[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Newton 6-8-1970 as Sec. 6-15 of the Revised General Ordinances. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Fees and costs — See Ch. 100.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The taking of still or motion pictures either on film or videotape or similar recording medium, for commercial or educational purposes intended for viewing on television, in theaters, or for institutional uses. The provisions of this chapter shall not be deemed to include the "filming" of news stories within the Town of Newton.
- COMMERCIAL FILM
- A film or tape that is to be broadcast on television, cable television, or theatrical release.
- NONPROFIT FILM
- A film or tape that is to be used for educational or charitable purposes.
- OTHER FILM
- A film or tape that cannot be categorized as a commercial film or nonprofit film.
- PUBLIC LANDS
- Any and every public street, highway, sidewalk, square, public park or playground or any other public place within the Town which is within the jurisdiction and control of the Town of Newton.
No person or organization shall film or permit filming on public property within the Town of Newton without first having obtained a permit from the office of the Town Clerk; which permit shall set forth the approved location of such filming and the approved duration of such filming by specific reference to day or dates. Said permit must be readily available for inspection by Town officials at all times at the site of the filming.
All permits shall be applied for and obtained from the office of the Town Clerk during normal business hours, but may only be issued with written approval of the Town Manager. Applications for such permits shall be in a form approved by the Town Clerk and be accompanied by a permit fee in the amount established in § 105-5 hereof. At a minimum, the permit application shall include the film company's name, times and dates of filming, location, insurance information, short plot synopsis, and description of special effects or stunt scenes, if any.
If a permit is issued and, due to inclement weather or other good cause, filming does not in fact take place on the dates specified, at the request of the applicant, the Town Clerk may issue a new permit for filming on other dates subject to full compliance with all other provisions of this chapter.
No permits will be issued by the Town Clerk unless applied for prior to five days before the requested shooting date; provided, however, that the Town Manager may waive the five-day period if, in his judgment, the applicant has obtained all related approvals and adjacent property owners or tenants do not need to be notified.
No permit shall be issued for filming upon public lands unless the applicant shall provide the Town with satisfactory proof of the following:
Proof of insurance coverage as follows:
For bodily injury to any one person in the amount of $500,000 and any occurrence in the aggregate amount of $1,000,000.
For property damage for each occurrence in the aggregate amount of $300,000.
The Town reserves the right to adjust the amount of insurance required where special effects or hazardous scenes will be shot.
An agreement, in writing, whereby the applicant agrees to indemnify and save harmless the Town of Newton from any and all liability, expense, claim or damages resulting from the use of public lands will be required before a permit can be issued.
The posting of a cash bond of not less than $500 is required. The exact amount of the maintenance bond will be determined by the Town Manager to protect the Town and to ensure that the location utilized will be left after filming in a satisfactory condition, free of debris, rubbish and equipment, and that due observance of all Town ordinances, laws and regulations will be followed. Within seven days of the completion of filming, the Town will return the bond, if there has been no damage to public property or public expense caused by the filming.
The hiring of an off-duty Newton police officer for the times indicated on the permit will be required.
The holder of the permit shall take all reasonable steps to minimize interference with the free passage of pedestrians and traffic over public lands and shall comply with all lawful directives issued by the Newton Police Department with respect thereto.
The holder of a permit shall conduct filming in such a manner as to minimize the inconvenience or discomfort to adjoining property owners attributable to such filming and shall, to the extent practicable, abate noise and park vehicles associated with such filming off the public streets. The holder of a permit shall avoid any interference with previously scheduled activities upon public lands and limit, to the extent possible, any interference with normal public activity on such public lands. Where the applicant's production activity, by reason of location or otherwise, will directly involve and/or affect any businesses, merchants or residents, those parties shall be given written notice of the filming at least three days prior to the requested shooting date and be informed that objections may be filed with the Town Clerk, said objections to form a part of the applicant's application and be considered in the review of the same. Proof of service of notification to adjacent owners shall be submitted to the Town Clerk within two days of the requested shooting date.
Filming in residential zones shall be permitted Monday through Friday between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., provided that all requests for night scenes shall be approved in the permit. The setup, production and breakdown required by all filming shall be included in the hours as set forth herein.
The Town Manager may refuse to issue a permit whenever he determines, on the basis of objective facts and after a review of the application and a report thereon by the police department and by other Town agencies involved with the proposed filming site, that filming at the location and/or the time set forth in the application would violate any law or ordinances or would reasonably interfere with the use and enjoyment of adjoining properties, unreasonably impede the free flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic, or otherwise endanger the public's health, safety or welfare. Further, the Town reserves the right to require one or more on-site police officers in situations where the proposed production may impede the proper flow of traffic, the cost of said police officer(s) to be borne by the applicant as a cost of production. Where existing electrical power lines are to be utilized by the production, an on-site licensed electrician may be similarly required if the production company does not have a licensed electrician on staff.
The Town Manager may authorize filming other than during the hours herein described. In determining whether to allow an extension of hours under this section, the manager shall consider the following factors:
Traffic congestion at the location caused by vehicles to be parked on the public street;
Applicant's ability to remove film-related vehicles off the public streets;
When the applicant is requesting restrictions on the use of public streets or public parking during the course of the filming;
Nature of the film shoot itself; e.g., indoors or outdoors, day or night;
Prior experience of the film company/applicant with the Town, if any;
Consultation with representatives of the neighborhood wherein the filming is to take place.
Copies of the approved permit will be sent to the police, fire, and public works departments before filming takes place. The applicant shall allow the fire prevention bureau or other Town inspectors to inspect the site and the equipment to be used. The applicant shall comply with all safety instructions issued by the fire prevention bureau or other Town inspectors.
At the discretion of the Town Manager, the permit holder may be required to attend a coordination meeting with Town officials prior to the start of filming.
In addition to any other fees or costs mentioned in this section, the applicant shall reimburse the Town for any lost revenue, such as parking meter revenue, repairs to public property or other revenues that the Town was prevented from earning because of the filming.
[Amended 8-13-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-20]
The schedule of fees for the issuance of permits authorized by this section are set forth in § 100-8.
Where the owner of the premises is not the applicant for a permit required by this chapter, both the owner and the applicant shall each be liable for violations hereof. Any person violating this chapter or these rules and regulations, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as set forth in Chapter 1, Article III, General Penalty. A separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.