City of Buffalo, NY
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Derived from Art. VIII of Ch. V of the Charter and Ordinances, 1974, of the City of Buffalo. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Alcoholic beverages — See Ch. 69.
Amusements — See Ch. 75.
Public buildings — See Ch. 111.
Obscenity — See Ch. 299.
Peace and good order — See Ch. 313.
Restaurants — See Ch. 370.
The following words, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings:
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, firm, corporation, association, society, club or other organization.
PRIVATE HOMES
Buildings used exclusively for private dwelling purposes.
PUBLIC DANCE
Any dance or ball to which the public generally may gain admission and may participate in dancing.
PUBLIC DANCE HALL
Any building, structure or part thereof in which public dances are or may be held or any hall or academy in which classes in dancing are conducted or instruction in dancing is given for hire.
[Amended 12-9-2003, effective 12-19-2003]
A. 
No person shall hold any public dance or conduct classes in dancing or give instructions in dancing for hire in any public dance hall within the City until said public dance hall shall first have been licensed as provided in this chapter. Such license shall be issued by the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services, upon the consent of the Common Council, and in every public dance hall its license shall be posted in a conspicuous place near the main entrance.
[Amended 11-25-2008, effective 12-12-2008]
B. 
No person shall hold a public dance within the City without having first obtained a permit therefor from the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services, upon the consent of the Common Council.
[Amended 11-25-2008, effective 12-12-2008]
C. 
Upon the consent of the Common Council, the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services may issue a license hereunder to any person owning or conducting a hotel or restaurant in the City to permit dancing therein subject to all of the provisions and conditions hereinafter contained unless specifically exempted hereinafter.
[Amended 12-9-2003, effective 12-19-2003]
A. 
Public dance hall. Application for a license for a public dance hall shall be made to the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services on forms furnished by him which shall contain such information as he may require.
B. 
Public dance. Application for a permit for a public dance shall be made to the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services at least seven days before the time of said dance and shall be in the form prescribed by said Commissioner. The Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services shall file said application with the City Clerk to be transmitted to the Common Council of the City of Buffalo and shall state the place and purpose for which the license is desired as set forth in the classifications hereinafter contained in this chapter.
[Amended 11-25-2008, effective 12-12-2008]
C. 
Hotels or restaurants. Application for a license permitting dancing in a hotel or restaurant shall be made by the owner or operator and shall be addressed to the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services and filed by him with the City Clerk to be transmitted to the Common Council of the City of Buffalo and shall state the place and purpose for which the license is desired as set forth in the classifications hereinafter contained in this chapter.
[Amended 12-9-2003, effective 12-19-2003]
It shall be the duty of the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services to examine all applications for public dance hall licenses and all applications for a license permitting dancing in a hotel or restaurant and to investigate or cause to be investigated each such application to determine whether or not the dance hall, hotel or restaurant for which a license is sought complies with the regulations, ordinances and laws applicable thereto and whether or not the person or persons making such application or having charge or supervision of the hall, hotel or restaurant are of good moral character. In making such investigation, the Commissioner shall have the assistance of the Departments of Police and Fire. Each such Department shall furnish to the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services, in writing, the information derived from such investigation, accompanied by a recommendation as to whether a license should be granted or refused.
All licenses granted hereunder may be renewed upon application therefor and after reinspection of the premises in the manner provided herein for original inspection.
A. 
Public dance hall. The fee for a public dance hall license, to be paid at the time of issuing the license, shall be as provided in Chapter 175, Fees.
B. 
Public dance. The fee for a public dance, to be paid at the time of filing application for a permit, shall be as provided in Chapter 175, Fees.
C. 
Restaurant and hotel dancing. The fee for a license to conduct dancing in restaurants and hotels, to be paid at the time of filing the application for a license therefor, shall be as set forth in Chapter 175, Fees.
D. 
Owners or operators of hotels and restaurants securing licenses under Classes 1, 2, 3 and 4 are exempt from procuring a music permit pursuant to Chapter 75 of the City Code. Licenses issued under either Class 3 or Class 4 may be reclassified to any one of Classes 1, 2 and 3 with the permission of the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services and by paying the difference in the fee, but no portion of any license fee shall be prorated or refunded.
[Amended 12-9-2003, effective 12-19-2003]
E. 
The rate of fees herein set forth shall apply to renewals of existing licenses and to initial licenses.
A. 
Each license granted for a public dance hall shall expire on the first day of August next following its issuance.
B. 
Each license granted for restaurant and hotel dancing shall expire one year from the date of issue. Said license is personal and cannot be directly or indirectly transferred or assigned.
A. 
No license for a public dance hall or a license permitting dancing in a hotel or restaurant shall be issued until it shall be found that such hall, hotel or restaurant complies with and conforms all ordinances and regulations for the protection of the public health and for the protection of the public from fire; that it is supplied with sufficient toilet conveniences; that it is a proper place for the purpose for which it is to be used; and the the owner, lessee or other person having actual control of the building and of the dance hall, hotel or restaurant is a person of good moral character and that there has been posted upon one of its walls, as required by Chapter 75 of the Code of the City of Buffalo, a certificate of inspection.
B. 
All public dance halls shall be kept at all times in a clean, healthful and sanitary condition, and all stairways and other passages and all room connected with a public dance hall shall be kept open and well lighted at all times while dances are being held.
C. 
The holder of a license for restaurant and hotel dancing shall not permit at any time in connection with the privileges exercised hereunder any kind of an exhibition, show or entertainment which may in any way be classified as obscene or immoral, which will tend to corrupt the morals of any youth or other person. All entertainments for hotels or restaurants shall be procured through a licensed employment agency, unless the entertainers are employed directly by the management of such hotels or restaurants.
[Amended 12-9-2003, effective 12-19-2003]
A. 
The Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services, the Commissioner of Police or any member of the Department of Police shall have the power and it shall be their duty respectively to cause a public dance hall, hotel or restaurant where any dance is being held to be vacated whenever any provision of any ordinance with regard to public dances is being violated or whenever any indecent or immoral act is committed or whenever any disorder of a gross, violent or vulgar character takes place therein with the knowledge or consent of the owner or lessee or his agent or other person in charge of the dance.
B. 
Enforcement. The Departments of Permit and Inspection Services and of Police shall have power to enforce this chapter.
C. 
Inspections. Chapter 249, Inspections, of this Code shall regulate all inspections made pursuant to this chapter. For purposes of this chapter, "department" in said chapter shall mean Department of Permit and Inspection Services or Department of Police.
D. 
Every public dance and public dance hall and hotel and restaurant where there is dancing and wherein meals are not served shall be continuously attended and supervised by a special partrolman in uniform, whose duty it shall be to preserve order and require compliance with all provisions of this chapter. The owner, lessee or other person giving or in charge of such public dance or public dance hall or hotel or restaurant where there is dancing and wherein meals are not served shall pay compensation of such special partrolman and furnish his uniform. No special partrolman shall be permitted to attend and supervise any public dance or any hotel or restaurant where there is dancing and wherein meals are not served as herein provided until properly bonded and his employment shall have been approved by the Commissioner of Police, and he shall at all times be under the supervision and control of the Commissioner of Police and may be removed at any time as provided by the Charter of the City of Buffalo. Upon certification to the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services, the Commissioner of Police may require such owner, lessee or other person giving or in charge of such public dance or public dance hall or hotel or restaurant where there is dancing and wherein meals are not served to furnish additional special patrolmen for duty at such dance.
A. 
All public dances shall be discontinued and all public dance halls shall be closed at or before the hour of 12:00 midnight on any day on which dancing is allowed; provided, however, that upon application of any person and after an investigation by the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services said Commissioner may grant to such person a special permit to continue any public dance until a later hour.
[Amended 12-9-2003, effective 12-19-2003]
B. 
No tickets shall be sold for admission to any public dance after 12:00 midnight, and no return check shall be given or issued at any time.
C. 
No dancing shall be permitted in any hotel or restaurant from 3:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. on any day.
No person shall, after 9:00 p.m., permit any person to attend or take part in any public dance who has not actually or apparently reached the age of 16 years, unless such person is in company with one of his or her parents or a suitable guardian. No person shall represent himself or herself to have attained the age of 16 years in order to obtain admission to a public dance hall or to be permitted to remain therein when such person in fact is under 16 years of age. No person shall represent himself or herself to be a parent or guardian of any person in order that such person may obtain admission to a public dance or be permitted to remain at such public dance when the person making the representation is not in fact a parent or guardian of such minor person.
No wine, beer or other malt, spirituous or intoxicating liquors shall be sold in or carried into any public dance hall or in any room directly opening into such public dance hall or upon the same floor upon which any public dance is being held.
[Amended 12-9-2003, effective 12-19-2003]
The Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services may make and publish reasonable rules and regulations governing the manner in which public dances shall be conducted, subject to the provisions of law and of the City Code.
A. 
A license issued for hotel and restaurant dancing shall be exempt from the provisions contained in §§ 150-10 and 150-12 of this chapter.
B. 
Dances and private instructions in dancing given in private homes and dances given by a bona fide society, club or organization, where the attendance is restricted to the members of the society, club or organization who have been such members for more than 10 days before the date of any such dance (provided that where the membership of any such club, society or organization consists of men only or of women only, persons of the other sex, to a number not exceeding the number of members of any such society, club or organization, may be admitted as guests) and where the dance is merely incidental to the purposes of such society, club or organization shall be deemed to be private and not public dances; but, notwithstanding this section, no such private dance, except in private homes, shall be held or given without a permit obtained as provided in § 150-2 of this chapter.
C. 
The provisions of § 150-9D of this chapter shall not apply to any regular classes in dancing, held in licensed dance halls; nor shall the provisions of § 150-6A or 150-12 of this chapter apply to any bona fide religious, benevolent, charitable, fraternal, singing, musical or labor society, club or organization; nor shall the provisions of § 150-6A or B or 150-12 of this chapter apply to a bona fide nonprofit, musical society or a nonprofit society for the public promotion and encouragement of fine music; nor shall the provisions of § 150-6A or 150-9D apply to a bona fide social settlement or social center nor to a bona fide club formed in connection with such social settlement or social center and which shall hold or give a dance as merely incidental to the purposes for which it is formed; provided, however, that all dances given by any such society, club or organization shall be given or held in a licensed public dance hall; and provided, further, the buildings owned by or under the control of the City of Buffalo in which dancing shall be authorized or permitted shall be deemed licensed public dance halls for the purpose of this chapter.
D. 
The provisions of this chapter shall have no application to public dances held in state armories by the members of the organizations quartered therein.
[Amended 12-9-2003, effective 12-19-2003]
A. 
The license of any public dance hall may be revoked by the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services for disorderly or immoral conduct on the premises with the knowledge or consent of the owner or lessee of the public dance hall or his agent in charge at any public dance held therein or for the violation of any of the rules, regulations, ordinances and laws governing or applying to public dance halls or public dances. Such license shall be revoked in the manner provided by the Charter of the City. If at any time the license a public dance hall shall be revoked as herein provided, at least six months shall elapse before another license shall be given or a permit shall be given for dancing on the same premises.
B. 
Any license heretofore granted for restaurant and hotel dancing may be suspended by the Common Council for any reason which it deems sufficient, and promptly thereafter it shall hold hearing thereon after giving reasonable notice thereof to the licensee. After the closing of the hearing, the Common Council may revoke such license or remove the suspension and reinstate it. The Common Council, in its discretion, may direct that the hearing shall be held by the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services and not by the Common Council, in which case the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services shall hold a hearing, take the testimony and shall make a report to the Common Council in reference thereto, including in the report a recommendation whether the license should be revoked or reinstated. Upon receipt of such report by the Common Council, it may approve or disapprove the recommendations of the Commissioner of Permit and Inspection Services and take such action in reference to the revocation or reinstatement of the license as it deems proper.
Any person who, individually or as an officer or employee of any corporation, society, club or organization, shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall be liable to a fine or penalty of not more than $1,500 for each and every offense. Each day that a person conducts a public dance hall or a public dance or permits dancing in a restaurant or hotel without having obtained a license to do so or during any time wherein a license has been suspended or revoked shall be deemed a separate violation of this chapter.