Town of Wheatfield, NY
Niagara County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Wheatfield 2-1-1982 by L.L. No. 1-1982. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Bingo — See Ch. 64.
Building construction and fire prevention — See Ch. 69.
Games of chance — See Ch. 105.
Noise — See Ch. 118.
Obscene and lewd behavior — See Ch. 121.
Zoning — See Ch. 200.

§ 56-1 Title.

This chapter and all amendments, codifications and recodifications hereof shall be known and may be cited as the "Games and Arcades Control Law of the Town of Wheatfield."

§ 56-2 Findings; policy.

The unrestricted establishment of commercial game rooms and arcades would pose substantial hazards to the peace, comfort, health, safety and welfare of Town residents. Likewise, the unregulated proliferation of games and other amusement devices, as incidental uses within established business premises, would pose equally serious problems in the maintenance of an orderly and peaceful flow of commerce, in the preservation of the public health, safety and welfare and in the promotion of legitimate and necessary uses within the business community. It is the purpose of this chapter to assure the protection and preservation of the Town's comprehensive planning, the safeguarding of the general health, welfare, morals and comfort of the Town citizenry and the restriction and prohibition of certain unsuitable uses which, by their nature or evolution within the community, would seriously impede or adversely affect proper land use and development, the efficient delivery of essential municipal services, the orderly regulation of pedestrian and vehicular traffic and the reasonable enjoyment of recreational activity within the community as a whole.

§ 56-3 Definitions; word usage.

A. 
For the purposes of this chapter and all amendments or additions hereto, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings described herein, as and whenever the same shall appear in this chapter:
GAME ARCADE
Any lot, premises, facility, building or structure, open to the public, in which four or more bowling alleys, electronic or mechanical games or amusements, billiard or pool tables or other games or amusement devices of any kind, as such terms are defined herein, or any combination of five or more such games or devices as aforesaid are situated, stored, possessed, operated, used or maintained and for which a fee is charged, either directly or by membership, ticket or other indirect fees, either for admission to any such place or premises or for access to or use of any such games or amusement devices as aforesaid.
GAMES AND AMUSEMENT DEVICES
Any electric, mechanical, computerized, electronic or other device, machine or implement which is either designed and intended or used, operated or maintained as a game, amusement or means of entertainment, including but not limited to the following: pinball machines, shooting galleries, computerized games, electronic games, skillboards, billiard or pool tables, electronic bowling or shuffleboard tables, bowling alleys and casino-type games.[1]
PERSON
Any natural person, firm, corporation, copartnership, association, joint-stock association, company, organization, club, society or other entity, except the State of New York, the United States, the Town of Wheatfield and any divisions, boards, commissions, agencies or departments thereof when acting in their official capacities.
[1]
Editor's Note: The former definition of "and" and "or," which immediately followed this definition, was deleted at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
"Shall" and "may." The word "shall," whenever it appears, shall always mean "must" and shall prescribe mandatory conduct; the word "may," whenever it appears, shall always mean "might" and shall prescribe permissive or discretionary conduct.
C. 
Singular and plural. Unless the context shall clearly require a different interpretation, whenever the singular form of a word shall appear herein, it shall mean and include the plural thereof; and whenever the plural form of a word shall appear herein, it shall mean and include the singular thereof.

§ 56-4 Conflicts with other provisions.

Insofar as it may actually conflict with the provisions of any other law, ordinance, rule, order or regulation, this chapter and all amendments, codifications and recodifications hereof shall be deemed to supersede and take precedence and control over every such contrary provision, but only to the extent and degree necessary to effect the purposes of this chapter and carry out its provisions and for no other reason.

§ 56-5 Game arcades prohibited; games and amusements devices restricted.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to establish, construct, use, operate or maintain any games arcade anywhere within the Town of Wheatfield, and under no circumstances shall any license, permit, special exception or other authorization therefor be granted, issued or otherwise allowed by any board, commissioner, officer, agent or employee of the Town of Wheatfield.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to own, lease, store, possess, use, operate or maintain more than three games or amusement devices for business or commercial purposes in or upon any premises within the Town of Wheatfield or to so own, lease, store, possess, use, operate or maintain any such game or amusement device except in conformity with the provisions of this chapter and unless licenses and permits have previously been obtained therefor.

§ 56-6 Licenses and permits required; fees.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to own, lease, store, possess, use, operate or maintain any game or amusement device for commercial or business purposes in or upon any premises within the Town of Wheatfield except as an incidental use and not as the main use on business premises and only after having previously obtained all licenses and permits required by this section.
B. 
A separate premises permit shall be required for each building, facility, structure or other premises in which games or amusement devices are owned, leased, stored, possessed, used, operated or maintained for business or commercial purposes; and a separate license shall be required for every game or amusement device so owned, leased, stored, possessed, used, operated or maintained in or upon such premise.
C. 
Applications for permits and licenses shall be made, in writing, on forms provided by the Town Clerk and shall be filed in the office of the Town Clerk during regular business hours. Every such application shall provide for such information as the Town Board may from time to time direct or require by rule, resolution or order. No application shall be accepted for filing unless fully completed, signed and notarized and unless accompanied by payment of all application fees provided for elsewhere in this section.
D. 
No license or permit may be granted or issued pursuant to this section unless and until all of the provisions of this chapter are fully complied with. In addition to the foregoing requirement, the Town Board, as licensing body, shall consider the following factors before passing upon any application hereunder: the possible effects on the public health, peace, safety, comfort and welfare, including but not limited to the size, floor area, design and location of the premises; the nature and type of game or amusement device proposed to be used; the proposed hours and days of operation; the proximity of residential uses; the impact on municipal services, facilities and public areas; compatibility with surrounding business uses; potential increase in pedestrian and vehicular traffic; the adequacy of existing and proposed firesafety devices, such as sprinklers, alarms, extinguishers and fire exits; the potential for increased noise and other noxious disturbances; and compliance with all fire, building, zoning, plumbing and other ordinances and laws.
E. 
Issuance of license or permit; expiration; renewal.
(1) 
In the event that the Town Board shall deem it advisable to grant the application for a permit or license, the Town Clerk, after payment of the annual fees for licenses and permits provided for elsewhere in this section, shall issue the appropriate license and/or permit. Licenses and permits shall be issued on an annual basis only and shall expire on December 31 next succeeding the date of issuance thereof, and no such license or permit shall be transferable.
(2) 
In the event that a license or permit issued hereunder shall not be renewed and the annual renewal fee paid therefor on or before January 15 next succeeding the date of expiration of such license or permit, then the same shall be null and void of no further force or effect, and the holder thereof shall be required to file a new application and pay a new application fee before any such license or permit may be validly reinstated by the Town Board and lawfully reissued and renewed by the Town Clerk.
F. 
Fees.
(1) 
[1]The fees required under the provisions of this section shall be as follows:
(a) 
Premises fee and premises permit. No premises fee or premises permit shall be required for one to three games or machines. For four or more games or machines, a premises fee and premises permit shall be required. For the first application, the premises fee shall be as set forth from time to time by resolution of the Town Board and shall be prorated for that year only. After the initial application, the renewable yearly premises permit fee shall be as set forth from time to time by resolution of the Town Board and shall be nonrefundable.
(b) 
Game or amusement device fee. Game or amusement device fees shall be as set forth from time to time by resolution of the Town Board and shall be renewable annually.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I). A fee schedule is on file at the office of the Town Clerk.
(2) 
All fees provided for herein shall be nonrefundable and without proration unless proration is specifically authorized herein.
(3) 
The Town Board may from time to time amend, repeal, abolish or otherwise modify any fee provided for herein by order or resolution of the Board. Except for good cause shown and unless specifically provided for therein, no such order or resolution shall be retroactive, in either its effect or application, from the date of its adoption.

§ 56-7 Location restrictions.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to own, lease, store, possess, use, operate or maintain any game or amusement device for business and commercial purposes within the Town of Wheatfield, and no license or permit shall be granted or issued therefor within any of the following restricted locations or premises:
(1) 
Any area of the Town which is zoned for a use classification other than commercial classification under Ch. 200, Zoning, ordinances, rules or regulations of the Town.
(2) 
Any open area, open court or other mandatory open portion on any lot, plot or premises.
(3) 
Within or upon any place, premises or building, other than a bar or bar-restaurant, in which any type of food, beverage, liquor or alcoholic beverage is or may be sold, offered for sale, purchased, dispensed, served or consumed or in which the same is permitted to be brought into or possessed in or upon any part or portion of such place, premises or building.
(4) 
Within 500 feet of a religious corporation building.
B. 
The provisions of this section shall not apply to any establishment actually lawfully in use, operation or maintenance of any game or amusement device prior to the effective date of this chapter, except that the fee requirements of § 56-6F shall apply as of the effective date of this chapter.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).

§ 56-8 Off-street parking and area requirements.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to own, lease, store, possess, use, operate or maintain any game or amusement device for business or commercial purposes in or upon any premises within the Town of Wheatfield, and no license or permit shall be issued or granted therefor unless and until the owner of such premises can provide off-street parking which may be required by law, ordinance, rule, order or regulation of the Town of Wheatfield.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 200, Zoning.
B. 
Every game and amusement device within the Town shall be so situated and placed within and upon premises that it shall not:
(1) 
Block or otherwise obstruct any window, door, doorway, ventilating duct, fire exit, boiler, furnace, radiator, baseboard or other heater device, stairs or stairway, toilet or other sanitary facility; or
(2) 
Obstruct, encumber or otherwise interfere with the free, clear passage of any person into, through or from such premises.

§ 56-9 Suspension or revocation of licenses and permits; hearing.

A. 
Any license or permit issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter may be suspended or revoked by order of the Town Board or by order of the Town Clerk or the Town Building Inspector for a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter. The effective date of any such revocation or suspension shall be deemed served, in compliance with this section, on the date that the same shall be either personally served or delivered to the person to whom the license or permit was issued or on the date such notice is mailed, return receipt requested, by either certified or registered mail, to the last known address of the holder thereof, as the same shall appear on the most recent application for such license or permit.
B. 
Any person whose license or permit has been suspended or revoked pursuant to the provisions herein shall have the right to a hearing before the Town Board to review such suspension or revocation, provided that such person files a written petition requesting such hearing in the office of the Clerk within 30 days of the date of service of the notice provided for hereinabove. The Town Board, within 30 days of the date of filing of such petition, shall fix the date for such hearing and shall hold the same and render its decision thereon within 60 days of the date of the hearing.
C. 
It shall be unlawful for any person whose license or permit has been suspended or revoked or whose license or permit has become null and void after expiration and nonrenewal thereof to use, operate or maintain any game or amusement device for business or commercial purposes or to allow any other person to use, operate or maintain the same within the Town of Wheatfield during any period of time after which such license or permit has been suspended, revoked or become null and void and before which such license and permit has been actually and validly reissued, reinstated or restored.

§ 56-10 Penalties for offenses.

Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of not less than $150 and not more than $250 for each such violation; and every violation of this chapter shall constitute disorderly conduct, and every person violating or aiding and abetting a violation of this chapter shall be a disorderly person and shall, upon conviction, be subject to the aforesaid fine and imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or to both such fine and imprisonment, for each such violation. Each day that a violation of this chapter shall continue shall constitute a separate violation hereof.

§ 56-11 Exemptions.

The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to:
A. 
Not-for-profit corporations, including but not limited to veteran organizations and volunteer fire companies.
B. 
Religious corporations.
C. 
Businesses with one game or amusement device as defined herein.
D. 
Jukeboxes or record-playing machines.