August 23, 2007
At the meeting, Brattleboro residents spoke in favor and in opposition to the ordinance, and the Selectboard debated the issue at length. One Selectboard member proposed an amendment to the ordinance, removing all references to buttocks and breasts, which passed by a vote of 3-2. In an ironic twist, the Selectboard member who sponsored the ordinance refused to vote in favor of making the amended ordinance permanent. As a result, the ordinance failed to pass, 2-3.
While this outcome may seem to be a victory for naturists and proponents of personal freedom, the decision is not final. The temporary ordinance banning public nudity is still
in effect, and will not expire for another month. At that time, the Selectboard may reconsider the ordinance and decide whether or not to make it permanent.
PROPOSED BRATTLEBORO, VT, PUBLIC NUDITY ORDINANCE
This ordinance is enacted pursuant to the authority granted the town to promote the public health, safety, welfare, and convenience contained in 24 V.S.A. 2291, and Article IV, Sections 27-29 of the Charter of the Town of Brattleboro. This ordinance shall be a civil ordinance within the meaning of 24 V.S.A. Chapter 59.
It is the purpose of this ordinance to promote public welfare and convenience by regulating public nudity, which is deemed to be a nuisance for commerce.
"Nudity" shall mean the showing of the human male or female genitals, pubic area or buttocks with less than a full opaque covering, or the showing of the female breast with less than a full opaque covering of any portion of the areola. A woman breastfeeding her child, irrespective of whether the breast is covered, shall not be considered in a state of nudity.
"Prohibited Public Location" shall mean any location likely to be observed by members of the public and where the public is present or likely to be present, including streets, sidewalks, parks, parking lots, and business and commercial establishments (both for profit and not- for-profit). "Prohibited Public Location" shall not include doctor's offices, hospitals, enclosed single sex public restrooms or functional showers, locker and/or dressing room facilities, nor shall it include those places in which nudity or exposure to nudity is necessarily and customarily expected outside of the home and the sphere of privacy constitutionally protected therein.
"Geographical Location" shall mean: the Brattleboro Downtown District as defined in the Zoning Bylaws; The Brattleboro Common, being bounded by Route 30, Route 5/Putney Road and Park Place; the Route 5 Corridor from the Dummerston town line to the Guilford town line being within 200 feet of the center line of the highway; the Route 9 Corridor from main Street west to the intersection with Sunset Lake Road, being within 200 feet of the center line of the highway; within 250 feet of any school, church or place of worship; Living Memorial Park; and the Village of West Brattleboro as defined in the Zoning Bylaws.
Public Nudity Prohibited
Within a Geographic Location as defined above, no person shall knowingly or intentionally appear in a Prohibited Public Location in a state of Nudity.
An issuing municipal official is authorized to recover civil penalties in the following amounts for each violation:
First offense: $100
Second offense: $200
Third offense: $300
Fourth offense: $400
Fifth offense and up: $500
An issuing municipal official is authorized to recover a waiver fee, in lieu of civil penalty, in the amounts, for any person who declines to contest a municipal complaint and pays the waiver fee:
First offense: $50
Second offense: $125
Third offense: $200
Fourth offense: $275
Fifth offense and up: $350
In addition to the enforcement procedures available before the traffic and municipal ordinance bureau, the Town of Brattleboro is authorized to commence a civil action to obtain injunctive and other appropriate relief, or to pursue any other remedy authorized by law.
Entire contents © 2007 Naturist Action Committee, Inc.