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 7-21-1994 (Ch. 4, Art. VI, of the 1977 Code); amended in its entirety 3-6-1997. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
General penalty — See Ch. 1, § 1-17.
Fees — See Ch. 174.

§ 303-1 Permit criteria.

The City Council shall have the authority to grant a permit for a temporary event on a parcel or parcels of land notwithstanding the fact that said temporary event constitutes a use or uses which are not permitted in the zoning district in which the parcel(s) is/are located. The following criteria shall apply:
A. 
The permit shall be valid for such period as the City Council may determine. The authorized permit period shall include the time required to set up and remove any structures, accessory equipment, fences, or other paraphernalia and to remove same. All such activities must be completed within the specified time period.
B. 
The event must be sponsored and managed by a governmental, civic, nonprofit, not-for-profit, religious, or public/nonprofit educational organization or institution. The organization or institution need not be the owner of the property on which the event is to take place.
C. 
The event must be for the benefit or purposes of the sponsoring organization/institution or for the benefit of a charity, charitable cause, or any other purpose which contributes to the public welfare. An event intended to raise funds for or further the political candidacy of any incumbent or candidate for public office shall not be eligible to receive a permit under this chapter.
D. 
Any permit issued shall specify a maximum attendance allowed for the permitted event.
E. 
The Council shall have the right to limit the number of temporary events permitted under this chapter to be held at any one site in a calendar year.

§ 303-2 Determination of need for permit; application information.

A. 
Preliminary to filing an application for a temporary event permit, the sponsoring organization shall file a Zoning Request Form and receive a determination from the Building Commissioner on whether a temporary event permit is required. If a temporary event permit is deemed as needed, the Building Commissioner will also provide a list of the other City departments from which the applicant must secure permits before final action on the application will be taken by the City Council.
B. 
Any applicant for a temporary event permit under this chapter shall submit a written request for said permit to the City Clerk's office at least 120 calendar days prior to the date of the event. The application shall be on the form provided by the City Clerk and shall include the following information:
(1) 
The name and address of the sponsoring organization.
(2) 
Status (government agency, civic organization, etc.) and proof of status of the organization.
(3) 
Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of three representatives of that organization.
(4) 
All names under which the event and tickets will be promoted, publicized, or sold; indication whether the name of the sponsoring organization will appear on the tickets.
(5) 
Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of promoters or other organizations, local and outside of region, engaged, subcontracted, or hired to manage or organize the event on behalf of the sponsoring organization, and a list of the last five event sites at which such promoters managed or organized a comparable event.
(6) 
The dates and operating hours of the event, including setup and breakdown times.
(7) 
An accurate and detailed description of the event including a detailed site plan.
(8) 
Any other nonprofit or for-profit events or activities to be held concurrently, during all or part of the time of said event and on same or contiguous property for which the permit is sought, as well as names, rubrics, or titles under which said other activities will be publicized including:
(a) 
Activities involving tickets.
(b) 
Concessions.
(c) 
Other aspects of the event involving payment or exchange of funds.
(9) 
Names of all headliners which may attract crowds larger than 500 people; names of any groups which are part of a tour.
(10) 
Attendance projected; attendance at prior events organized by the sponsoring group in Northampton; if there are regional or national promoters, attendance figures at similar events in other locations.
(11) 
If similar events have been held by any groups involved, documentation or copies of previous programs and publicity.
(12) 
If this is a fund-raising activity or an activity with entrance fees:
(a) 
A statement of ticket fees or any other charges;
(b) 
Names of companies, groups, and vendors who will be making a profit off the event;
(c) 
Projected gross revenues to be generated by the event;
(d) 
Rental fees associated with the use of the site;
(e) 
Projected net revenues to the sponsoring organization;
(f) 
Projected use of anticipated revenues by the sponsoring organization;
(g) 
A final report indicating actual gross revenues generated by the event and actual revenues to the sponsoring organization from the event, to be submitted to the City Council within 120 days after the event.
(13) 
If the sponsoring organization is not the owner of the property on which the event is to take place, written permission of the owner of said property for such use; dates and names of any other special events which have already been held at this property in the calendar year.
(14) 
Safety and sanitary provisions for the event, including provisions for crowd control.
(15) 
Plans for traffic control and parking provisions associated with the event.
(16) 
A statement of projected impact on the surrounding neighborhood.
(17) 
Estimated noise level affecting abutters and neighborhood.
(18) 
Name, position in sponsoring organization, address, and telephone number of the person to contact regarding problems that may arise while the event is in progress.
(19) 
Proof of insurance to be provided for the event in an amount acceptable to the City Council, but in no event less than $100,000/$300,000.

§ 303-3 Forwarding of application to Council.

After receipt of the application, the City Clerk shall forward the application to the City Council for preliminary consideration at the next regular meeting of the Council. Representatives of the sponsoring organization shall be present to answer any questions that may arise.

§ 303-4 Public hearing.

The City Council may, upon majority vote of those Councilors present and voting, vote to hold a public hearing on the application. If the Council votes to hold a public hearing, it shall cause notice of said hearing to be posted at the City Clerk's office and published, at the applicant's expense, in a newspaper of general circulation in the community at least seven days prior to the date of said public hearing. The notice shall contain the name of the applicant, the location where the event will be held including the name and address of the owner of the property if the applicant is not the owner, a description of the event, and the dates and times of the event. Abutters shall be notified of this hearing, also at the applicant's expense; proof of notification shall be provided.

§ 303-5 Securing of other permits required.

[Amended 12-4-2014]
The applicant shall secure all necessary permits pertaining to the event from City offices and departments, including but not limited to police, fire, Building Inspector, Board of Health, Conservation Commission, and Department of Public Works.

§ 303-6 Bond required for certain events.

If the event is to attract more than 3,000 people, or if there is any other reason for special concern, upon a majority vote of those Councilors present and voting, the applicant shall be required to post a bond to the City in a form acceptable to the City Solicitor sufficient to cover any damages, expenses, or liability to the City that might result from the event.

§ 303-7 Issuance or denial of permit by Council.

When the foregoing requirements have been completed, but in any case no later than 75 calendar days before the event, the City Council shall, by a two-thirds vote of the City Council, vote to issue or deny the permit. If it issues the permit, the Council may impose any conditions which it feels reasonable and necessary to protect the interests of the City, the participants, and the neighborhood in which the event is to be held. These conditions shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
A. 
Limitations of days and/or hours of operation.
B. 
Parking restrictions.
C. 
Signage. (Signs may be permitted to be erected for periods exceeding 72 hours, provided that it is explicitly stated in the permit granted.)
D. 
Provisions for police or other security personnel.
E. 
Provisions for temporary sanitary facilities.
F. 
Noise levels.

§ 303-8 Applicability of other regulations.

Any temporary events granted a permit hereunder shall still be subject to all other applicable state and local codes and ordinances.

§ 303-9 Fee.

[Amended 2-1-2007]
A nonrefundable filing fee as set forth in Chapter 174, Fees, shall be required to cover expenses associated with the application process for a temporary event permit. This filing fee is to be paid to the City Clerk when the application is filed.

§ 303-10 Waiver of requirements.

The City Council may, by a two-thirds vote of the City Council, waive any of the foregoing requirements stated in §§ 303-2 through 303-8.