§ 6.26  SEXUALLY ORIENTED BUSINESSES.
   6.26.01   General.  The Covington City Commission, along with Kenton County and other municipalities in the county, has adopted ordinances regulating sexually oriented business, including regulating the zoning of such businesses.  In the ordinance adopted by the City Commission regulating the zoning of sexually oriented businesses, the City Commission set forth numerous findings regarding these businesses, including the finding that such businesses may have primary and secondary effects involving crimes related to the activities in these establishments, especially prostitution and crimes of violence.  The City Commission found that the location and design of such businesses are important variables in the nature and extent of adverse secondary effects of sexually oriented businesses on the community and that location and design are among the types of issues that are typically addressed through zoning, which this section of the zoning ordinance does.
   6.26.02   Prohibited Uses.  The following uses are prohibited in the City of Covington and county-wide under Kenton County Ordinance No. 451.9, establishing licensing requirements for sexually oriented businesses and service oriented escort bureaus.  No Zoning Permit may be issued for the following prohibited businesses:
   (A)   Sexually oriented motion picture arcade or booth;
   (B)   Sexually oriented encounter center;
   (C)   Sexually oriented motel;
   (D)   Sexually oriented massage parlor or any business offering massages that is operated by a person who is not licensed as a massage therapist in accordance with the provisions of KRS § 309.350 et seq.;
   (E)   Sexually oriented modeling studio;
   (F)   Sexually oriented nude modeling studio; and
   (G)   Sexually oriented escort bureau.
   6.26.03   Permitted Uses.  The following uses are permitted if they hold an approved Zoning Permit and a valid License approved by § 111.600et seq. of the Covington Code of Ordinances (or under the county-wide Kenton County Ordinance No. 451.9 if the City of Covington's ordinance is repealed), establishing licensing requirements for sexually oriented businesses and service oriented escort bureaus:
   (A)   Media store with some sexually oriented media (not subject to licensing);
   (B)   Sexually oriented media store;
   (C)   Sex shop;
   (D)   Service oriented escort bureau;
   (E)   Sexually oriented motion picture theatre; and
   (F)   Sexually oriented cabaret or theatre.
   6.26.04   Permitted Zoning Districts.
   (A)   A media store carrying some sexually oriented media is permitted in any zoning district where other retail establishments are permitted.
   (B)   A sexually oriented media store, sex shop or service oriented escort bureau is permitted in the following zoning districts if it holds an approved Zoning Permit and a valid License approved by § 111.600et seq. of the Covington Code of Ordinances (or under the county-wide Kenton County Ordinance No. 451.9 if the City of Covington's ordinance is repealed), establishing licensing requirements for sexually oriented businesses and service oriented escort bureaus:
      (1)   CBD, Central Business District Zone.
      (2)   CC, Commercial-Community Zone.
   (C)   A sexually oriented business featuring on-premise entertainment such as sexually oriented motion picture theatre, cabaret or theatre is permitted in the following zoning districts if it holds an approved Zoning Permit and a valid City of Covington Sexually Oriented Business License (or Kenton County Sexually Oriented Business License if Covington's ordinance is repealed):
      (1)   CBD, Central Business District Zone.
      (2)   CC, Commercial-Community Zone.
      (3)   IL, Industrial-Limited Zone.
      (4)   IG, Industrial General Zone.
   6.26.05   Zoning Permit.  Any application for a sexually oriented business Zoning Permit must be processed in accordance with § 12.10, with the following additional requirements:
   (A)   Zoning Permit and License Required.
      (1)   Permit and license required.  Each sexually oriented business or service oriented escort bureau is required to obtain a Zoning Permit under the City of Covington's Zoning Code and a Sexually Oriented Business License from the City of Covington (or under Kenton County Ordinance No. 451.9 as amended, if the Covington ordinance is repealed) establishing licensing requirements for sexually oriented businesses and service-oriented escort bureaus. However, no license is required for a media store with some sexually oriented media.
      (2)   Order of submissions.  For a new sexually oriented business or service oriented escort bureau, the process is designed for the applicant to apply for a Zoning Permit first and Kenton County License second.
      (3)   Application Contents.  In addition to the other requirements of an application for a Zoning Permit, the applicant must submit to the Zoning Administrator at least the following:
         (a)   A complete description of the exact nature of the business to be conducted;
         (b)   A location plan, showing the location of the property and the applicant's identification of any school, religious institution, public recreation area, park or day care center within 1,500 feet of the property;
         (c)   A sketch of the exterior and interior of the premises, showing all areas that will be open to the public and their purposes, the dimensions of such areas, all entrances and exits, the location of the screen for a motion picture theatre, the location and dimensions of the stage for a cabaret or theatre;
         (d)   A parking plan; and
         (e)   A lighting and signage plan, showing fixtures that are adequate in number, design and location to meet the lighting requirements and applicable provisions of the Covington licensing ordinance (or Kenton County Ordinance No. 451.9 as amended, if the Covington ordinance is repealed) establishing licensing requirements for sexually oriented businesses and service oriented escort bureaus.
   6.26.06   General Standards.  General Standards related to sexually oriented businesses and service oriented escort bureaus.
   (A)   Separation standards.
      (1)   Separation distances.
         (a)   No retail-only sexually oriented business (sexually oriented media store or sex shop) or service oriented escort bureau may be located within 500 feet of any area within the zoning districts having the designation of "residential" as the district classification or within 500 feet of any parcel of land occupied by a school, religious institution, park, library, public recreation area, or day care center (considered "protected uses") in any other district.
         (b)   No sexually oriented business offering on-premise entertainment (sexually oriented motion picture theatre, cabaret or theatre) may be located within 1,000 feet of any area within the zoning districts having the designation of "residential" as the district classification or within 1,000 feet of any parcel of land occupied by a school, religious institution, park, library, public recreation area, or day care center in any other district.
         (c)   No sexually oriented business may be located within 1,000 feet of any other sexually oriented business or service oriented escort bureau; such a separation is required regardless of whether it is located within the city or within the county.
      (2)   Single use.  There may be no more than one type of sexually oriented business or service oriented escort bureau at any one location.
      (3)   Nonconformity.  No legally established and permitted sexually oriented business or service oriented escort bureau will become nonconforming through subsequent establishment of a school, religious institution, park, library, public recreation area, or day care center (protected uses); nor may a Zoning Permit for a sexually oriented business or service oriented escort bureau be denied based on the filing of a Zoning Permit application for a protected use after the filing of such application for a sexually oriented business.
      (4)   Measurement method.  Where this section requires that one use be separated from another use, measurements must be made in accordance with this subsection.  For a use which is the only use or the principal use on a lot or parcel, the measurement must be made from property line to property line from a point nearest to the use for which the measurement is being made. If the use is located in a multi-tenant building, then the distance must be measured from the portion of the building of the leasehold or other space actually controlled or occupied that is nearest to the use for which the measurement is being made Measurements between properties or spaces under this section must be made by the shortest distance between the two properties and/or spaces.
   (B)   Standards for Parking.  An Off-Street Parking Plan must be submitted as a part of the application for a Zoning Permit. All off-street parking must be in accordance with Article 7, with specific standards as follows:
      (1)   A sexually oriented media store, sex shop or service oriented escort bureau: 5.5 spaces per 1,000 square feet of gross public floor area.
      (2)   A sexually oriented cabaret or theatre: one parking space for each 100 square feet of floor area used for dancing or assembly, or one space for each four persons based on design capacity, whichever is greater, plus one space for each two employees on shift of largest employment.
      (3)   A sexually oriented motion picture theatre: one parking space for each four seats, based on a maximum seating capacity, plus one additional space for each two employees on shift of largest employment.
   (C)   Standards for Exterior Lighting and Signage.  An exterior lighting and signage plan must be submitted with the application for a Zoning Permit. Lighting must comply with the following standards:
      (1)   Exterior lighting of the entries and private parking areas must be a minimum of 15 footcandles as measured three feet from the ground or paving.  For a business on a single lot or parcel, no lighting may illuminate any property not in control of the business by more than five footcandles as measured at the nearest adjacent property.
      (2)   All signage must be in accordance with Article 10.
   6.26.07   Individual Business Standards.
   (A)   Standards for a Service Oriented Escort Bureau.  A service oriented escort bureau must be subject to the following additional standards:
      (1)   Room size.  The establishment must operate all business in an open area of at least 600 square feet of floor area.  No walls, dividers, curtains, screens, shades or other similar devices may be used to obscure any part of the room where customers are located.
      (2)   Lighting.  The area occupied by customers must be well lit at a lighting level of least 30 footcandles measured three feet from the floor.
   (B)   Standards for a Media Store with Some Sexually Oriented Media.  A retail book, video or other media store that has sexually explicit media that constitutes more than 10% but not more than 40% of its inventory or that occupies more than 10% but not more than 40% of its gross public floor area is not classified as a sexually oriented business but is subject to the following standards:
      (1)   Separate room.  The sexually explicit media must be kept in a separate room from the rest of the inventory of the store and may not visible outside the room;
      (2)   Age limit.  Persons under 18 years of age may not have access to sexually explicit media;
      (3)   Access.  Access to the room must be through a solid door, accessed by an electronic control device monitored by the clerk or manager on duty through direct visual control;
      (4)   Visibility.  Customers and activities in the room must be visible at all times to the clerk or manager on duty through a video system located at the clerk's or manager's counter; and
      (5)   Lighting.  The area occupied by customers must be well lit at a lighting level of least 30 footcandles measured three feet from the floor.
   (C)   Standards for a Sexually Oriented Media Store or Sex Shop.  A sexually oriented media store or sex shop is subject to the following additional standards:
      (1)   Room size.  The establishment must operate all business in an open area of at least 600 square feet of floor area.  No walls, dividers, curtains, screens, shades or other similar devices may be used to obscure any part of the room where customers are located;
      (2)   Displays.  No displays of sexually explicit media or images may be visible from the exterior of the buildings; and
      (3)   Lighting.  The area occupied by customers must be well lit at a lighting level of least 30 footcandles measured three feet from the floor.
   (D)   Standards for a Sexually Oriented Motion Picture Theatre.  A sexually oriented motion picture theater is subject to the following additional standards:
      (1)   Presentation area.  All screenings and presentations of motion pictures, videos or other media must occur in a room open to all customers of the establishment and containing at least 1,000 square feet of floor area.  No walls, dividers, curtains, screens, shades or other similar devices may be used to obscure any part of the room.
      (2)   Lighting.  The lighting level in the area occupied by customers must be at least five footcandles as measured at the floor.
      (3)   Seating.  Seating must consist of individual, theater-style chairs, with solid arms separating the chairs.  No couches, benches, portable chairs, beds, loose cushions or mattresses, or other forms of seating may be provided.  Separate spaces for wheelchairs must be provided in accordance with the applicable provisions of the building code and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
   (E)   Standards for a Sexually Oriented Cabaret or Theatre.  A sexually oriented cabaret or theater is subject to the following additional standards:
      (1)   Presentation area.  All entertainment must occur in an unobstructed room of at least 600 square feet of floor area with a person in any part of such room having a clear view of all entertainment areas;
      (2)   Performance stage.  All entertainment must take place on stage elevated at least 24 inches above the surrounding floor area, with a minimum area of 100 square feet, and with a horizontal separation of at least 60 inches between the edge of the stage and the nearest space to which customers have access-the horizontal separation must be physically enforced by a partial wall, rail, or other physical barrier, which may be located either on the stage (to keep the entertainers back from the edge) or on the floor (to keep the customers back from the stage);
      (3)   Lighting.  The lighting level in the area occupied by customers must be at least 15 footcandles as measured three feet from the floor.
      (4)   Seating.  Seating must consist of chairs or open booths; no couches, beds, or loose cushions or mattresses, or of any form may be provided.
   (F)   If there are any conflicts between the requirements of this ordinance and the City's licensing ordinance, the requirements of this ordinance control.
   6.26.08   Zoning Administrator Review and Expiration of Zoning Permit.
   (A)   Determination of Completeness.  Within five business days of submission of the sexually oriented land use permit application, the Zoning Administrator must determine if the application is complete. If the application is incomplete, the Zoning Administrator must return the application to the applicant with a letter or form specifying the items that are missing. The application may not be further processed unless and until the applicant submits a complete application.
   (B)   Review, Decision.  If the Zoning Administrator determines that an application is complete, the Zoning Administrator must review the application and, within 20 calendar days of submittal of the complete application, grant or deny the permit.  If the permit is denied, the denial must be made in writing, by letter or on a form, and must specify the reasons why the application was denied, citing the specific provisions of this ordinance or other provisions of the City's ordinances that provide the basis for such denial.  If the Zoning Administrator fails to act on a complete application within the 20-day period, the application is deemed denied. Upon denial or deemed denial, the applicant may appeal that denial to the Board of Adjustment. The applicant may, at its option, pursue other or additional administrative remedies available under the zoning ordinance; by doing so, applicant will be deemed to have waived any right to a decision within a particular time period and will be subject to all of the terms, conditions and timelines applicable to such administrative remedies under the zoning ordinance.
   (C)   Expiration of Zoning Permit.  The issuance of the Zoning Permit must be conditioned on the applicant obtaining and retaining a Kenton County Occupational License for the use represented by the Zoning Permit.  If a no license has been granted within 6 months after the issuance of the Zoning Permit, then the Zoning Permit will expire; provided, however, that the expiration date for the Zoning Permit must be extended until 30 days after the end of any administrative or judicial appeal of the Zoning Permit.
   6.26.09   Appeal Procedures.
   (A)   Appeals to Board of Adjustment.
      (1)   Appeals to the Board of Adjustment may be taken by any person or entity claiming to be injuriously affected or aggrieved by an official action, order, requirement, interpretation, grant, refusal, or decision of the Zoning Administrator. Such appeal must be taken within ten calendar days after such action, order, requirement, interpretation, grant, refusal, or decision of the Zoning Administrator, by filing with the Zoning Administrator and with the Board a notice of appeal specifying the grounds thereof, and giving notice of such appeal to any and all parties of record. A fee must also be paid to the Zoning Administrator at this time. The Zoning Administrator must forthwith transmit to the Board all papers constituting the record on which the action appealed from was taken and must be treated as and be the respondent in such further proceedings. At the public hearing on the appeal held by the Board, an interested person may appear and enter his or her appearance, and all must be given an opportunity to be heard.
      (2)   The Board of Adjustment must hear the appeal within 30 calendar days of its filing with the Zoning Administrator and give public notice in accordance with KRS Chapter 424, as well as written notice to the appellant and the Zoning Administrator at least seven calendar days prior to the hearing. The affected parties may appear at the hearing in person or by an attorney. The Board of Adjustment must hear the matter and render a decision within 36 days after the filing of the appeal.  If the Board of Adjustment fails to act within such time, the application is deemed denied.
   (B)   Appeals from the Board of Adjustment.
      (1)   Any person or entity claiming to be injured or aggrieved by any final action of the Board of Adjustment may appeal from the action to the circuit court of the county in which the property which is the subject of the action of the Board of Adjustment lies. Such appeal must be taken within 30 calendar days after the final action of the Board of Adjustment. The Board of Adjustment will be a party in any such appeal filed in the circuit court. All final actions which have not been appealed within 30 days are final and not subject to judicial review.
      (2)   After the appeal is taken, the Rules of Civil Procedure will govern. When an appeal has been filed, the Clerk of the Circuit Court must issue a summons to all parties, including the Board of Adjustment in all cases, and must cause it to be delivered for service as in any other law action.
(Ord. O-37-06, passed 8-15-06; Am. Ord. O-29-12, passed 9-4-12)