Township of Hamilton, NJ
Mercer County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Hamilton as Ch. 42 of the 1994 Code of Ordinances. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Alcoholic beverages — See Ch. 99.
Fees — See Ch. 215.
Licenses and permits — See Ch. 285.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
DANCE OR NIGHTCLUB FACILITY
Any facility or premises operated by an individual, partnership, corporation, association or any other entity where live or electronically reproduced music is presented or dancing of any type is permitted which is open to the public at large with or without payment of an admission fee. Excluded from this definition are facilities or premises at which the dispensing of alcoholic beverages is permitted pursuant to the legal use of an alcoholic beverage license or facilities or premises accessible only to members of an organization with a fixed and limited membership controlling such facility or premises and not open to the public at large.
A. 
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all dance and nightclub facilities, whether operations were established prior to or following the effective date of this chapter. Dance or nightclub facilities exempted from the licensing requirements under this chapter shall comply with all other regulations and requirements set forth in this chapter.
B. 
This chapter shall not be applicable to dances, concerts or other events conducted by the Township school district or parochial schools within the Township.
A. 
No individual, partnership, corporation, association or other entity shall maintain or operate any dance or nightclub facility, whether for profit or otherwise, without first having obtained a license from the Municipal Clerk in accordance with the requirement contained in this section. Licenses issued under this chapter may not be transferred to other persons or other premises.
B. 
Licenses shall be required for all events within the definition of the term "dance or nightclub facility" or not otherwise excluded from coverage of this chapter which are conducted on a recurring monthly or more frequent basis.
The fee for a license issued under this chapter shall be as set forth in Chapter 215, Fees, of the Township Code.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
A. 
Application for a dance and nightclub facility license shall be made through the application form provided by the Municipal Clerk. Applications shall include the full name and current address of the owner of the premises, the full name and current address of the operator or local managing agent of the dance or nightclub facility, and the name and current address of the licensee. In the case of a partnership or corporate owner, operator, managing agent or licensee, the application shall include the name of each shareholder or partner holding a 10% or more ownership interest, the principal officers and a brief description of the nature and purposes of the organization.
B. 
All applications shall have affixed thereto an affidavit by the applicant confirming that all information contained therein is true and correct.
C. 
The provisions of Chapter 285, Licenses and Permits, pertaining to licensing procedures, shall apply to the license required in this chapter.
[Amended 12-15-2020 by Ord. No. 20-057]
A. 
The Municipal Clerk shall transmit copies of all applications for dance and nightclub facility licenses to the Chief of the Division of Police, the Building Inspector, the Township Planner, the Zoning Officer and the Fire Marshal, who shall investigate the aspects of the premises and individuals or entities to be licensed in accordance with their respective jurisdictions, and report back to the Municipal Clerk, in writing, their findings of fact and recommendations on whether the license shall issue. The Municipal Clerk shall complete whatever additional investigation is required by the terms of this section within a reasonable period of time and, at the completion thereof, shall either issue the license or reject the application. If the application is denied, the applicant may appeal to the Township Council.
B. 
The Municipal Clerk shall issue a statement of reasons in connection with any license application rejection.
A. 
All license applicants under this chapter shall provide notice of the application to all owners and occupants of premises within 200 feet of the premises in question, at least five days prior to filing the application with the Municipal Clerk. Notice shall be given by personal service or by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested. The notice shall state that comments or objections regarding the application are to be filed with the Municipal Clerk within 15 days of service of the notice.
B. 
The applicant shall list all individuals or entities receiving such notice and the means by which notice was provided in the application. Failure to provide notice or to confirm such notice in the application is grounds for rejection of the application.
C. 
Notice of the license application to the abutting owner or occupants is not required for premises operated as dance or nightclub facilities prior to adoption of this chapter, or in the case of application for renewal of any license issued under this chapter.
A. 
A dance and nightclub facility license shall be effective for the duration of the calendar year, expiring 12:00 midnight on December 31 each year.
B. 
License renewal applications are to be submitted to the Municipal Clerk no later than November 1 of each year and shall be approved or rejected by December 21 of each year.
A. 
Existing dance and nightclub facilities must submit a license application conforming to the requirements of this chapter no later than October 1, 1991.
B. 
Existing dance and nightclub facilities shall immediately conform operations to the regulations of this chapter.
No license shall be issued for the operation of any dance or nightclub facility which is located within 500 feet of any school, church or publicly owned building or within 1,000 feet of another dance or nightclub facility. All distances shall be measured between the nearest lot lines of the respective premises.
Any premises which shall be declared unsafe by the written report of the Building Inspector or Fire Marshal shall be ineligible for a license.
Dance or nightclub facilities shall be operated only between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 midnight.
Dance and nightclub facilities shall engage one security officer for every 100 of maximum load capacity set for the premises in question.
At least one parking space shall be provided for every three persons authorized by the maximum load capacity set for the premises of a dance and nightclub facility. If there is not sufficient parking for the established maximum load capacity, the maximum load capacity shall be adjusted, based on the available parking spaces, to comply with the requirements in this section; e.g., number of available parking spaces times three equals adjusted maximum load capacity.
The consumption of alcohol on the premises of any dance or nightclub facility licensed under this chapter is strictly prohibited.
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punished as provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions, § 1-2, Violations; penalties, of the Code of the Township of Hamilton.
A. 
Any license issued under this chapter may be revoked or suspended for violation of any of the provisions of this chapter or for any reason listed in § 285-10.
B. 
The Township shall institute proceedings for any license suspension or revocation by service of an appropriate notice at least five days prior to the effective date of the license suspension or revocation, and a reasonable opportunity for hearing before the Mayor or his designee shall be afforded to the licensee prior to the effective date. If the license is denied the applicant may appeal to the Township Council.