Township of Upper Merion, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of Upper Merion Township 6-8-1987 as Ord. No. 87-513. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fees — See Ch. A173.
This chapter provides for the establishment of a permit requirement and establishes standards for the issuance of a permit for parades, athletic events, street fairs, craft shows, carnivals, block parties, rallies and other activities that occur on a township street, sidewalk, alley or other street right-of-way which obstruct, delay or interfere with the normal flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic or do not comply with traffic laws and controls. Permits shall also be required for special events occurring on private property, such as concerts and athletic events, which impact traffic and other township services. This chapter also establishes standards for the reimbursement of the township expenses caused by special events which will result in interference with the normal flow of traffic or otherwise require provision of township services in excess of that which would be required absent the special event.
A. 
Definitions. As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
APPLICANT
Any person and any sponsoring organization who or which seeks a special event permit from the Township Manager to conduct or sponsor an event governed by this section. Any organization shall designate an individual person as the responsible contact person.
ATHLETIC EVENT
An occasion in which a group of persons collectively engage in a sport or form of physical exercise on a township street, sidewalk, alley or other street right-of-way, which obstructs, delays or interferes with the normal flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic or does not comply with traffic laws and controls. "Athletic events" shall include bicycle and foot races.
BLOCK PARTY
A festive gathering of the residents on a residential street requiring a closure of a street or a portion thereof to vehicular traffic and use of the street for the festivity, including barbecues, picnics, music or games.
FREE SPEECH ROUTE
A route (course of travel) along designated streets, sidewalks or other street rights-of-way that are preestablished by the Township Manager for use by special events whose primary purpose is First Amendment expression. No traffic control fees pursuant to § 139-13 will be charged for events utilizing a "free speech route," if the event applicant satisfies the conditions for waiver of fees specified in § 139-13E.
PARADE
A march or procession consisting of persons, animals or vehicles or any combination thereof on any township street, sidewalk, alley or other street right-of-way which obstructs, delays or interferes with the normal flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic or does not comply with traffic laws or controls.
PERMIT APPLICATION FEES
The fee to be paid by the special event permit applicant at the time the application is filed with Township Manager. A fee schedule shall be set by the Board of Supervisors and shall cover the actual full costs or a portion thereof of processing and investigating special event applications and administering the special event permit program.
PERMITTEE
Any person and any sponsoring organization who has been issued a special event permit by the Township Manager.
RIGHT-OF-WAY
Public streets, alleys and crosswalks, including bike and pedestrian paths.
SPECIAL EVENT
Parade, athletic event, street fair, art and craft show, carnival, block party, soap box derby, rally and other special events or activities that occur on a township street, sidewalk, alley or other street right-of-way which obstruct, delay or interfere with the normal flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic or do not comply with traffic laws and controls. "Event" shall also mean indoor or outdoor concerts, displays, fairs and athletic events occurring on private property which are designed to attract large crowds, interfering with the normal traffic flow.
TOWNSHIP MANAGER
The Township Manager of Upper Merion Township or his deputy.
B. 
Word usage. The present tense includes the future. The singular includes the plural, and the plural includes the singular. The masculine includes the feminine and the neuter.
Any person or organization desiring to conduct or sponsor a parade, athletic event or other special event in Upper Merion Township shall first obtain a special event permit from the Township Manager. A special event permit is not required for the following:
A. 
Funeral processions.
B. 
Parades involving a total of forty (40) or fewer pedestrians marching along a parade route that is restricted to marching on sidewalks and crossing streets only at pedestrian crosswalks in accordance with traffic regulations and controls. Pedestrians participating in the parade shall cross crosswalks in units of fifteen (15) or fewer and shall allow vehicles to pass between each unit.
C. 
Parades, athletic events or other special events which occur exclusively on township property, public streets or school district property and are sponsored by the township or by the school district. For the purposes of this chapter, the volunteer fire companies operating within the township shall be considered to be township employees.
D. 
Parades, athletic events or other special events which occur exclusively in Valley Forge National Park and are sponsored by the National Park Service or other federal agency.
A. 
Any person or organization desiring to sponsor a parade, athletic event or other special event not exempted by § 139-3 shall apply for a special event permit by filing a verified application with the Township Manager on a form supplied by the Township Manager. If the application is for a parade or other event along a route preestablished by the township pursuant to § 139-13D or a free speech route pursuant to § 139-13E, the application should be filed not less than twenty-one (21) days nor more than ninety (90) days before the date on which the event is to occur. All other applications shall be submitted not less than thirty (30) days nor more than ninety (90) days before the event date.
B. 
Upon a showing of good cause, the Township Manager shall consider an application that is filed after the filing deadline if there is sufficient time to process and investigate the application and obtain police services for the event. "Good cause" can be demonstrated by the applicant showing that the circumstances that gave rise to the permit application did not reasonably allow the participant to file within the time prescribed and that the event is for the purpose of exercising the right of free speech.
C. 
The application for a permit shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable permit application fee which shall defray the administrative costs of the township in making preparations for such special event in the amount set by the Board of Supervisors in the Upper Merion Township Fee Schedule.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. A173, Fees.
A. 
The application for a special event permit shall provide the following information:
(1) 
The name, address and telephone number of the applicant and an alternative contact person.
(2) 
If the event is proposed to be sponsored by an organization, the name, address and telephone number of the organization and the authorized head of the organization; if requested by the Township Manager, written authorization to apply for this special event permit by an officer of the organization.
(3) 
The name, address and telephone number of the person who will be present and in charge of the event on the day of the event.
(4) 
The nature and/or purpose of the event.
(5) 
The date and estimated starting and ending time of the event.
(6) 
The location of the event, including its boundaries.
(7) 
The estimated number of participants and/or spectators.
(8) 
The type and estimated number of vehicles, animals and structures that will be used at the event and whether there will be water aid stations or first aid stations at the event.
(9) 
What provisions have been made for sanitary facilities for persons participating in or attending the event.
(10) 
A description of any sound-amplification equipment that will be used at the event.
(11) 
Whether any food or beverages or alcoholic beverages will be sold at the event.
(12) 
Whether monitors will be employed at the event.
(13) 
Parking requirements for the event.
B. 
Additional information required for parades, races and other events occurring along a route shall be as follows:
(1) 
The assembly point for the event and the time at which units of the parade or other event will begin to assemble.
(2) 
The route to be traveled.
(3) 
Whether the parade or other event will occupy all or only a portion of the streets proposed to be traversed.
(4) 
The intervals of space to be maintained between units of a parade or other event.
(5) 
The number, types and sizes of floats.
(6) 
The material and maximum size of any signs or banners to be carried along the route.
C. 
Supplemental information. Any supplemental information that the Township Manager shall find reasonably necessary, under the particular circumstances of the special event application, to determine whether to approve or conditionally approve a special event permit pursuant to § 139-8 shall be provided.
The Township Manager shall approve, conditionally approve or deny an application for the grounds specified in § 139-7. Such action shall be taken no later than ten (10) days after receiving a completed application for an event along a preestablished route pursuant to § 139-13D or free speech route pursuant to § 139-13E. Action on all other special event applications shall be taken no later than fifteen (15) days after receiving a completed application. If the application is denied or conditionally approved, the Township Manager shall inform the applicant of the grounds for denial, in writing, or the reason for a change in the date, time, route or location of the event and his right of appeal. If the Township Manager relied on information about the event other than that contained in the application, he shall inform the applicant what information he considered. The applicant shall be notified of any permit conditions at the time the application is approved and of his right of appeal of the permit conditions. If the Township Manager refuses to consider a late application under § 139-4B, the Township Manager shall inform the applicant of his reason for the refusal and of his right to appeal.
A. 
The Township Manager shall approve an application for a special event permit unless he determines from a consideration of the application or other pertinent information that:
(1) 
Information contain in the application or supplemental information requested from the applicant is found to be false in any material detail.
(2) 
The applicant fails to complete the application form after having been notified of the additional information or documents required.
(3) 
The sole purpose of the event is advertising of any product, good, ware, merchandise or event and is designed to be held solely for private profit and not for First Amendment expression.
(4) 
Another special event permit application has been received prior in time or has already been approved to hold another event at the same time and place requested by the applicant or so close in time and place as to cause undue traffic congestion or the Police Department is unable to meet the needs for police services for both events.
(5) 
The time, route or size of the event will substantially interrupt the safe and orderly movement of traffic contiguous to the event site or route or disrupt the use of a street at a time when it is usually subject to a great traffic congestion.
(6) 
The concentration of persons, animals and vehicles at the site of the event or the assembly and disbanding areas around an event will prevent proper police, fire or ambulance services to areas contiguous to the event.
(7) 
The size of the event will require diversion of so great a number of police officers of the township to ensure that participants stay within the boundaries or route of the event or to protect participants in the event as to prevent normal protection to the rest of the township. Nothing herein authorizes denial of the permit when additional peace officers would be available to the township under applicable state law and mutual aid plans, if requested by the township in advance of the event. Nothing herein authorizes denial of a permit because of the need to protect participants from the conduct of others, if reasonable permit conditions can be imposed to allow for the adequate protection of event participants with the number of police officers available to police the event.
(8) 
The parade or other event moving along a route will not move from its point of origin to its point of termination in three (3) hours or less.
(9) 
The location of the event will substantially interfere with any construction or maintenance work scheduled to take place upon or along the township streets or a previously granted encroachment permit.
(10) 
The event will occur at a time when a school is in session at a route or location adjacent to the school or class thereof and the noise created by the activities of the event would substantially disrupt the education activities of the school or class thereof.
B. 
When the grounds for denial of an application for permit specified in Subsection A(4) through (10) above can be corrected by altering the date, time, duration, route or location of the event, the Township Manager shall, instead of denying the application, conditionally approve the application upon the applicant's acceptance of conditions for permit issuance. The conditions imposed shall provide for only such modification of the applicant's proposed event as are necessary to achieve compliance with Subsection A(4) through (10) above.
The Township Manager may condition the issuance of a special event permit by imposing reasonable requirements concerning the time, place and manner of the event and such requirements as are necessary to protect the safety of persons and property and the control of traffic, provided that such conditions shall not unreasonably restrict the right of free speech. Such conditions include:
A. 
Alteration of the date, time, route or location of the event proposed on the event application.
B. 
Conditions concerning the area of assembly and disbanding of a parade or other event occurring along a route.
C. 
Conditions concerning accommodation of pedestrian or vehicular traffic, including restricting the event to only a portion of a street transversed.
D. 
Requirements for the use of traffic cones or barricades.
E. 
Requirements for provision of first aid or sanitary facilities.
F. 
Requirements for use of event monitors and providing notice of permit conditions to event participants.
G. 
Restrictions on the number and type of vehicles, animals or structures at the event and inspection and approval of floats, structures and decorated vehicles for firesafety by the Upper Merion Township Fire Marshal.
H. 
Compliance with animal protection ordinances and laws.
I. 
Requirements for use of garbage containers, cleanup and restoration of township or other public property and the properties of adjoining persons which may be impacted by the special event.
J. 
Restrictions on use of amplified sound.
K. 
An application for a special event permit to conduct a block party may be conditioned on notice to the residents of dwellings along the affected street(s).
L. 
Compliance with any relevant ordinance or law and obtaining any legally required permit or license.
A. 
The applicant shall have the right to appeal the denial of a permit or a permit condition. The applicant shall also have the right to appeal the amount of fees or cleanup deposits imposed pursuant to §§ 139-13 and 139-14 or a determination by the Township Manager that the applicant's insurance policy does not comply with the requirements specified in § 139-11. A notice of appeal shall be filed within five (5) days after mailing or personal delivery of a notice of denial or permit condition with the Township Manager, setting the grounds for the appeal. The appeal must be filed no later than 12:00 noon, one (1) calendar week preceding a Board of Supervisors' meeting, to be placed on the next regular meeting's agenda. The Board of Supervisors shall hear the applicant or a designated representative, receive any relevant information and documents and act on the appeal at its next regular meeting. The decision of the Board of Supervisors is final.
B. 
If there is insufficient time for a timely appeal to be heard by the Board of Supervisors prior to the date on which the event is scheduled, the applicant may, at his option, request that the Township Manager schedule the appeal before the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. The Chairman of the Board of Supervisors shall hold a hearing no later than five (5) business days after filing of the appeal and will render his decision no later than one (1) business day after hearing the appeal. If the appeal is heard before the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, the Chairman's decision is final.
The Township Manager shall issue the special event permit once the application has been approved and the applicant has agreed, in writing, to comply with the terms and conditions of the permit and the following sections of this chapter have been complied with:
A. 
Section 139-11 pertaining to indemnification.
B. 
Section 139-12 pertaining to insurance.
C. 
Section 139-13 pertaining to police traffic control fees.
D. 
Section 139-14 pertaining to cleanup deposits.
Prior to the issuance of a special event permit, the permit applicant and an authorized officer of the sponsoring organization, if any, must sign an agreement to reimburse Upper Merion Township for any costs incurred by it in repairing damage to township property occurring in connection with the permitted event proximately caused by the actions of the permittee, its officers, employees or agents or any person who was under the permittee's control insofar as permitted by law. The agreement shall also provide that the permittee shall defend the township against and indemnify and hold the township harmless from any liability to any persons resulting from any damage or injury occurring in connection with the permitted event proximately caused by the actions of the permittee, its officer, employees or agents or any person who was under the permittee's control insofar as permitted by law. Persons who merely join in a parade or event are not considered by that reason alone to be under the control of the permittee.
A. 
The applicant for a special event permit must possess or obtain public liability insurance to protect against loss from liability imposed by law for damages on account of bodily injury and property damage arising from the event. Such insurance shall name on the policy or by endorsement as additional insureds Upper Merion Township, its officers, employees and agents. Insurance coverage must be maintained for the duration of the event.
(1) 
Coverage shall be a comprehensive general liability insurance policy.
(2) 
The following minimum limits shall be required:
(a) 
Five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.) for each person for bodily injury; one million dollars ($1,000,000.) for each occurrence of bodily injury; and two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000.) for each occurrence of property damage; or
(b) 
One million dollars ($1,000,000.) for each occurrence of combined single limit bodily injury and property damage.
(3) 
If food or nonalcoholic beverages are sold or served at the event, the policy must also include an endorsement for products liability in an amount lot less than five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.). If alcoholic beverages are sold or served at the event, the policy must also include an endorsement for liquor liability in an amount not less than five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.). At any time when the insurance coverage required under this section may be purchased by a permit applicant through a township insurance policy, such coverage shall be made available to all permit applicants at the rates stated in the policy premium schedule.
B. 
A copy of the policy or a certificate of insurance, along with all necessary endorsements, must be filed with the Township Manager no less than ten (10) days before the date of the event unless the Township Manager for good cause waives the filing deadline. The special event permit shall not be valid until after the insurance policy or certificate of insurance along with necessary endorsements has been filed by the applicant and approved by the Township Manager.
C. 
The insurance requirements of Subsections A and B above shall be waived by the Township Manager for nonathletic events if the following conditions are satisfied:
(1) 
The applicant or an officer of the sponsoring organization signs a verified statement that he believes the event's purpose is First Amendment expression and that he has determined that the cost of obtaining insurance is so financially burdensome on the right of the First Amendment expression or that it has been impossible to obtain insurance coverage. The statement shall include the name and address of one (1) insurance agent or other source for insurance coverage contacted to determine insurance premium rates for insurance coverage.
(2) 
Upper Merion Township may, at its discretion, determine to require the applicant to apply for insurance coverage for the event under a policy selected by the Upper Merion Township. The applicant must provide any information pertinent to qualifying for the insurance coverage.
A. 
Prepayment of fees. Upon approval of an application for a special event permit, the Township Manager shall provide the applicant with a statement of the estimated cost of providing overtime police officers for traffic control at the event. The applicant of the event shall be required to prepay the traffic control fees ten (10) days prior to the special event. Traffic control by officers includes clearing the event route or site of unauthorized vehicles, diversion of traffic around the event and directing pedestrian and vehicular traffic along the route of an event or to and from parking facilities at an event.
B. 
Fees. The fee to be paid by the applicant for the services set forth herein shall be based upon actual costs or overtime costs, with a minimum of four (4) hours per officer.
C. 
Refunds or overruns. If the actual cost for traffic control on the date of the event is less than the estimated cost pursuant to Subsection A above, the applicant shall be promptly refunded the difference by Upper Merion Township.
D. 
Preestablished event routes. The fee schedule for all township services shall be set forth in the Fee Ordinance, Chapter A173. The following is a list of designated parade routes:
[Amended 8-15-1988 by Ord. No. 88-537]
(1) 
Parade Route No. 1, one and five-tenths (1.5) miles:
Assembly and demarcation
Upper Merion High School and Middle School Complex
Crossfield Road to Prince Frederick Street
Right on Prince Frederick Street
Left on Deep Hollow Road
Left on Hearthstone Road
Left on Crossfield Road to School Complex
(2) 
Parade Route No. 2, one and two-tenths (1.2) miles:
Assembly and demarcation
Caley School
Left on Caley Road
Left on Abrams Mill Road
Right on Champlain Drive
Left on General Scott Road
Left on Regimental Road
Left on Caley Road to Caley School
(3) 
Parade Route No. 3, one and three-tenths (1.3) miles:
Assembly and demarcation
Caley Road School
Left on Caley Road
Right on Abrams Mill Road
Right on Bernard Drive
Right on Jasper Road
Left on Springdell Road
Right on Sweetbriar Road
Right on Caley Road to Caley School
(4) 
Parade Route No. 4, one (1) mile:
Assembly and demarcation
Swedeland Park
Left on B Street
Left on W Street
Left on A Street
Right on Flint Hill Road
Left on Summit Street
Left on U Street
Right on B Street to park
(5) 
Parade Route No. 5, one and six-tenths (1.6) miles:
Assembly and demarcation
Bob White Park
Falcon Road to Mallard Road
Right on Mallard Road
Left on Bob White Road
Left on Forest Road
Right on Crestline Road
Left on Mallard Road
Right on Falcon Road to Bob White Park
E. 
Free speech routes and waiver of fees. Traffic control fees shall be waived by the Township Manager for nonathletic events if the following conditions are satisfied:
[Amended 8-15-1988 by Ord. No. 88-537]
(1) 
The applicant signs a verified statement that he believes the event's purpose is First Amendment expression and that the cost of traffic control fees is so financially burdensome that it would constitute an unreasonable burden on the right of First Amendment expression.
(2) 
The applicant selects one (1) of the preestablished free speech routes set forth below:
(a) 
Free Speech Route No. 1, ninety-five hundredths (0.95) mile:
Assembly and demarcation
Belmont School, Anderson Road
Right on Anderson Road
Left on Hampton Road
Left on Riverview Road
Right on Yale Drive
Left on Anderson Road
Right on Belmont School
(b) 
Free Speech Route No. 2, nine-tenths (0.9) mile:
Assembly and demarcation
Caley School
Left on Caley Road
Left on Abrams Mill Road
Left on General Scott Road
Left on Regimental Road
Left on Caley Road to Caley School
(c) 
Free Speech Route No. 3, seven-tenths (0.7) mile:
Assembly and demarcation
Bob White Park
Left on Bob White Road
Right on Mallard Road
Right on Falcon Road to Bob White Park
A. 
The applicant of an event involving the sale of food or beverages, erection of structures, horses or other large animals, water aid stations or first aid stations on public rights-of-way or other public land shall be required to provide a cleanup deposit prior to the issuance of a special event permit. The cleanup deposit shall be in the amount established in a cleanup fee schedule adopted by the Board of Supervisors in the Upper Merion Township Fee Schedule.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. A173, Fees.
B. 
The cleanup deposit shall be returned after the event if the area used for the permitted event has been cleaned and restored to the same condition as existed prior to the event.
C. 
If the property used for the event has not been properly cleaned or restored, the permittee shall be billed for the actual cost by Upper Merion Township for cleanup and restoration, and the cleanup deposit or a portion thereof shall be applied toward payment of the bill. If the permittee disputes the bill, he may appeal to the Township Manager within ten (10) days after the mail date of the bill. Should there be any unexpended balance on deposit after completion of the work, this balance shall be refunded to the permittee. Should the amount of the bill exceed the cleanup deposit, the difference shall become due and payable to the township upon billing.
A. 
Each permittee of an event shall comply with all terms and conditions of the special event permit.
B. 
Each permittee of an event shall ensure that the person leading a parade or other event along a route or the person in charge of any other event shall carry the special event permit on his person for the duration of the event.
C. 
Each permittee of an event shall ensure that any public area used for the permitted event is cleaned and restored to the same condition as existed prior to the event immediately following the completion of the event.
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to sponsor or conduct a parade, athletic event or other special event requiring a special event permit pursuant to this chapter, unless a valid permit has been issued for the event. It is unlawful for any person to participate in such an event with the knowledge that the sponsor of the event has not been issued a required, valid permit.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to interfere with or to disrupt a lawful parade, athletic event or other special event.
C. 
The special event permit authorizes the permittee/sponsor to conduct only such event as is described in the permit and in accordance with the terms and conditions of the permit. It is unlawful for the permittee/sponsor to willfully violate the terms and conditions of the permit or for any event participant with knowledge thereof to willfully violate the terms and conditions of the permit.
[Amended 12-31-1991 by Ord. No. 91-593]
A. 
Any person who shall violate the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding, be liable to a fine or penalty as set forth in Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. III, General Penalty Provisions, for each offense. Such fines or penalties shall be collected as like fines or penalties are by law collected.
B. 
Any person, firm, corporation or association which conducts or sponsors an event without first providing the necessary fees and deposits shall be billed for the actual cost of Upper Merion Township for police and cleanup services. Failure to pay any such bill for services within fifteen (15) days shall result in the imposition of a ten-percent penalty and interest at the rate of one percent (1%) per month until collected.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to affect any suit or proceeding pending in any court or any rights acquired or liability incurred or any permit issued or any cause or causes of action existing prior to this chapter.