City of Clifton, NJ
Passaic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Municipal Council of the City of Clifton 3-5-1996 by Ord. No. 5788-96; amended in its entirety 8-18-2015 by Ord. No. 7237-15. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 317-1 Establishment.

A. 
The Municipal Council of the City of Clifton recognizes that the filming of motion pictures, television shows or programs within the City of Clifton has been increasing and will continue to increase in the future.
B. 
Filming within the City of Clifton requires various regulations to preserve the general health, safety and welfare of Clifton inhabitants; in addition, the imposition of various fees is required to offset administrative costs incurred in processing permit applications and conducting the requisite inspections. The City of Clifton hereby enacts Chapter 317 of the Code of the City of Clifton to establish fees and regulations governing filming.

§ 317-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
FILMING
The taking of still or motion pictures either on film or videotape or similar recording mediums, including, but not limited to, motion pictures, television shows or programs, commercial still photography, videotapes, computer-based programs or other visual reproduction technology now known or hereafter created, for commercial or educational purposes intended for viewing on television, in theaters or for institutional uses and shall include all activity attendant to the setup, production and breakdown associated with all filming activities. The provisions of this chapter shall not be deemed to include the filming of news stories within the City of Clifton.
FILMING LOCATION
The actual street address where the filming is to occur or the public street, highway, sidewalk, square, public park or playground or any other public lands where the filming is to occur. If filming is not confined to a single street address, then the street block on which the filming is to occur.
MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
Any film shoot or production requiring 15 or more crew members or more than five commercial vehicles, including, but not limited to, trucks, mobile homes, catering vehicles, vans and other such similar vehicles that are used in connection with the shoot or production.
PRIVATE PROPERTY
Any property that is owned by or assessed to a private person or entity.
PUBLIC PROPERTY
Any and every public street, highway, sidewalk, square, public park or playground, public building or any other public place within the City of Clifton which is within the jurisdiction and control of the City of Clifton.

§ 317-3 Permit required.

A. 
No person or organization shall film or permit filming on public property or private property within the City of Clifton without first having obtained a permit from the office of the City Clerk, which permit shall set forth the approved location of such filming and the approved duration of such filming by specific reference to the date or dates and hours of such filming. Said permit must be readily available for inspection by municipal officials at all times at the site of the filming.
B. 
All permits shall be applied for and obtained from the office of the City Clerk during normal business hours. Applications for such permits shall be in the form approved by the City Clerk and be accompanied by a permit fee in the amount established in § 317-9 herein.
C. 
No permits will be issued by the City Clerk unless applied for at least five days before the requested filming date. However, the City Manager may waive the five-day period in his or her sole discretion.

§ 317-4 Application for permit.

A. 
The application for a filming permit shall set forth the following information:
(1) 
The full name, address and telephone number of the applicant.
(2) 
Whether the applicant is an individual, partnership, corporation, limited liability company or any other type of entity, and, if another entity, a full explanation and description thereof.
(3) 
Whether the applicant is a registered nonprofit organization.
(4) 
If the applicant is an individual, the applicant's residence address and date and place of birth.
(5) 
If the applicant is a partnership, the full names, and addresses of each partner.
(6) 
If the applicant is a corporation or other entity, the full names and addresses of each officer, director and shareholder owning or having an interest, either legal or equitable, of 10% or more of the entity; the name and address of the registered agent and the address of the principal office of the corporation.
(7) 
If the applicant is a limited liability company, the full names and addresses of each member and managing member owning or having an interest, either legal or equitable, of 10% or more of the entity; the name and address of the registered agent and the address of the principal office of the limited liability company.
(8) 
The specific dates and times that filming is proposed to take place.
(9) 
A description of each commercial vehicle that the applicant anticipates using in connection with the film shoot or production.
(10) 
Whether the applicant has arranged for off-street parking for the vehicles that the applicant anticipates using in connection with the film shoot or production.
(11) 
Whether the applicant is requesting restrictions on the use of public streets or public parking during the course of the film shoot or production.
(12) 
The number of crew members and actors the applicant anticipates will be involved in the film shoot or production.
(13) 
The specific filming location of the film shoot or production. If filming is not going to be limited to a single street address, the specific street block, setting forth the cross-streets abutting the street block, where the filming is to take place.
(14) 
Whether, due to the nature of the shoot or the actors involved in the shoot, the applicant anticipates that members of the public will attend the film shoot or production and, if so, how many members of the public does the applicant anticipate will attend the film shoot or production.
(15) 
The security measures, if any, that the applicant will employ during the film shoot or production.
(16) 
Proof of insurance in accordance with § 317-4C.
(17) 
Whether the applicant has received any other filming permits in the City of Clifton in the twelve-month period immediately preceding the application and, if so, the exact filming location of each such permit and the number of days that filming for each such permit took place.
(18) 
Any other pertinent information that may impact the safety, health and/or public welfare.
B. 
The applicant has a continuing responsibility to update the application whenever the information provided has changed.
C. 
No permit shall be issued for filming upon public property unless the applicant shall provide the City with satisfactory proof of the following:
(1) 
Proof of insurance coverage as follows, naming the City of Clifton as an additional insured:
(a) 
For bodily injury to any one person in the amount of $500,000 and any occurrence in the aggregate amount of $1,000,000.
(b) 
For property damage each occurrence in the aggregate amount of $500,000.
(2) 
An agreement, in writing, whereby the applicant agrees to indemnify and save harmless the City of Clifton from any and all liability, expense, claim or damages resulting from the use of public lands.
(3) 
The posting of a security deposit, the amount $1,000 by cash or certified check or a $1,500 bond running in favor of the City of Clifton and protecting and ensuring 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 City ordinances, laws and regulations will be followed. After the completion of the filming, if there has been no damage to public property or public expense caused by the filming, the City of Clifton will return the security deposit or bond. If damage to public property or public expense has been caused as a result of the filming, the permit holder shall be responsible to reimburse the City for same and the City shall be permitted to offset the cost by first utilizing the security deposit or bond to pay for same.

§ 317-5 Rules and regulations governing issuance of permits.

A. 
A permit may be issued by the Clerk for a period not to exceed five days. The maximum number of permits that may be authorized in any calendar year for a specific filming location in a residential zone shall not exceed two without permission from the Municipal Council.
B. 
Filming in residential zones shall be permitted Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. The setup, production and breakdown required by all filming shall be included in the hours set forth herein.
C. 
The Municipal Council may authorize filming other than during the hours set forth in § 317-5B. In determining whether to allow an extension of hours under this section, the Municipal Council shall consider the following factors:
(1) 
Traffic congestion at the location caused by vehicles to be parked on the public streets;
(2) 
The applicant's ability to remove film-related vehicles off the public streets;
(3) 
Whether the applicant is requesting restrictions on the use of public streets or public parking during the course of the filming;
(4) 
Prior experience of the film company/applicant with the City, if any; and
(5) 
The impact on the use and enjoyment of adjoining property owners, residents and businesses.
D. 
The holder of the permit shall take all reasonable steps to minimize interference with the free passage of pedestrians and traffic over public property and shall comply with all lawful directives issued by the Clifton Police Department with respect thereto.
E. 
The holder of a permit shall conduct filming in such a manner as to minimize the inconvenience 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. Prior to the commencement of the filming, the holder of a permit for filming in a residential area shall notify residents within a two-hundred-foot radius of the filming location and the dates and times the filming is to take place, unless such requirement is waived in writing by the City. The permit holder shall avoid any interference with previously scheduled activities upon public property and limit to the extent possible any interference with normal public activity on such public property.
F. 
If a permit is issued and, due to inclement weather or other good cause, filming does not take place on the dates specified, the City Clerk may, at the request of the applicant, issue a new permit for filming on other dates, subject to full compliance with all other provisions of this chapter. No additional fee shall be paid for this permit.
G. 
The Municipal Council may authorize a waiver of any of the requirements or limitations of this chapter and may extend the duration of a permit beyond five days or may permit filming at a particular filming location in a residential zone on more than two occasions during any one calendar year, or may waive any other limitation or requirement of this chapter whenever it determines that strict compliance with such limitations will pose an unreasonable burden upon the applicant and that such a permit may be issued without endangering the public's health, safety and welfare or unreasonably interfering with the use and enjoyment of adjoining property owners, residents or businesses.
H. 
Copies of the permit application will be sent to the Police and Fire Departments and the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission for review before filming takes place. The applicant shall permit the Fire Prevention Bureau or other municipal 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 City inspectors.
I. 
Where existing electrical power lines are to be utilized by the production, an on-site licensed electrician may be required.

§ 317-6 Traffic control; crowd control; and security.

A. 
The City reserves the right to require the applicant to hire one or more off-duty police officers as needed in situations where the proposed film shoot or production may impede the free flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
B. 
The City reserves the right to require the applicant to hire one or more off-duty police officers or private security guards to provide security and/or crowd control at a filming location in situations where the City determines, in its sole discretion, that same is necessary to promote safety and security.
C. 
The hiring of off-duty police officers shall be in accordance with the Clifton Police Department's outside duty program and shall be for the filming times indicated on the permit and at the rates set by ordinance. The Chief of Police shall determine, in his or her discretion, the number of off-duty police officers required to maintain public safety, for each film shoot or production.

§ 317-7 Refusal to issue permit; appeals.

A. 
The City Manager may refuse to issue a permit if he or she determines, after a review of the application, that the nature of the proposed filming would violate any law or ordinance or would unreasonably interfere with the use and enjoyment of adjoining property owners, residents or businesses, unreasonably impede the free flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic, or otherwise endanger the public's health, safety or welfare.
B. 
Whenever the City Manager shall refuse to issue a permit, the City Manager shall furnish written notice of such refusal on the applicant.
C. 
Any person aggrieved by a decision of the City Manager denying a permit may appeal to the Municipal Council. A written notice of appeal setting forth the reasons for the appeal shall be filed with the City Clerk and a copy to the City Manager. The notice of appeal shall be filed and served by personal service or certified mail upon the City Clerk. An appeal from the decision of the City Manager shall be filed no later than 10 days after the service of the City Manager's written notice of denial as set forth in § 317-7B.
D. 
The Municipal Council shall set the matter down for a hearing within 30 days of the day on which the notice of appeal was filed and served. The appeal shall be decided by the Municipal Council upon the record below, upon supplemental and additional proofs, if any, and upon oral and written testimony, if any, submitted by the applicant/appellant and the City Manager. The decision of the Municipal Council shall be in the form of a resolution. A resolution supporting the decision of the Municipal Council shall be adopted at the first regularly scheduled public meeting of the Municipal Council after the hearing on the appeal unless the applicant agrees, in writing, to a later date for the decision. The Municipal Council may affirm, reverse, remand or modify the City Manager's decision.

§ 317-8 Suspension or revocation of permit.

A. 
The City Manager may suspend or revoke a permit if he or she determines, that the permit holder has violated any law or ordinance, has made material misrepresentations on the application for the filming permit, has performed the filming activity in a manner that is inconsistent with the application, has failed to provide adequate traffic control or security or the actual filming being conducted unreasonably interferes with the use and enjoyment of adjoining property owners, residents or businesses, unreasonably impedes the free flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic, or otherwise endangers the public's health, safety or welfare.
B. 
Whenever the City Manager shall suspend or revoke a permit, the City Manager shall furnish written notice of such suspension or revocation on the applicant.
C. 
If the permit holder can demonstrate that the violations resulting in the suspension or revocation can be abated, the City Manager may restore the permit, subject to the conditions set forth to ensure compliance.
D. 
Any person aggrieved by a decision of the City Manager suspending or revoking a permit may appeal to the Municipal Council. A written notice of appeal setting forth the reasons for the appeal shall be filed with the City Clerk and a copy to the City Manager. The notice of appeal shall be filed and served by personal service or certified mail upon the City Clerk. An appeal from the decision of the City Manager shall be filed no later than 10 days after the service of the City Manager's written notice of denial as set forth in § 317-8B.
E. 
The Municipal Council shall set the matter down for a hearing within 30 days of the day on which the notice of appeal was filed and served. The appeal shall be decided by the Municipal Council upon the record below, upon supplemental and additional proofs, if any, and upon oral and written testimony, if any, submitted by the applicant/appellant and the City Manager. The decision of the Municipal Council shall be in the form of a resolution. A resolution supporting the decision of the Municipal Council shall be adopted at the first regularly scheduled public meeting of the Municipal Council after the hearing on the appeal unless the applicant agrees, in writing, to a later date for the decision. The Municipal Council may affirm, reverse, remand or modify the City Manager's decision.

§ 317-9 Fees.

The schedule of fees for the issuance of permits authorized by this chapter are as follows:
A. 
Basic filming permit: $100.
B. 
Filming permit for nonprofit applicants filming for educational purposes: $50.
C. 
Additional fee for filming on public property: $1,000 per day.
D. 
Filming on public property for nonprofit or educational filming purposes: no fee.
E. 
In addition to all the foregoing fees, an additional fee for filming of major motion pictures shall be assessed as follows:
(1) 
Any film shoot or production having 15 or more crew members or five or more commercial vehicles: $1,000 per day.
(2) 
Any film shoot or production having 25 or more crew members or 10 or more commercial vehicles: $1,500 per day.

§ 317-10 Applicability of other ordinances and regulations.

A. 
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to impair or limit in any way any other power of the City of Clifton to define and declare nuisances and to cause their removal or abatement by summary proceedings or otherwise.
B. 
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to abrogate or impair the power of the City of Clifton or any officer or department to enforce any provisions of its Charter or its ordinances or regulations, nor to prevent or punish violations thereof, and the powers conferred by this chapter shall be in addition and supplemental to the powers conferred upon the City by any other law or ordinance.

§ 317-11 Severability.

If any clause, sentence, subdivision, paragraph, section or part of this chapter shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, subdivision, paragraph, section or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which said judgment shall have been rendered.

§ 317-12 Violations and penalties.

Any person violating this chapter or these rules and regulations, upon conviction therefor, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $1,250 per day, or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days, or both. A separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.