§14-1605. Regulated Uses. [245]


(1) Legislative Findings. The Council finds that:

(a) There has been a recent proliferation, concentrating in certain areas of the City, of certain uses;

(b) That the concentration of these uses causes a deleterious effect on the aesthetics and economics of the areas in which these uses are located;

(c) That the concentration of these uses causes the areas in which these uses have located to become a focus of crime;

(d) In order to prevent the further deterioration of communities and neighborhoods in the City of Philadelphia, and to provide for the orderly, planned future development of the City, that in addition to existing zoning regulations, certain additional special regulations are necessary to insure that these adverse effects will not continue to contribute to the blighting or downgrading of surrounding neighborhoods; and

(e) For the purpose of controlling the concentration of certain uses, special regulations relating to the location of these uses are necessary.

(2) Definitions:

(a) Adult book store. An establishment having a substantial or significant portion of its stock-in-trade, books, magazines, and other periodicals which are distinguished or characterized by their emphasis on matter depicting, describing or related 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.

(b) Adult mini-motion picture theater. An enclosed building with a capacity for less than fifty persons used for presenting material distinguished or characterized by an emphasis on matter depicting, describing or related to "specified sexual activities" or "specified anatomical areas" for observation by patrons therein.

(c) Adult motion picture theater. An enclosed building with a capacity of fifty or more 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.

(d) Cabaret. An adult club, restaurant, theater, hall or similar place which may or may not serve alcoholic beverages and features topless dancers, go-go dancers, exotic dancers, strippers, male or female impersonators or similar entertainers exhibiting specified anatomical areas or performing specified sexual activities, or dancing, performing or acting in a lewd, sexually erotic, exciting, or stimulating manner for patrons or viewers who tip, pay or give any monetary consideration directly or indirectly to such featured dancers or entertainers for such featured entertainment.[246]

(e) Specified anatomical areas.

(i) Less than completely and opaquely covered

(.a) Human genitals, pubic region;

(.b) Buttocks; and

(.c) Female breasts below a point immediately above the top of the areola; and

(ii) Human male genitals in a discernibly turgid state, even if completely and opaquely covered.

(f) Specified sexual activities.

(i) Human genitals in a state of sexual stimulation or arousal;

(ii) Acts of human masturbation, sexual intercourse or sodomy;

(iii) Fondling or other erotic touching of human genitals, pubic region, buttocks or female breasts.

(g) Drug paraphernalia stores. Any retail store selling paraphernalia commonly related to the use of any drug or narcotic of which the sale, use or possession of is subject to the provisions of "The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act," 1972, April 14, P.L. 233, No. 64, 51 et seq., 35 P.S. Section 780-101 et seq., including, but not limited to, water pipes, pipe "screens", hashish pipes, "roach" clips, "coke" spoons, "bongs", and cigarette rolling paper, except that this shall not be deemed to include the sale of cigarette rolling paper by a store that also sells loose tobacco or the sale by prescription of implements needed for the use of prescribed drugs or narcotics.[247]

(h) Amusement arcade. An establishment which offers to patrons four or more mechanical or electrical devices or games such as pinball machines, ping pong, darts, shooting galleries or similar devices or games, excluding juke boxes and amusement devices in the establishments regulated by the Liquor Control Board of the Commonwealth and vending machines for the dispensing of goods.[248]

(i) Pool room. An establishment which provides two or more tables for the playing of pool and billiards.[249]

(j) Adult Video Store. An establishment having a substantial or significant portion of its stock-in-trade, videos, CD-ROMS and other visual production materials which are distinguished or characterized by their emphasis on matter depicting, describing or related to "specified sexual activities" or "specified anatomical areas."[250]

(k) Check Cashing Establishment. An establishment which is not a bank or financial institution subject to federal and state regulation that charges either a flat fee or a fee based on a percentage of the face value of a check to be cashed or processed by such establishment and provides such services to the public.[251]

(l) Pawnshop. An establishment which is engaged to any extent in any of the following business or activities:[252]

(.1) the lending of money on the deposit or pledge of personal property, other than chosen in action, securities or written evidence of indebtedness;

(.2) the purchase of personal property either from an individual, another pawn business or any other business with an expressed or implied agreement or understanding to sell it back at a subsequent time at a stipulated price or negotiated price;

(.3) the purchase of personal property either from an individual or another pawn business with an expressed intent of offering the property for resale, or;

(.4) the lending of money upon personal property, goods, wares or merchandise pledge, stored or deposited as collateral security.

(m) Adult Modeling or Photography Studio. An establishment having a substantial or significant portion of its business distinguished or characterized by its emphasis on the photographing of males and/or females exhibiting specified anatomical areas or performing specified sexual activities. Such an establishment may feature employees or contractors who, as part of their employment, customarily expose specified anatomical areas to patrons;[253]

(n) Adult Spa or Health Club. A spa or health club having a substantial or significant portion of its business distinguished or characterized by its emphasis on males and/or females exhibiting specified anatomical areas or performing specified sexual activities. Such an establishment may feature employees or contractors who, as part of their employment, customarily expose specified anatomical areas to patrons.[254]

(o) Adult Entertainment Store. An establishment having a substantial or significant portion of its stock-in-trade: books, magazines or periodicals characteristic of an adult bookstore, as defined in this Section; videos or other visual production materials characteristic of an adult video store, as defined in this Section; and/or any devices, commonly known as sex toys, designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs.[255]

(p) Penal and Correctional Institution (private). An institution operated by a private party under contract with the City of Philadelphia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the federal government for the confinement of offenders sentenced by a court and still under the jurisdiction of a court.[256]

(q) Penal and Correctional Institution (public). An institution operated by the City of Philadelphia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the federal government for the confinement of offenders sentenced by a court and still under the jurisdiction of a court.[257]

(r) Tattoo. An indelible mark, figure or decorative design introduced by insertions of dyes or pigments into or under the subcutaneous portion of the skin or by the production of scars upon the body of a live human being.[258]

(s) Body Piercing. The process of breaching the skin or mucous membrane for the purpose of insertion of any object, including but not limited to, jewelry for cosmetic purposes. The term does not include ear piercing or nail piercing.[259]

(t) Tattoo Parlor. An establishment which is engaged in any extent in providing tattoos to customers.[260]

(u) Body Piercing Shop. An establishment which is engaged in any extent in providing body piercing to customers.[261]

(3) Application. The following uses are designated as regulated uses:

(a) Adult book stores;

(b) Adult mini-motion picture theater;

(c) Adult motion picture theater;

(d) Cabaret;

(e) Massage businesses as regulated by §§ 9-610 and 9-611 of The Philadelphia Code;

(f) Drug paraphernalia stores;[262]

(g) Amusement arcades;[263]

(h) Pool rooms.[264]

(h) Pool rooms;

(i) Adult video stores;[265]

(j) Check Cashing Establishments;[266]

(k) Pawnshops.[267]

(l) Adult Modeling or Photography Studio;[268]

(m) Adult Spa or Health Club.[269]

(n) Adult Entertainment Store.[270]

(o) Penal and Correctional Institution (private).[271]

(p) Penal and Correctional Institution (public).[272]

(q) Tattoo Parlors.[273]

(r) Body Piercing Shops.[274]

(4) Prohibited Conduct.[275] No regulated use shall be permitted:

(a) Within one thousand (1,000) feet of any other existing regulated use; and/or,

(b) Within 500 feet of any residentially zoned district (regardless of the actual uses contained therein), Industrial Development District or any of the following residentially related uses:[276]

(.1) Churches, monasteries, chapels, synagogues, convents, rectories, religious article, religious apparel stores, residential homes, or apartment buildings, hotels or Convention/Civic center;

(.2) Schools, up to and including the twelfth (12th) grade, and their adjunct play areas;

(.3) Public playgrounds, public swimming pools, public parks and public libraries.

(c) For the purposes of this section, spacing distances shall be measured as follows:

(.1) From all property lines of any "regulated use" in section (3) above;[277]

(.2) From the outward line of boundary of all residential zoning district or Institutional Development District;

(.3) From all property lines of any residentially related use in (4)(b)(.1) through (.3) above; and,

(d) Within any commercially zoned district, except for "C-6" Commercial in which regulated uses shall be permitted, unless a Zoning Board of Adjustment certificate is obtained; and,[278]

(e) Within the "L-4", "L-5", and "G-2" Industrial Districts unless a Zoning Board of Adjustment certificate is obtained; within the "L-1", "L-2", "L-3", "G-1" and "Port Industrial" Industrial Districts unless a Zoning Board of Adjustment variance is obtained. In the "Least Restricted" Industrial District regulated uses shall be permitted.[279]

(5) Signs and Other Visible Messages. All regulated uses shall be permitted signs and visible messages based on the allowable sign area of the zoning district in which they are located; provided:

(a) Signs.

(.1) Sign messages shall be limited to verbal description of material or services available on the premises; and,

(.2) Sign messages may not include any graphic or pictorial depiction of material or services available on the premises.

(b) Other Visible Messages.

(.1) Messages which are visible or intended to be visible from outside the property (such as on or within doors or windows) shall not display materials, items, publications, pictures, films, or printed material available on the premises; or pictures, films, or live presentation of persons performing or services offered on the premises.

(6) Discontinuance of Operations. Should any of the regulated uses listed in (3)(a) through (i) above cease or discontinue operation for a period of ninety (90) or more consecutive days, it may not resume, nor be replaced by any other "regulated use" unless it complies with all the requirements set forth in Section 14-1605(4) and (5) above.[280]

(7) Conflicting Regulations. When the provisions of § 14-1605 conflict with other provisions within this Title, the more restrictive provisions shall control.[281]

(8) Severability.[282] Each of the provisions of this ordinance is severable, and if any provision is held invalid, the remaining provisions shall not be affected, but shall remain in full force and effect.