[HISTORY: Adopted by the Municipal Council of the Municipality of Norristown 12-6-2005 by Ord. No. 05-23. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A gathering, meeting or rally of 50 or more people without vehicles, which interferes with the movement of vehicular or pedestrian traffic on any street or sidewalk or other public property.
- MUNICIPAL SERVICE RATE
- The hourly cost to the Municipality for providing police protection and traffic control, fire protection, standby emergency medical services, sanitary services, clean-up and trash removal and possibly other necessary services for a parade or assembly as established from time to time by resolution of Municipal Council.
- PARADES AND ASSEMBLIES
- The Memorial Day parade sponsored by Veteran's groups, the Fourth of July parade and celebration sponsored by the Municipal Parks and Recreation Commission or any other events sponsored by the Municipality.
- Any march or procession or motorcade consisting of people, animals or vehicles, or any combination thereof, upon any public street, sidewalk or alley in the Municipality, which does not comply with the normal and usual traffic regulations and/or controls.
It shall be unlawful for any person or organization to conduct a parade or assembly in or upon any public street, alley or sidewalk or other public property in the Municipality or to knowingly participate in any such parade or assembly unless a permit has been obtained from the Municipal Administrator or, as hereinafter provided, from the Municipal Council.
No permit shall be issued authorizing the conduct of a parade intended to be held for the sole purpose of advertising any products, goods, wares, merchandise, or event or designed to be purely for private profit.
Except in the case of budgeted parades and assemblies, any person or organization intending to conduct a parade or assembly shall apply to the Municipal Administrator for a permit at least 45 days in advance; Municipal Council may, in its discretion, consider any application for a permit to conduct a parade or assembly which is filed less than 45 days in advance. The application for such permit shall be made in writing on a parade or assembly permit application form provided by the Municipality. In order that adequate arrangements may be made for the proper policing of the parade or assembly and for other municipal services, the application shall contain the following information:
The name, address and telephone number of the applicant, the sponsoring person or organization, and the parade or assembly chairman.
The purpose of the parade or assembly, the proposed date and location, the proposed location of the organizing and disbanding areas, the proposed route to be traveled and the proposed times when the parade or assembly and any meeting or rally connected therewith are to be held.
A description of the individual floats, marching units, vehicles, bands, and other units which will be participating in the parade and a description of any sound amplification equipment to be used.
The estimated number of parties or participants.
Such other information as the Municipal Administrator may deem necessary.
The Municipal Administrator shall approve or disapprove the application for a parade permit with modifications deemed appropriate not less than 15 days prior to the scheduled date of the parade or assembly as shown on the application.
Standards of issuance. The Municipal Administrator shall not issue a parade or assembly permit if he finds that:
The time, route and size of the parade or assembly requested by the applicant will disrupt to an unreasonable extent the movement of vehicle traffic in or through the Municipality; or
The time, route and size of the parade or assembly will require the diversion of so great a number of police officers of the Municipality to properly police the parade route or assembly and the areas contiguous thereto that permitting the parade or assembly will disrupt to an unreasonable extent police protection to the Municipality; or
The parade or assembly will interfere with another parade or assembly for which a permit has been issued.
Standard of denial. The Municipality Administrator shall deny an application for a parade or assembly permit and notify the applicant of such denial if:
The Municipality will fund expenditures within the General Fund Budget for parade expenses for the six budgeted parades or assemblies defined above in § 223-1 of this chapter. No permit shall be required for a budgeted parade or assembly.
Every applicant for a permit to conduct a parade or assembly other than the budgeted parades and assemblies shall pay an application processing fee of $85.
Upon approval of the application for a parade or assembly permit, the applicant shall deposit with the Municipality an amount determined by multiplying the hourly municipal service rate then in effect by the estimated number of hours of duration of the parade or assembly and any meeting or rally connected therewith as stated in the application, in order to cover the Municipality's estimated expenses for the parade or assembly, including, but not limited to, the costs of police protection, fire protection, emergency medical services, sanitary services, clean-up and trash removal and other necessary services.
If a permitted parade or assembly exceeds the estimated time for the event as stated in the application by more than one-half hour, the permittee shall pay the municipal service rate to the Municipality for such excess time.
In each permit the Municipality Administrator shall specify:
The date of the parade or assembly;
The assembly area and time;
The starting time of the parade;
The minimum and maximum speeds;
The route of the parade;
The maximum number of platoons or units which may participate in the parade and the maximum and minimum intervals of space to be maintained between units during the parade;
The maximum length of such parade in miles or fractions;
The disbanding area and approximate disbanding time;
The number of persons required to monitor the parade or assembly along the route;
The number and types of parade vehicles;
The material and maximum size of any sign, banner, placard or carrying device;
That material used in the construction of floats used in the parade shall be of fire-retardant materials and shall be subject to such requirements concerning fire safety as may be determined by the Fire Chief;
That the permittee shall advise all participants in the parade or assembly, either orally or by written notice, of the terms and conditions of the permit, prior to the commencement of such parade or assembly;
That throwing objects, including candy, at spectators is prohibited;
That the parade continue to move at a fixed rate of speed and that any willful delay or willful stopping of the parade, except when reasonably required for the safe and orderly conduct of the parade, shall constitute a violation of the permit;
The location, time of commencement and time of termination of any meeting or rally to be held on municipal property in connection with the parade or assembly; and
Such requirements as are found by the Municipal Administrator to be reasonably necessary for the protection of persons or property.
Upon a denial or significant modification by the Municipal Administrator of an application made pursuant to § 223-5 of this chapter, the applicant may appeal from the determination of the Municipal Administrator within five days thereafter to the Municipal Council by filing a written notice of appeal and request for a hearing at its next meeting. Upon such appeal, the Municipal Council may affirm, reverse, or modify in any regard the determination of the Municipal Administrator.
In the event an application is not filed within the time required by § 223-4, the applicant may request a waiver of such requirement by the Municipal Council at its next regular meeting and the Municipal Council, in its sole discretion, may waive such requirement if it finds unusual circumstances justifying the applicant's delay.
Immediately upon the granting of a permit for a parade or assembly, the Municipal Administrator shall send a copy thereof to the following:
The Municipality reserves the right to change the parade route, assembling area, disbanding area and location of any meeting or rally from those proposed on the parade or assembly permit application to other routes and areas, at any time prior to the parade or assembly if the Municipal Administrator determines that the safety of the public or property requires such changes. Notice of such action shall be delivered in writing to the permittee by personal service or by certified mail.
Any permit for a parade or assembly issued pursuant to this chapter may be summarily revoked by the Municipal Administrator at any time when by reason of the occurrence of a disaster, public calamity, riot or other emergency, the Municipal Administrator determines that the safety of the public or property requires such revocation. Notice of such action revoking a permit shall be delivered in writing to the permittee by personal service or by certified mail.
A parade permit shall not be required for any of the following functions:
No person shall knowingly join in any parade or assembly conducted under a permit issued by the Municipal Administrator in violation of any of the terms of the permit, or knowingly join or participate in any permitted parade or assembly without the prior consent of the permittee, or in any manner interfere with its progress or orderly conduct.
The Police Department of the Municipality shall have the authority, when reasonably necessary, to prohibit or restrict the parking of vehicles along the street or portion thereof which is within the route of a parade. The Police Department shall post signs giving notice of such restrictions, and it shall be unlawful for any person to park or leave unattended any vehicle in violation thereof.
Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a summary offense, and upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 or in default thereof, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 days.