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Adult Business
(a) Adult business permit required.
[1] It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in, conduct or carry a permit to be engaged in, conducted or carried on, in or upon any premises within the Township the operation of an adult business unless the person first obtains and continues to maintain in full force and effect a permit issued by the Code Enforcement Officer as required by this subsection.
[2] A permit shall be issued to any applicant who has complied with all of the following requirements:
[a] The applicant has paid the adult business application fee required pursuant to § 500-1902A(31)(d)[3].
[b] The applicant has not made a material misstatement in the application for a permit.
[c] The establishment, including the building and lot or portion thereof where the adult business is or is proposed to be situated and the physical facilities and maintenance related thereto, complies with all building, fire, electrical, plumbing, health and zoning requirements of the Code of the Township of Middletown, all the requirements of this chapter, and all state and federal requirements of a similar nature which are customarily enforced by the Township, as determined pursuant to one or more inspections conducted by investigating officials of the Township.
[3] Each application for a permit under this subsection shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable fee in an amount established by resolution of the Township Board of Supervisors. The application fee shall be used to defray, in part, administrative costs incurred in processing the application and is not made in lieu of any other fees or taxes required under this chapter or the Code of the Township of Middletown.
(b) Application for adult business permit.
[1] Any person who proposes to operate, maintain or conduct an adult business in the Township shall first submit to the Code Enforcement Officer a complete application for an adult business permit on a form provided by the Township containing the information set forth in this section and payment of the required Township nonrefundable application fee as established by resolution and amended by the Township Board of Supervisors from time to time. An application that is not accompanied by the required application fee shall not be deemed a complete application.
[2] If the applicant is an individual, the individual shall state his/her complete name, including any aliases, and address and shall submit satisfactory written proof that he or she is at least 18 years of age.
[3] If the applicant is a partnership, the applicant shall state the complete name and address of the partner signing the application, as well as the names of all partners, whether the partnership is general or limited, and shall attach a copy of the partnership agreement, if any.
[4] If the applicant is a corporation, the corporation shall provide its name, the date of its incorporation, evidence that the corporation is in good standing under the laws of Pennsylvania, the names and capacity of all officers and directors, the name of the registered corporate agent, and the address of the registered office for service of process.
[5] If the applicant is an individual, he or she shall sign the application. If the applicant is other than an individual, an officer of the business entity or an individual with a ten-percent or greater interest in the business entity shall sign the application.
[6] If the applicant intends to operate the adult business under a name other than that of the applicant, the applicant shall provide the fictitious name of the adult business and show proof of registration of the fictitious name.
[7] Each application shall contain:
[a] A narrative description of the proposed or existing adult business for which the permit is requested, which shall include hours of operation, number of employees and a description of the title and/or position of each employee.
[b] A sketch or diagram showing the interior floor plan and configuration of the premises, depicting all interior rooms, including rest rooms, office space, storage areas and public areas and dimensions. The sketch or diagram need not be professionally prepared but shall be drawn to a designated scale with marked dimensions of the interior of the premises to an accuracy of plus or minus six inches.
[c] A site plan showing the lot or property on which the adult business is or will be located, the location of the building or portion thereof in which the adult business is or will be located, the number of available parking spaces, the location and type of available and proposed lighting, landscaping, trash enclosures and all means of ingress and egress to and from the property. The site plan need not be professionally prepared but shall be drawn to scale with marked dimensions to an accuracy of plus or minus one foot.
[d] The full name, address and telephone number of the property owner and/or property management company if different from the applicant; a copy of the lease agreement in effect at the time of the application, if applicable; and a copy of any other agreement, easement, condition, covenant, restriction or other such documents that contain evidence affecting the use or operation of the lot, property, premises or structures which will be subject to the permit for which the application has been submitted.
[8] Each application shall also contain the following information about the person signing the application:
[a] Full name, including any aliases, current residential address, telephone number, date of birth, social security number and driver's license number.
[b] The previous address of each such person for a period of three years immediately prior to the date of application and the dates of residence at each such address.
[c] Written proof that the person signing the application is at least 18 years of age.
[d] The height, weight, color of eyes and hair of the person signing the application.
[e] Business, occupation or employment history of the person signing the application for three years immediately preceding the date of the application.
[f] Two recent passport-style color photographs of such person.
[9] Such other information as may be deemed necessary by the Code Enforcement Officer to secure the foregoing information.
[10] An adult business establishment lawfully existing and operating on the effective date of this subsection shall apply for a permit within 90 days therefrom and shall be allowed to continue operating during the pendency of the application; provided, however, that such adult business is otherwise in compliance with applicable provisions of this chapter and the Code of the Township of Middletown.
[11] Upon application of any adult business establishment not lawfully existing and operating on the effective date of this subsection, a temporary permit not to exceed 30 days shall be issued immediately upon receipt of a complete permit application. The said temporary permit shall expire automatically at the end of the thirty-day period unless extended by the Code Enforcement Officer.
(c) Application processing.
[1] Upon receipt of a complete application and payment of the application and permit fees, the application shall be immediately stamped as received by the Code Enforcement Officer.
[2] Within 30 days of receipt of a complete application, the Code Enforcement Officer or his designated official shall conduct and complete an investigation of the information contained in the application to determine whether the applicant shall be issued an adult business permit in accordance with the provisions of this subsection and notify the applicant as follows:
[a] The Code Enforcement Officer shall write or stamp "granted" or "denied" on the application and sign and date such notation.
[b] If the application is denied, the Code Enforcement Officer shall provide a written statement of the reasons for denial.
[c] If the application is granted, the Code Enforcement Officer shall issue an adult business permit.
[d] The application, as granted or denied, and the permit, if any, shall be sent by United States mail, first class postage prepaid, addressed to the applicant to the address stated in the application.
[3] The Code Enforcement Officer shall grant the application and issue a business permit upon finding that the proposed business meets the locational and zoning requirements of the Township and that the applicant has met all of the development and performance standards and requirements of this subsection.
[4] Upon notification to the applicant that the application has been granted by the Code Enforcement Officer, or if the Code Enforcement Officer fails to either grant or deny the application within 30 days of receipt of a complete application, the applicant may begin operating as an adult business pursuant to the terms and conditions of the permit. The permittee shall post the permit conspicuously in the premises of the adult business establishment.
[5] Each adult business permit shall expire one year from the date of issuance and may be renewed only by filing with the Code Enforcement Officer a written request for renewal accompanied by the annual permit fee and a copy of the permit to be renewed. The request for renewal shall be made at least 30 days before the expiration of the permit. When made less than 30 days before the expiration date, the expiration of the permit will not be stayed. Each application for renewal shall be acted upon as provided herein for action upon application for a permit.
(d) Denial of permit.
[1] Within 30 days of receipt of a complete application, the Code Enforcement Officer shall deny an application for a permit if he or she makes any of the following findings:
[a] The lot or property on which the adult business is or is proposed to be located does not comply with the locational or zoning requirements of this chapter of the Code of the Township of Middletown.
[b] The establishment, including the building or portion thereof, where the adult business is or is proposed to be situated and the physical facilities and maintenance related thereto fails to comply with all applicable building, fire, electrical, plumbing and health requirements of the Code of the Township of Middletown, all applicable state and federal requirements of a similar nature which are customarily enforced by the Township and all applicable provisions of this subsection.
[c] The applicant, his or her employee, agent, partner, director, officer, shareholder or manager has knowingly made any false, misleading or fraudulent statement of a material fact in the application for an adult business permit.
[d] The applicant or any of the following persons has had a license or permit issued pursuant to this section revoked within one year of the date of the application:
[i] If the applicant is a corporation, any officer or director of the corporation or any stockholder holding more than 5% of the corporate stock of the applicant.
[ii] If the applicant is a partnership, any general or limited partner.
[iii] Any person currently employed by or in the adult business establishment.
[2] Transmittal of decision. The decision to deny the application shall be given to the applicant, in writing, setting forth specifically the ground or grounds upon which the decision is based, the pertinent section of this chapter pursuant to which the permit is denied and a brief statement of the factual matters in support of the denial. The decision shall be mailed by United States mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the applicant at the last known address of the applicant, or it may be personally delivered to the applicant.
(e) Appeal of denial.
[1] Appeal to the Board of Supervisors. Within 10 days from the deposit of the denial in the mail as set forth in this subsection or from receipt of the denial by the applicant by personal delivery, the applicant may appeal, in writing, to the Board of Supervisors, setting forth with particularity the ground or grounds for such appeal.
[2] Hearing on appeal. A panel of the Board of Supervisors, consisting of at least three members thereof, shall set a time and place for a hearing on the appeal not less than 10 days nor more than 30 days from the date the appeal is received by the Board of Supervisors and shall conduct a hearing at the time and place so specified.
[3] Disposition of appeal. Following the hearing on the appeal, the Board of Supervisors may refer the matter to the Code Enforcement Officer to conduct a new investigation and to issue a new decision, may affirm the denial of the application, or may approve the application. The decision of the Board of Supervisors shall be final. Notice of the decision of the Board of Supervisors shall be mailed to the applicant within 10 days of the date of the hearing.
(f) Reapplication after denial.
An applicant whose application for a permit has been denied may reapply for such permit after a period of not less than one year has elapsed from the date such denial was deposited in the mail, as specified herein, or received by the applicant, whichever occurs first; provided, however, that an earlier reapplication may be made if accompanied by evidence that the ground or grounds for denial of the application no longer exist(s).
(g) Grounds for suspension or revocation of permit.
[1] A permit issued pursuant to this section may be subject to suspension or revocation or other appropriate disciplinary action for any of the following grounds arising from the acts of omissions of the permittee or employee, agent, partner, director, stockholder or manager of an adult business:
[a] The permittee has knowingly made any false, misleading or fraudulent statement of a material fact in the application for permit or in any report or reports required to be filed with the Township.
[b] The adult business, including the building and lot or portion thereof on which the establishment is situated or is proposed to be situated and the physical facilities and maintenance related thereto, fails to comply with all applicable building, fire, electrical, plumbing, health and zoning requirements set forth in this chapter or in the Code of the Township of Middletown, all applicable state and federal requirements of a similar nature which are customarily enforced by the Township and all provisions of this section.
[c] The permittee, employee, agent, partner, director, shareholder or manager of the adult business has knowingly allowed or permitted and has failed to make a reasonable effort to prevent the occurrence of any of the following on the premises of the adult business establishment:
[i] Any act of unlawful sexual intercourse, sodomy, oral copulation or masturbation.
[ii] The use of the establishment as a place where unlawful solicitation of sexual intercourse, sodomy, oral copulation or masturbation openly occurs.
[iii] The occurrence of acts of lewdness, assignation or prostitution.
[iv] Any act constituting a violation of 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 5903, relating to the distribution of obscene and other sexual materials and performances.
[v] Any act constituting a violation of provisions relating to obscene matter or distribution of harmful matter to minors.
[vi] Any conduct constituting a criminal offense of which an essential element consists of the use of force or violence.
[vii] Any act constituting a felony involving the sale, use, possession, or possession for sale of any controlled substance.
[d] Failure to abide by any disciplinary action previously imposed by the appropriate Township officer.
[e] Failure to comply with one or more of the facilities and operations requirements set forth in Subsection A(31)(n) hereof.
[f] The existence of the condition of the premises as hazardous or unsafe for human occupancy.
(h) Notice of permit violations.
Upon making a determination that grounds for suspension or revocation of a permit exist(s), the Code Enforcement Officer shall furnish written notice of the proposed suspension or revocation to the permittee, setting forth the time and place for a hearing on the proposed suspension or revocation and the ground or grounds upon which the proposed suspension or revocation is based, the pertinent section of this chapter, and a brief statement of the factual matters in support thereof. The notice shall be mailed by United States first class mail, postage prepaid, addressed to the last known address of the permittee and/or shall be delivered to the permittee personally. Such notice shall be mailed and/or delivered at least 10 days prior to the hearing date set forth in the notice.
(i) No refund of fee.
No refund or rebate of a permit fee shall be permitted by reason of discontinuance by the permittee of an activity for which a permit is required pursuant to this subsection or by reason of suspension or revocation of a permit.
(j) Return of permit.
In the event that a permit is canceled, suspended, revoked or invalidated for any reason, the permit shall be forwarded to the Code Enforcement Officer not later than the end of the third business day after notification of such cancellation, suspension, revocation or invalidation.
(k) Facilities and operation requirements.
All adult business establishments subject to the provisions of this section shall comply with the following facilities and operations requirements:
[1] Adult businesses shall employ security guards in order to maintain public peace and safety, based upon the following standards:
[a] Adult businesses featuring live entertainment shall provide at least one security guard at all times while the adult business is open. If the occupancy limit of the premises is greater than 35 persons, an additional security guard shall be on duty.
[b] Security guard(s) for other adult businesses may be required if it is determined by the Code Enforcement Officer that their presence is necessary in order to prevent any of the conduct listed in § 500-1902A(31)(j) from occurring on the premises.
[c] Security guard(s) shall be charged with preventing violations of law and enforcing compliance by patrons with the requirements of these regulations. Security guard(s) shall be uniformed in such a manner so as to be readily identifiable as security guards by the public and shall be duly licensed as security guards, as required by the applicable provisions of state law. No security guard required pursuant to this subsection shall act as a door person, ticket taker, admitting person or sole occupant of the manager's station while acting as a security guard.
[2] The requirements of this subsection shall be deemed conditions of adult business regulatory permit approvals, and failure to comply with every such requirement shall be grounds for suspension or revocation of the permit issued pursuant to these regulations.
(l) Inspection by public officials.
[1] The applicant shall authorize and allow entry by public officials of the Township into the premises wherein the applicant operates or proposes to operate an adult business establishment for the purpose of conducting one or more inspections to determine whether the establishment complies with all applicable building, fire, electrical, plumbing, health and zoning requirements of the Code of the Township of Middletown, all state and federal requirements of a similar nature which are customarily enforced by the Township, and the provisions of this chapter.
[2] Any and all investigating officials of the Township shall have the right to enter adult business establishments, from time to time, during regular business hours to make reasonable inspections to observe and enforce compliance with the building, fire, plumbing and health regulations of the Code of the Township of Middletown or the provisions of this chapter. A warrant shall be obtained whenever required by law.
[3] A person who operates an adult business, or his or her agent or employee, is in violation of the provisions of this subsection if he or she refuses to permit a lawful inspection of the premises at any time it is occupied or open for business.
(m) Business name.
It shall be unlawful to operate an adult business establishment under any name or conduct business under any designation not specified in the permit.
(n) Business location change.
Before changing the location of an adult business establishment, the permittee shall make an application to the Code Enforcement Officer pursuant to§ 500-1902A(31)(e).
(o) Transfer of interest.
No permit issued pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be assigned or transferred in any manner, nor shall any person other than those identified in such permit engage in the enterprise for which the permit is issued. As used herein, "transfer" shall include, but shall not be limited to, any modification of a business entity operating an adult business or otherwise required to be disclosed pursuant to § 500-1902A(31)(e), including transfer of more than 10% of the stock of any corporation.
(p) Display of permits.
The owner or operator of an adult business establishment shall display the permit in an open and conspicuous place on the premises. Passport-size photographs of the permit shall be affixed to the permit on display pursuant to this subsection.
(q) Application to existing establishments.
Each operator of an establishment subject to the provisions of this subsection and legally doing business on the effective date of this chapter shall apply for a permit not later than 90 days therefrom and shall comply with all requirements which are prerequisites for issuance of a permit before such permit will issue.
(r) Regulations nonexclusive.
The provisions of this subsection regulating adult businesses are not intended to be exclusive, and compliance therewith shall not excuse noncompliance with any other regulations pertaining to the operation of businesses adopted by the Township.
See § 500-1902A(31) for more on information on adult businesses.
See Applying For a Permit for more information.
See Building and Zoning for more information on documents, forms and permits.