Chapter 17.46


17.46.010    Purpose.

17.46.020    Definitions specific to chapter.

17.46.030    Prohibited uses within city limits.

17.46.040    Designated.

17.46.050    Permitted uses.

17.46.060    Minimum lot size.

17.46.070    Setbacks.

17.46.080    Building height.

17.46.090    Lot width.

17.46.100    Landscaping.

17.46.110    Off-street parking.

17.46.120    Adult entertainment signs.

17.46.130    Procedures.

17.46.140    Appeals.

17.46.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to regulate the location of adult entertainment enterprises in order to promote the health, safety and welfare of all city of Blaine citizens and in order to preserve and protect the quality of, and the quality of life in and around, all of the city of Blaine neighborhoods through effective land use planning and reasonable regulation in light of the findings set forth herein and the facts and evidence contained in the legislative record.

Adult entertainment uses are recognized as having objectionable operational characteristics, particularly when they are aggregated in one area. Since these uses have a deleterious effect upon adjacent uses, and residential and commercial uses in particular, special regulation of adult entertainment uses is necessary to avoid adverse effects arising from adult entertainment businesses so they will not contribute to the blighting or downgrading of the surrounding neighborhood. It is the intent of this section that these uses be contained in a dispersed manner within a specific adult entertainment overlay (AO) district, that overlays certain manufacturing-zoned areas. (Ord. 2673 § 2, 2007; Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003)

17.46.020 Definitions specific to chapter.

A. “Adult entertainment uses” are those adult entertainment businesses defined in BMC 8.30.020 as adopted and amended and include:

1. Adult book stores;

2. Adult motion picture theaters;

3. Adult arcades;

4. Adult cabarets; and

5. Adult motels.

B. “Body studio” means and includes any premises other than a massage parlor, reducing salon, health spa or public bathhouse, upon which is furnished for a fee or charge or other like consideration, or which is offered to be furnished the opportunity to paint, massage, feel, handle or touch the unclothed body or any unclothed portion of the body of another person, or to be so painted, massaged, felt, handled or touched by another person, or to observe, view or photograph any such activity.

C. “Escort and introductory services” means services provided with the intent to perform prohibited specified sexual activities, specified sexual exhibitions or other activities prohibited in this chapter.

D. “Massage parlor” means a commercial establishment in which massage or other touching of the human body is provided for a fee and which excludes any person by virtue of age or sex from all or any portion of the premises in which such service is provided.

E. “Specified sexual activities” means any of the following:

1. The fondling or other intentional touching of human genitals, pubic region, buttocks, anus, or female breasts; or

2. Acts of human sex, actual or simulated, including intercourse, oral copulation, or sodomy; or

3. Human masturbation, actual or simulated; or

4. Excretory functions as part of or in connection with any of the activities set forth in this chapter.

F. “Specified sexual exhibitions” means any exhibition, performance or dance which is intended to sexually stimulate any member of the public and which is conducted on a regular basis or as a substantial part of the premises’ activity. This includes, but is not limited to, any such exhibition, performance or dance performed for, arranged with or engaged in with fewer than all members of the public on the premises at that time, with separate consideration paid, either directly or indirectly, for such performance, exhibition or dance and which is commonly referred to as table dancing, couch dancing, taxi dancing, lap dancing, private dancing, or straddle dancing. (Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003)

17.46.030 Prohibited uses within city limits.

A. Adult entertainment businesses not included in the definition of “adult entertainment uses” pursuant to BMC 8.30.020 are prohibited within the city limits of Blaine. These activities include but are not limited to massage parlors, escort and introductory services, body studios and specified sexual activities and exhibitions not specifically allowed under the definition of “adult entertainment uses.”

B. Adult entertainment uses are prohibited in all districts other than the adult entertainment overlay (AO) district. (Ord. 2673 § 2, 2007; Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003)

17.46.040 Designated.

The adult entertainment overlay (AO) district shall overlay the manufacturing (M) district as indicated in the official Blaine zoning map. The overlay shall have no effect on the uses otherwise permitted in the manufacturing district. (Ord. 2673 § 2, 2007; Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003)

17.46.050 Permitted uses.

Adult entertainment uses shall be permitted within the adult entertainment overlay district upon meeting the conditions set forth below:

A. Not more than one adult entertainment use may be located within 500 feet of another such use unless otherwise determined by the city council, pursuant to BMC 17.46.130(A).

B. The building that contains the adult entertainment business and signs relating to the business shall not be located within 1,000 feet of any of the following:

1. The outside boundary of any parcel that already contains a public school, private school, or day care;

2. The outside boundary of any parcel that already contains a church or other house of worship;

3. An existing public park;

4. The outside boundary of any parcel that already contains a public library;

5. A residential district. (Ord. 2673 § 2, 2007; Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003)

17.46.060 Minimum lot size.

There is no minimum lot size in the adult entertainment overlay district. (Ord. 2673 § 2, 2007; Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003)

17.46.070 Setbacks.

Minimum setback requirements in the adult entertainment overlay district:

A. No building or other structure shall be closer than 30 feet from street right-of-way lines.

B. No building or other structure shall be closer than 40 feet from adjacent property lines. (Ord. 2673 § 2, 2007; Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003)

17.46.080 Building height.

Maximum building height in the adult entertainment overlay district is 35 feet. (Ord. 2673 § 2, 2007; Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003)

17.46.090 Lot width.

The minimum lot width in the adult entertainment overlay district is 80 feet. (Ord. 2673 § 2, 2007; Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003)

17.46.100 Landscaping.

In addition to the landscaping requirements contained in Chapter 17.126 BMC, Landscaping, the following requirements shall apply to adult entertainment uses where the adult entertainment use abuts or is across an alley from another building or licensed business.

A. Barrier buffers shall be installed the full length of property lines where adjacent licensed businesses are already established.

B. The buffer shall create a sight-obscuring barrier between the adult entertainment use consisting of a minimum 10-foot-wide planting strip, a sight-obscuring fence, and six-foot-tall evergreens located on the property boundary (spaced to grow together within three years). (Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003)

17.46.110 Off-street parking.

A. Off-street parking is required pursuant to Chapter 17.124 BMC, Parking and Loading.

B. On-street parking is prohibited. (Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003)

17.46.120 Adult entertainment signs.

A. Signs shall be consistent with Chapter 17.122 BMC.

B. Signs shall not depict or describe “specified sexual activities” or “specified anatomical areas” as defined in BMC 8.30.020.

C. Signs advertising adult entertainment businesses shall be limited to visibility only on roads immediately adjacent to or within the adult entertainment overlay district. Under no circumstances shall these signs be visible from the I-5 freeway. (Ord. 2673 § 2, 2007; Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003)

17.46.130 Procedures.

The process for obtaining extensions to the termination of a nonconforming adult entertainment use, as provided in BMC 17.94.140, Termination of nonconforming adult uses, and the 500-foot setback exception as set forth in BMC 17.46.050(A), Permitted uses, shall be processed and approved as set forth in this section.

A. Exceptions to the 500-foot setback from one adult entertainment use to another such use (BMC 17.46.050(A)):

1. Exceptions to the 500-foot setback from one adult entertainment use to another such use as allowed in BMC 17.46.050(A) are to be processed in accordance with the process for a variance, and shall meet all of the variance criteria and standards as set forth in BMC 17.06.170, except that the city council shall hear requests for exceptions under BMC 17.46.050(A).

B. Extensions to the termination of a nonconforming adult entertainment use (BMC 17.94.140):

1. The process for obtaining approval of a six-month extension shall be the open record hearing process as set forth generally in Chapter 17.92 BMC et seq., or as amended, except that in all circumstances the public hearing shall be conducted by and the decision on an extension request shall be made by the city council. This process shall, at a minimum, require a preapplication conference and a public hearing, following public notice, in the same manner as required for a zoning conditional use permit.

2. The application submission requirements at a minimum, include the following:

a. A completed application for an extension use signed by the owner(s) of the subject property or by a representative authorized to do so by written instrument executed by the owner(s) and filed with the application, and signed by the owner of the business or by a representative authorized to do so by written instrument executed by the owner(s) and filed with the application.

b. The required filing fees as established by city ordinance shall be paid to the city upon submission of an application for approval of an extension.

c. A list of all property owners within 200 feet of the subject property.

d. A deposit for the costs of notice, including published notice and mailing costs, as reasonably estimated by the city. Failure to submit the deposit shall not constitute an incomplete application, but failure to pay the actual costs of notice prior to the hearing shall result in the denial of the application.

3. Within 28 days of submittal of the documents listed in subsection (B)(2) of this section to the director, the director will determine whether the submittal is complete, or whether additional information is needed. If the application is incomplete, the director shall give written notice to the applicant of the additional information required. The application will lapse and be rejected without further action if the applicant fails to provide the requested information within 21 days of the date of the director’s request. Once the requested information is received, the director will then have 14 days to review the information and determine if the application is complete. Nothing herein shall extend the deadline for submitting a complete application as set forth in subsection A of this section. Nothing herein shall limit the director from determining an application is complete and requiring additional information.

4. No later than 28 days following submittal of a complete application, the director shall:

a. Mail a letter of completeness to the applicant;

b. Establish a public comment period on the application. This period shall expire 15 days after the public notice of application;

c. Publish notice of the complete application and notice of the city council public hearing on the application for extension. Notice of the public hearing shall be made as follows:

i. Posting by the director at City Hall and the public library, and by the applicant in three conspicuous places on the perimeter of the property;

ii. Publication at the expense of the applicant in a newspaper officially designated by the city council for such purposes, one time at least seven days in advance of the date of hearing; and

iii. Direct mailing of the city’s notice of public hearing to all owners of real property within 200 feet of the subject property, no later than seven days prior to the hearing date. The owners shall be identified as those shown on the current records of the Whatcom County assessor. The mailing is to be done by the applicant using certified or registered mail service with return receipt. Written proof of such mailing shall be supplied by the applicant for the director’s file prior to the hearing date;

d. All costs of required notice shall be borne by the applicant and shall be paid at or before the public hearing. Failing to pay all of the costs of notice for the application for an extension shall result in the denial of the application for the extension.

5. Appeals. Appeals from any decision of the city council made pursuant to this section shall comply with the requirements of BMC 17.06.190. (Ord. 2554 § 3, 2003)

17.46.140 Appeals.

Appeals of a final decision shall be submitted pursuant to BMC 17.06.180, Appeals. (Ord. 2673 § 2, 2007)