[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of New Castle 3-11-2014 by L.L. No. 2-2014. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: Former Ch. 65, Environmental Quality Review, adopted 9-27-1977 by L.L. No. 15-1997, as amended, was repealed 4-13-1999 by L.L. No. 5-1999.
The Town Board finds that filming, as defined herein, in the Town of New Castle is a desirable practice that encourages artistic development, local economy and tourism. Nevertheless, the Town Board also finds that filming on private and public property in the Town may create significant hardship, inconvenience, danger and discomfort to the general public and residents of the Town of New Castle caused by temporary adverse impacts, including traffic, noise, lights, vibrations, odors, etc. By reason of the foregoing, the Town Board finds the the health, welfare and safety will be served by adoption of a local law providing a means or regulating, by license, the undertaking of any filming on private or public property within the Town of New Castle. The Town Board does hereby ordain and enact this chapter to accomplish the aforesaid purposes. The existing policy of the Town of New Castle concerning filming, adopted February 14, 1989, is hereby repealed, revoked and superseded in its entirety.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The taking of motion pictures, commercials and advertisements and television shows, whether on film, videotape, photograph, digital recording or by other recording medium, for commercial or educational purposes, and intended for viewing on television, in theaters or for institutional uses. This definition shall not include and no permit or fee shall be required for:
- A. Activities conducted solely for the purpose of reporting news for newspapers, television and other news media;
- B. Activities conducted entirely within a fixed place of business, whether for commercial, noncommercial or educational purposes, where such activities are regularly and lawfully conducted on the premises;
- C. Activities conducted for use in a criminal investigation or civil or criminal court proceeding;
- D. Activities taking place under sponsorship of the Town of New Castle;
- E. Activities conducted solely on private property, whether for commercial, noncommercial or educational purposes, where the activities will not result in temporary adverse impacts (e.g., light, noise, vibrations, odors, etc.) on adjacent or neighboring properties; or
- F. Still photography, or staging thereof, on public or private property and whether for commercial, noncommercial or educational purposes, provided such photography will not require closure or exclusive use of any public right-of-way.
- MAJOR COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION
- Any filming with a budget in excess of $3,000,000; which is part of a television series, special, documentary, or made-for-TV movie; or which is financed, produced and/or distributed by a major motion picture studio, including, but not limited to, the following:
No filming shall be permitted on any private or public property within the Town of New Castle, whether or not a fee is to be paid or anything of value changes hands for use of such property, unless the owner or tenant in control of the property, hereinafter sometimes referred to as the "applicant(s)," first makes an application to and obtains a license from the Town Administrator who shall obtain the approval of the Police Chief.
Applications may be submitted to the Town Administrator and must contain the following information:
The name of the applicant;
The location of the property where filming is to take place;
The dates and times when said filming is to take place, including potential rain dates (where filming is to take place outdoors);
A statement concerning whether the applicant is the owner or tenant in possession of the subject property, and if the applicant is not the owner, the name of the owner of the property and the property owner's authorization;
The name of the person or entity the applicant wishes to allow to film, if other than the applicant; and
Such other information as the Town may require.
The applicant shall mail copies of its application, use plan and all supporting documents, simultaneously with its filing with the Town Administrator, to the owners of all properties within a radius of 250 feet of the location of filming. Proof of mailing shall be submitted to the Town Administrator no later than five business days after submission of an application pursuant to this chapter.
The applicant shall submit a use plan with its application, which plan shall show:
The streets or sidewalks that will need to be closed, if any;
The location of any vehicles or equipment that will be stored on location during the course of the filming;
The location and construction of any temporary structures to be placed or constructed in connection with the filming;
Parking plans, if applicable;
Measures intended to mitigate potential temporary adverse impacts, if applicable; and
The name, local address and local telephone number of a person who will be available 24 hours a day during the activity and who shall have control of and responsibility for the direction of all participants in the permitted activity and for the property for which the activity is permitted.
The Town Administrator shall seek the advice of the Chief of Police, Building Inspector and the Highway Department in reviewing such application.
The Town Administrator may attach conditions and safeguards ensuring the orderly conduct of the activity and the minimization of impacts of such uses and may specify the duration and hours of operation of such activities. The Town Administrator may require as a condition of any license that the applicant utilize the services of a Town of New Castle police officer or officers at the rate set forth in the Town Fee Schedule.
The Town Administrator may require the applicant to deposit with the Town Clerk money sufficient to cover the anticipated cost of police services or any other charge incurred by the Town in connection with a proposed film project. Unused portions of such deposit shall be returned to the applicant within five business days following completion of filming, and if conducted wholly or partly on public property, restoration of the film location to its prior condition. Any unpaid balance for such charges not covered by the deposit shall be paid in full to the Town no later than five business days after completion of filming.
Where filming shall take place wholly or partly on public property, the Town Administrator may require the applicant to post reasonable bond to assure adherence to the permit conditions set forth. The Town Administrator may further require an applicant to furnish the Town with a hold harmless and indemnification agreement, together with a certificate of insurance relieving the Town from any potential liability by virtue of the applicant's activities.
The Chief of Police shall have the power to cause the conditions set by any special license granted under this section to be enforced.
Each applicant shall pay a daily fee to the Town of New Castle, as set forth in a fee schedule determined by the Town Board, for any filming subject to licensing pursuant to this chapter.
Unless the Town Board provides otherwise by resolution, filming shall not be conducted at the same location (i.e., in the same building or at the same location) on more than seven calendar days within any twelve-month period.
Unless the Town Administrator provides otherwise by resolution, filming may not take place at any time except between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The use of trailers and other facilities set up by the applicant in connection with filming shall be subject to the same time limitations.
Applicants shall take reasonable steps to minimize the creation and spread of debris and garbage from the filming location and shall be responsible for the removal of all equipment, debris and garbage upon completion of filming or expiration of the license, whichever comes first. Applicants shall clean and restore all public property utilized during filming to the same condition as existed prior thereto.
Where filming requires closure of any public right-of-way and thereby temporarily eliminates access to an adjacent business, the Town Administrator, in its sole discretion, may require as a condition of the license that the applicant compensate the affected business(es) for the resulting loss of income caused by elimination of access, which compensation shall be in proportion to the duration of time for which access to the affected business is obstructed.
The Chief of Police may revoke a license issued pursuant to this chapter if the holder, or any agents, employees, or contractors thereof, fails to comply with the conditions set forth in the license, this chapter, or any other law, rule, regulation or ordinance. Notice of the grounds for revocation of the license shall be provided, in writing, to the applicant.
The Chief of Police may suspend a license issued pursuant to this chapter when the filming activities pose a hazard to persons or property and the location manager will not, or cannot, prevent the hazard after being instructed to do so by an officer of the Town of New Castle.
Violation of the terms and conditions of a license, without prior written modification by the Town Administrator, shall constitute a forfeiture of the privileges conveyed pursuant to the license, requiring that all filming activities cease immediately.
Any person or entity of any kind who or which fails to obtain the license required herein or otherwise violates any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be guilty of an offense punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 per day per offense or by imprisonment not exceeding 15 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
The imposition of such fine shall not be the Town's exclusive remedy in the event of a violation of this chapter. The Town may pursue any and all other legal remedies available to it in connection with any violation of this chapter, including recovery of costs and reasonably attorney's fees incurred in the prosecution of any criminal or civil proceeding.
No applicant granted a license pursuant to this chapter shall be cited for a noise violation or for any violation restricting the hours of outdoor work unless such is a violation of the conditions of their license.
A license granted pursuant to this chapter which provides for the temporary closure of a public right-of-way shall satisfy the requirement for such permit or license as otherwise provided in the Town Code.
Site plan approval is not required for filming or placement or construction of any temporary structure in connection therewith, except that the Building Inspector, or their designee, shall be permitted to inspect any such temporary structure to ensure it does not pose a danger to the public.
Notwithstanding any of the foregoing, no applicant who has been previously convicted of a violation of this chapter shall be granted a permit hereunder for a period of 18 months from the date of such conviction.
The Town Board may authorize a waiver of any of the requirements and/or limitations of this chapter whenever it determines that strict compliance with such limitations or requirements will pose an unreasonable burden upon the applicant and that such license may be issued without endangering the public's health, safety or welfare.