Borough of Downingtown, PA
Chester County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Downingtown 7-14-1993 by Ord. No. 93-6. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Curfew — See Ch. 123.
Fireworks — See Ch. 148.
Noise — See Ch. 182.
Parades — See Ch. 195.
Parks and playgrounds — See Ch. 203.
Peace and good order — See Ch. 207.

§ 173-1 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to protect the public health, welfare, safety, peace and tranquility of the Borough of Downingtown by regulating mass gatherings within the Borough.

§ 173-2 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
FARMERS/GROWERS MARKET
A mass gathering consisting of an occasional or periodic market held in an open area or structure where groups of individual sellers offer goods for sale to the public, including fruits, vegetables, breads, eggs, milk, cheese, meat, flowers, wine, handcrafted items and the like with the appropriate State Liquor Control Board permit.
[Added 5-18-2016 by Ord. No. 2016-03]
MASS GATHERING
Any assemblage or gathering of people with or without a levy of admission fee; however, such term shall not include any activity having fewer than 150 people in attendance, nor shall the term apply to the normal operations, activities or affairs of any duly established municipal, recreational or religious organization or institution (including schools) located within the Borough or to any wedding or similar family event hosted by a resident of the Borough on his or her premises.

§ 173-3 Permit required; application procedure.

A. 
No person, firm, corporation or company shall hold or promote by advertising or otherwise a mass gathering unless a permit shall have been issued therefor by the Borough as herein provided and the fee paid.
B. 
An application for a permit under this section shall be submitted to the Borough no less than 60 days prior to the proposed activity. The applicant must be a resident of the Borough. The application shall contain the following information:
(1) 
The name, address and telephone number of the applicant and, if other than the applicant, the name, address and telephone number of the person or persons holding or promoting the mass gathering. If a firm, corporation, company or other business entity is holding or promoting the mass gathering, then the application must contain the name, address and telephone number of the business entity and the name, address and telephone number of the officers of the business entity.
(2) 
The exact location of the mass gathering.
(3) 
The name and address of the owner or owners of the property or properties where the mass gathering will occur.
(4) 
The nature of the interest of the applicant in the property or properties.
(5) 
The date or dates and hours of the proposed mass gathering.
(6) 
The expected number of people in attendance.
(7) 
The expected number of vehicles intended to use the property or properties at one time and collectively.
(8) 
The admission fee, if any, to be charged.
(9) 
The purpose of the mass gathering, including the nature of the activities to be carried on.
(10) 
A statement containing the type, number and location of any radio device, sound amplifier, loudspeaker, sound track or other similar sound equipment.
(11) 
A statement specifying the precautions to be utilized for fire protection and a map specifying the location of fire lanes and water supply for fire control.
(12) 
A statement specifying whether any outdoor lights or signs are to be utilized and, if so, a map showing the number, location, size, type and illuminating power of such lights and signs.
(13) 
A statement specifying the facilities to be available for emergency treatment for any person who might require immediate medical or nursing attention.

§ 173-4 Application information.

A. 
Each application shall be further accompanied by such additional plans, reports, specifications and other material as may be required by the Director respecting the proposed provisions for adequate parking, adequate traffic control, adequate crowd control, adequate sanitation facilities, adequate medical and first aid facilities, adequate potable water supply, adequate fire protection, adequate drainage, adequate food services and adequate refuse, storage and disposal facilities and adequate plans for cleanup.
B. 
Each applicant shall submit a plan or drawing to scale showing the method and manner in which:
(1) 
Sanitation facilities are to be provided for the disposal of human wastes.
(2) 
Water is to be supplied, stored and distributed to those persons attending.
(3) 
The layout of any parking area for motor vehicles, including the means of egress and ingress to such parking areas, with such plan to reflect the best and safest means of traffic control and safety for persons attending and the general public.
C. 
Each applicant shall submit a statement specifying whether food or beverage is intended to be prepared, sold and distributed. If food or beverages are intended to be prepared, sold or distributed, each applicant shall submit a statement specifying the manner of preparation and distribution of such and the method of disposal of garbage, trash, rubbish or any other refuse arising therefrom.
D. 
Each applicant for permit shall submit proof of an adequate comprehensive liability insurance policy, issued by a reputable insurance company, insuring the Borough of Downingtown, its officers and employees from liability to persons or property with limits of not less than $1,000,000 and naming the Borough of Downingtown, its officers and employees as being coinsured persons or as additional insured parties. Such policies shall not be cancelable by the insurer without 10 days' prior written notice to the Borough of Downingtown.
E. 
[1]The individual or organization sponsoring or holding the mass gathering shall be responsible to the Borough for damage caused to Borough property by the participants of the gathering. Likewise, the individual or organization sponsoring or holding the mass gathering shall indemnify the Borough and hold the Borough harmless from any liability to third persons or their private property as a result of property damage or personal injury or death caused or attributable to the mass gathering.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection E, concerning surety bonds, was repealed 9-7-1994 by Ord. No. 94-12. This ordinance also provided for the relettering of former Subsections F through I as Subsections E through H, respectively.
F. 
The individual or organization sponsoring or holding the mass gathering shall be responsible to the Borough for the additional costs and expenses incurred by the Borough of Downingtown for providing additional police protection and/or additional cleaning or maintenance services for the mass gathering. If the applicant is not the individual or organization sponsoring or holding the mass gathering, then the Borough shall have the right to make a claim against the applicant for reimbursement of the cost and expenses noted above and for reimbursement of any damages sustained to Borough property caused by the participants in the mass gathering.
G. 
A separate permit is required for each such event.
H. 
The Director, with the approval of the President of Borough Council, may, upon a showing of good cause that certain conditions or requirements as hereinbefore set forth are not applicable or would cause an unreasonable burden upon the applicant, modify the foregoing requirements after review of the circumstances presented by the applicant. Likewise, the Director, with the approval of the President of Borough Council, may require additional conditions not herein before mentioned as may be necessary to maintain peace and order or to protect the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of the Borough or any neighboring properties.

§ 173-5 Granting of permit.

A. 
Upon review of the application and all of the information required to be presented with the application, the Director may issue a permit to the applicant upon payment of the appropriate fee. The Director, with the approval of the President of Borough Council, may waive the fee and/or the requirement that 60 days' advance notice be provided for spontaneous mass gatherings celebrating events of importance to the Borough, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the nation, including celebrations of local sports teams and the end of wars or other conflicts of national significance. The Director shall promptly notify the applicant that said fee or advance notice has been waived.
B. 
The Director shall have the right to waive the permit fee and/or the requirement of advanced notice of 60 days for groups or organizations of a religious, charitable or nonprofit nature or for any group or organization if there are circumstances unique to that group or organization which justify the waiver to assure the public safety and welfare of the Borough, or the Borough's best interest.
[Added 12-8-1993 by Ord. No. 93-15]

§ 173-6 Regulations for conduct.

Upon the grant of a permit to hold a mass gathering, the person or organization holding the mass gathering shall comply with the following provisions and shall advise each participant of the mass gathering of such provisions, the violation of which shall be unlawful:
A. 
The person or organization holding the mass gathering shall arrange for the necessary police protection to assure the safety of the participants of the mass gathering and the safety and security of neighboring properties and the citizens of the Borough of Downingtown. The person or organization holding the mass gathering shall be responsible for reimbursing the Borough for these additional expenses attributed to providing police protection and security.
B. 
The person or organization holding the mass gathering shall make arrangements with the Borough's Street Department to assure proper and adequate sanitation facilities, refuse containers and disposal facilities and shall reimburse the Borough for all additional services provided by the Borough's Street Department as a result of this mass gathering. Adequate plans for cleanup of any public property, including the Borough streets, shall be made with the Borough Street Department, and such Borough property shall be clean and free of debris within 24 hours of the end of the mass gathering. The person or organization holding the mass gathering shall be responsible for the expenses of the Borough's Street Department for services rendered to clean up Borough property and Borough streets as a result of the mass gathering.
C. 
No mass gathering authorized pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be held or conducted between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m.
D. 
No mass gathering shall extend for a period in excess of two consecutive days without written approval by Borough Council.
E. 
All vehicular parking shall be contiguous to the activity sponsored by the applicant.
F. 
No light on any part of the premises used for the mass gathering shall be permitted to shine beyond the property line or premises with an intensity sufficient to disturb the peace, health, safety or comfort of any adjacent residents or the general public. All exterior lights on the property shall be so situated or equipped with shielding devices that no unreasonable glow shall shine beyond the property line of the mass meeting.
G. 
No soot, cinders, smoke, gaseous or disagreeable or obnoxious odors shall be permitted to emanate from the premises so as to be detrimental to the public or which either annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the health, safety and welfare of the public.
H. 
The participants of the mass gathering shall not engage in any illegal activities or engage in any conduct which violates the ordinances, statutes, laws or enactments of this Borough or of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
I. 
At no time shall music be played by mechanical devices or live performance which annoys, disturbs, endangers or might annoy, disturb or endanger the public's health, comfort, safety, repose and peace.
J. 
No loud, unnecessary or unusual, abusive or profane language shall be permitted at any time which either annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace and safety of the public.

§ 173-7 Denial of permit.

If the Director shall deny an application for a permit under this chapter, the Director shall notify the applicant, in writing, of the denial and the reasons for such denial.

§ 173-8 Revocation of permit.

A. 
Any violation of any one or more of the regulations and conditions set forth above shall be sufficient grounds for the Director to immediately revoke the permit and order the individual or organization holding the mass gathering to cease and desist their activities. Upon such notice of immediate revocation, the individual or organization shall cease and desist its activities and shall be prevented from applying for another permit for at least two years from the date of revocation.
B. 
If the violation is not discovered by the Director until the mass gathering has ended, then the Director shall suspend for two years the right of the person or organization conducting the mass gathering to apply for another permit to conduct a mass gathering.
C. 
The Director may extend the suspension beyond the two-year period if, in his or her sole discretion, he or she determines that the person or organization which previously violated this chapter will not conduct a future mass gathering in accordance with the regulations and conditions set forth within this chapter or will, if allowed to conduct such mass gathering, pose a threat to the public health, safety and welfare.

§ 173-9 Appeals.

Any individual, association, company or other entity who has been denied a permit to conduct a mass gathering or whose right to apply for a permit has been suspended or revoked for violation of this chapter shall have the right to appeal said denial, suspension or revocation to Borough Council, in writing, within 15 days from receipt of the notice of said denial, suspension or revocation. Borough Council shall conduct a hearing on said appeal within 30 days from the date of filing of the appeal. Borough Council shall render a decision within 45 days after the hearing either upholding the denial, suspension or revocation or granting the appeal and ordering the Director to grant the permit or rescind his/her revocation or suspension notice.

§ 173-10 Permit fees.

A. 
The fees for permits issued pursuant to this chapter, which shall be paid at the time of the application, are as follows:
(1) 
Twenty-five dollars if the mass gathering involves at least 150 people but fewer than 250 people.
(2) 
Fifty dollars if the mass gathering involves 250 people but fewer than 500 people.
(3) 
One hundred dollars if the mass gathering involves 500 or more people.
B. 
The fee shall be returned to the applicant if such permit is not issued.

§ 173-11 Violations and penalties; other remedies.

A. 
A failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed a violation and the violator shall be liable to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 for each such violation, or a violator may be subject to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 60 days, or both.
B. 
In addition to the above-provided penalties, the Borough of Downingtown may maintain any action or proceeding in the name of the Borough in any court of competent jurisdiction, whether at law or in equity, to compel compliance with or to enforce any violation of this chapter.