City of Northampton, MA
Hampshire County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Northampton as Ch. 19, § 19-8, of the 1977 Code; amended in its entirety 10-3-1985. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
General penalty — See Ch. 1, § 1-17.
Licensing and permits — See Ch. 208.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 312.

§ 229-1 Permit required.

A. 
Parades and motorcades shall be permitted on any public street or state-numbered highway of the City of Northampton upon issuance of a permit by the Chief of Police.
B. 
The purpose of obtaining a permit is to inform the Chief of Police that a public street or streets and/or a state-numbered route will be used for other than normal vehicular traffic during certain hours on a specific date for purposes of a parade or motorcade, and to preserve and protect petitioners from deprivation of a constitutionally protected right of free speech and assembly.
C. 
The Chief of Police shall assign a number of police officers as the Chief deems appropriate in order to minimize inconvenience to the general public and to assure the safety of the participants and onlookers of said parade or motorcade.

§ 229-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
MOTORCADE
An organized procession containing 15 or more vehicles, except funeral processions, upon any public street sidewalk or alley.
PARADE
Any march or procession consisting of people, animals or vehicles, or combination thereof, except funeral processions, upon any public street, sidewalk or alley, which does not comply with normal and usual traffic regulations or controls.

§ 229-3 Permit required; application information.

A. 
Permit required. It shall be unlawful for any person to conduct a parade or motorcade in or upon any public street, sidewalk or alley in the City or knowingly participate in any such parade or motorcade unless and until a permit to conduct such parade or motorcade has been obtained from the Chief of Police or, as hereinafter provided, from the City Council.
B. 
Parade or motorcade for commercial purposes (prohibited). No permit shall be issued authorizing the conduct of a parade or motorcade which the Chief of Police finds is proposed to be held for the sole purpose of advertising any product, goods, wares, merchandise, or event, and is designed to be held purely for private profit.
C. 
Interference with parade or motorcade. No person shall knowingly join or participate in any parade or motorcade conducted under permit from the Chief of Police in violation of any of the terms of said permit, or knowingly join or participate in any permitted parade or motorcade without the consent and/or over the objection of the permittee, nor in any manner interfere with its progress or orderly conduct.
D. 
Application for permit.
(1) 
Any person or entities who desire to conduct a parade or motorcade shall apply to the Chief of Police for a permit at least 30 days in advance of the date of the proposed parade or motorcade. The Chief of Police may in his discretion consider any application for a permit to conduct a parade or motorcade which is filed less than 30 days prior to the date when such parade or motorcade is to be conducted. The application for such a permit shall be made in writing on a form approved by the Chief of Police. The Chief of Police shall have five working days to consider the properly submitted and complete permit application (exclusive of the day of submission, Saturdays, Sundays and state and federal legal holidays). In the event the permit is granted, an executed copy of said permit shall be available to the petitioner not later than 12:00 noon on the fifth working day after the date of submission unless such application and event were less than five working days apart. In such case, the permit shall be issued, at a reasonable time in advance of the event, so as to be available to the permittee prior to the event.
(2) 
In the event of a denial, the Chief of Police shall set forth in writing with specificity, the reasons for such denial not later than the sixth working day after the day of submission of the petition, such report to be available to the petitioner not later than 12:00 noon at the office of the Chief of Police on said day.
(3) 
In the event that the Chief of Police has been unable or for any reason failed to render an approval or denial of the permit within the five-working-day limit as required hereunder, he shall provide a written statement as to the reasons for such delay; on the sixth working day, however, in cases of good cause shown, the period of consideration shall be extended five additional days, so long as the petitioner is not prejudiced by the delay. In such case or delay, the petitioner, in the absence of any written notification, or notification of delay, may make direct application for the parade permit to the full City Council at its next regular meeting in accordance with filing procedures for the City Clerk and Council. In the event the permit is granted by the Chief of Police in its entirety prior to a Council meeting, then the request to the City Council shall be rendered void. In the event that the permit originally requested is not granted in the form desired by the petitioner, then such petition, may at the option of the petitioner, be considered an appeal from a denial. Nothing contained herein shall be construed so as to prevent negotiation or compromise by the petitioner and the Chief of Police on the original petition of the permittee.
(4) 
In order that adequate arrangements may be made for the proper policing of the parade or motorcade, the application shall contain the following information:
(a) 
The name of the applicant, the sponsoring organization, the parade or motorcade Chairman and the addresses and telephone numbers of each.
(b) 
The purpose of the parade or motorcade, the date when it is proposed to be conducted, the location of the assembly area, the location of the disbanding area, route to be traveled and the approximate time when the parade or motorcade will assemble, start and terminate.
(c) 
A description of the individual floats, marching units, vehicles, bands, including a description of any sound-amplification equipment to be used.
(d) 
Such other information as the Chief of Police may deem reasonable necessary.

§ 229-4 Issuance or denial of permit; standards for issuance.

The Chief of Police shall issue a parade or motorcade permit conditioned upon the applicant's written agreement to comply with the terms of such permit unless the Chief of Police finds that:
A. 
The time, route and size of the parade or motorcade will disrupt to an unreasonable extent the movement of other traffic.
B. 
The parade or motorcade is of a size or nature that requires the diversion of so great a number of police officers of the City to properly police the line of movement and the areas contiguous thereto that allowing the parade or motorcade would deny reasonable police protection to the City.
C. 
Such parade or motorcade will interfere with another parade or motorcade for which a permit has been issued previously.

§ 229-5 Standards for denial.

The Chief of Police shall deny an applicant for a parade or motorcade permit and notify the applicant of such denial where:
A. 
The Chief of Police makes any finding contrary to the findings required to be made for the issuance of a permit.
B. 
The information contained in the application is found to be false or nonexistent in any material detail.
C. 
The applicant refuses to agree to abide by or comply with all conditions of the permit.

§ 229-6 Contents of permit.

A. 
In each permit the Chief of Police shall specify:
(1) 
The assembly area and time therefor;
(2) 
The starting time;
(3) 
The minimum and maximum speeds;
(4) 
The route of the parade or motorcade;
(5) 
What portions of streets to be traversed may be occupied by such parade or motorcade;
(6) 
The maximum number of platoons or units and the maximum and minimum intervals of space to be maintained between the units of such parade or motorcade;
(7) 
The maximum length of such parade or motorcade in miles or fractions thereof;
(8) 
The disbanding area and disbanding time;
(9) 
The number of persons required to monitor the parade or motorcade;
(10) 
The number and type of vehicles, if any;
(11) 
The materials and maximum size of any sign, banner, placard or carrying device therefor;
(12) 
The materials used in the construction of floats used in any 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.
(13) 
That permittee advise all participants in the parade or motorcade either orally or by written notice, of the terms and conditions of the permit, prior to the commencement of such parade or motorcade;
(14) 
That the amplification of sound permitted to be emitted from sound trucks or bull horns be fixed and not variable;
(15) 
That the parade or motorcade continue to move at a fixed rate of speed and that any willful stopping of said parade or motorcade, except when reasonably required for the safe and orderly conduct of the parade or motorcade, shall constitute a violation of the permit; and
(16) 
Such other requirements as are found by the Chief of Police to be reasonably necessary for the protection of persons or property.
B. 
All conditions of the permit shall be complied with so far as reasonably practicable.

§ 229-7 Appeal procedure.

Upon a denial by the Chief of Police of an application made pursuant to § 229-5 of this chapter, the applicant may appeal from the determination of the Chief of Police within five days thereafter to the City Council at its next meeting. Upon such appeal, the City Council may reverse, affirm, or modify in any regard, the determination of the Chief of Police. In the event an application is not filed within the required time, as specified in § 229-2, the applicant may request a waiver of such requirement by the City Council at its next regular meeting or at a special meeting which may be called prior thereto by said City Council to consider such matter, and the City Council, if it finds unusual circumstances and in the exercise of its sound discretion, may waive such requirement.

§ 229-8 Officials to be notified.

Immediately upon the granting of a permit for a parade or motorcade the Chief of Police shall sent a copy thereof to the following:
A. 
The Mayor.
B. 
The Fire Chief.
C. 
The Department of Public Works.
[Amended 12-4-2014]

§ 229-9 Revocation of permit.

Any permit for a parade or motorcade issued pursuant to this chapter may be summarily revoked by a Chief of Police at any time when by reason of disaster, public calamity, riot or other emergency, the Chief of Police 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.