this or any other state of any of the following crimes within three years of the date of filing the application:
(1) 
Prostitution or soliciting a prostitute, in Connecticut being a violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-82 or 53a-83.
(2) 
Promotion or permitting prostitution, in Connecticut being a violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-85, 53a-86, 53a-87, or 53a-89.
(3) 
Sexual assault, in Connecticut being a violation of any violation of the following sections of the Connecticut General Statutes: §§ 53a-70, 53a-70a, 53a-70b, 53a-71, 53a-72a, 53a-72b and 53a-73a.
C. 
An applicant shall not have been convicted of an obscenity offense in violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-194, 53a-196a, 53a-196b or 53a-196c within two years of the date of filing the application.
D. 
The fact that any conviction is on appeal shall not affect the disqualification of the applicant unless and until the conviction is reversed.
E. 
An applicant shall disclose any such convictions specified in the above Subsections B and C on the application.
F. 
If the applicant is not the owner of the subject premises, the owner must consent to the application and meet the same requirements and shall be jointly and severally responsible with the applicant and any subsequent permit holder for complying with these regulations.
G. 
This special use shall run with the land, provided that any subsequent owner and any subsequent person operating the adult-oriented establishment continue to meet these qualifications and the other provisions of these regulations. If such person is other than an individual, then the principal officer(s) of any corporation or controlling members of any limited liability company or a general partner(s) of any partnership must meet these qualifications.
A. 
Any person, partnership, corporation or other legal entity that is found to have violated this chapter shall be fined $150 for each such violation.
B. 
Each violation of this chapter shall be considered a separate offense, and each day on which a violation occurs or continues, after the time for the correction of the violation given in any order has elapsed, will be considered a separate violation of this chapter.
[Amended 12-19-2019]