City of Yonkers, NY
Westchester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Yonkers 6-24-2014 by L.L. No. 14-2014. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Cabarets, dance halls and sidewalk cafes — See Ch. 23.
Theaters and shows — See Ch. 24.
Amusements — See Ch. 27.
Games of chance — See Ch. 34.

§ 83-1 Legislative intent.

It is the intent of the City Council to regulate amusement events such as carnivals, circuses and fairs, so as to preserve the public peace and good order and to assure the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the City of Yonkers surrounding the conduct of such amusement activities.

§ 83-2 Definitions.

Unless otherwise indicated, for the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the meaning indicated;
A person or business entity who, for profit, supplies, provides and/or leases amusement rides, pavilions, tents, games, stalls, and/or other structures or equipment commonly used for an amusement event, and is retained by an applicant to organize, operate and/or manage the event.
Carnivals, circuses, fairs and entertainment generally characterized by the presence of one or all of the following: amusement rides, games of probability, and tents or pavilions used in conjunction with such activities.
A manually operated or mechanically powered machine or apparatus or device which is used solely for amusement and which is designed to propel, project or move a person through the air, along the ground, or otherwise, and shall include but not be limited to a merry-go-round and/or carousel, a Ferris wheel, gravity steeplechase, scenic railway, parachute jump and other similar machinery customarily associated with amusements, circuses, carnivals and fairs.
An event at which various shows, exhibitions or contests take place.
An exhibition or show in which nondomestic animals take part.
The Commissioner of the Department of Housing and Buildings.
An event at which goods are displayed for sale. The word "fair" shall be deemed to include the word "bazaar."
Due authorization, in writing, as provided herein, which permits a person to operate a carnival, circus, fair or amusement event at a specified location.

§ 83-3 Permit required; restrictions.

It shall be unlawful to erect, operate and/or maintain an amusement ride(s), carnival, circus, fair or amusement event without first having secured a permit therefor from the Department of Housing and Buildings.
A permit may be issued for a term not to exceed seven days within a two-week period, and every permit so issued shall specify the exact term and period of time for which it shall be valid.
No more than two permits shall be issued per person or organization for each calendar year.
No more than two amusement events shall be permitted at the same location per calendar year.
A permit issued as provided herein shall not be transferable. Any holder of such permit who allows it to be used by any other person or business entity and any person or business entity who uses such permit shall each be guilty of a violation of this chapter.
In the event City services not mentioned in this chapter are required, the person or entity must make a request to the department that offers that service.

§ 83-4 Location of amusement rides restricted.

No more than one amusement ride per 1/12 acre shall be permitted, and no more than 15 amusement rides shall be operated, maintained and/or erected per fair, carnival, circus or amusement event.
Each amusement ride shall be located at least 10 feet from the entranceway to the premises where the amusement event is being held and shall be placed so that it does not obstruct or interfere with free and unfettered passage by patrons or users of the premises.
Each amusement ride shall have an unobstructed distance of four feet for the length of front space of each ride where the patrons may watch or wait to use the ride. The Commissioner shall have the discretion to set the distance between each amusement ride depending upon the space available for the rides and the topography of the land as well as to prevent overcrowding and to assure the safety of the general public.
An amusement ride shall not be used or operated while any person is so located as to be endangered by it. Areas in which persons may be so endangered shall be fenced, barricaded or otherwise guarded against public intrusion.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the discretion of the Commissioner a permit may be refused or the number of permitted rides reduced if an applicant, based upon a review of the site plan and upon the recommendation of the inspection, lacks sufficient open space when the amusement rides are in motion to effectuate the legislative intent of this chapter.

§ 83-5 Criteria for issuance of permit in residential districts; restrictions in other districts.

No permit shall be issued for the operation or maintenance of any carnival, circus, fair or amusement event upon land lying in a residence zoning district unless the principal use thereon is nonresidential and a permitted conforming use in the zoning district.
A permit may be issued for the operation or maintenance of any carnival, circus, fair or amusement event in any commercial, business or industrial district subject to the restrictions of the Code of the City of Yonkers.
No permit shall be issued if, in the judgment of the Commissioner, the event will disturb the public peace and good order of the City of Yonkers or unreasonably affect the use and enjoyment of adjoining properties or jeopardize the health, safety or welfare of neighboring residents and/or the community.

§ 83-6 Enforcement.

Unless otherwise indicated, the provisions of this chapter may be enforced by the Department of Housing and Buildings, the Police Department and the Fire Department.

§ 83-7 Conditions of approval.

In any case requiring approval of the Commissioner, such approval may be granted subject to such conditions as the Commissioner may deem necessary. Any permit issued after approval of the Commissioner has been obtained shall bear on its face such conditions as the Commissioner may have imposed.

§ 83-8 Operating restrictions; hours of operation.

No sound equipment or public-address system shall be operated or used after 11:00 p.m. on the days for which the permit is issued.
No amusement ride and/or related equipment shall be operated on Sunday through Thursday after 11:00 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday after 12:00 midnight.
Amusement events shall cease to operate and be closed to the public no later than 11:00 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday and on Friday and Saturday by 12:00 midnight.
In the event Sunday falls on the eve of a national holiday, the prohibitions in Subsections A, B and C shall apply as of 12:00 midnight Sunday.

§ 83-9 Application: requirements.

An application for a carnival, circus, fair or amusement event shall be fully completed and signed by the person, organization and/or business entity seeking a permit. The application shall be submitted no more than 45 days and not less than 15 days prior to the time of the commencement of such carnival, circus, fair or amusement event, or at least 60 days prior to such commencement where such event involves audience capacity or attendees in excess of 500 persons and such event is held on City property or a City street. The application shall include and/or be accompanied by the following:
Written proof that all necessary permits and/or approvals that may be required by the Westchester Department of Health, the New York State Department of Labor and any other governmental or regulatory agency having jurisdiction has been obtained. The Commissioner shall forward all such applications to the Westchester County Department of Health and any other regulatory body or office requesting same for review.
The applicant shall specify whether the number of attendees is expected to reach 500 or more. In the event the number of attendees is expected to reach 1,500 or more, same shall also be indicated on the application.
The name, address and phone number of the applicant and of the amusement company, if one is being utilized; in the event an amusement company is being utilized, then a full and true copy of the contract and/or agreement entered into between the applicant and the amusement company. No portion of the financial aspects of the agreement filed with the City of Yonkers shall be released to third parties, in accordance with the provisions of Public Officers Law § 87(2)(d).
A notarized statement signed by the property owner of the premises upon which the proposed event is to be held stating the nature, extent and duration of the amusement event and granting permission to the operation of the amusement event on such premises.
The original and one copy of an accurate site plan drawn to scale, or other site plan drawn to the satisfaction of the Commissioner, showing the location, dimensions and specifications of all stationary and/or temporary structures or enclosures, amusement rides, games of probability, tents and pavilions. The site plan shall include the dimensions of all amusement rides when in motion, the area to be occupied by the proposed amusement rides, and the net amount of open space available when all amusement rides are in operation. All site plans shall set forth the dimensions of the parcel to be utilized for the event and the number of acres it comprises.
In the event the carnival, circus, fair or amusement event is being held on public property or lands, a performance bond issued by a bonding company or surety company approved by the Corporation Counsel, or cash or certified check, in the sum of $500, so as to guarantee that the applicant will clean the area and substantially restore the same at the conclusion of the carnival, circus, fair or amusement event. If the applicant fails to clean and restore the amusement area, or if damage is done to public or private property as a result of said amusement event, the Commissioner may apply the bond, cash or check to the cost of the cleanup or restoration and may recover, from the owner of the premises where the amusement event took place and the applicant, such additional costs as may be incurred. No such bond is needed for a carnival, circus, fair or amusement event held on private property or lands.
A certificate of insurance, issued by an insurance company licensed to do business within the State of New York, naming the City of Yonkers as an additional named insured. The policy must be of an occurrence format and have the following minimum coverage:
Bodily injury: $1,000,000 per person.
Bodily injury: $2,000,000 per accident.
Property damage: $1,000,000 per accident.

§ 83-10 Application fee.

In addition to the requirements of § 83-9 and Chapter 27, Amusements, of the City Code, a nonrefundable fee of $500 shall be payable to the Commissioner upon the filing of an application. An application fee will not be charged if the applicant is a religious, charitable, fraternal, patriotic, public-service or volunteer fire organization. In the event a religious, charitable, fraternal, patriotic, public-service or volunteer fire organization engages the services of an amusement company to operate and/or manage the carnival, circus, fair or amusement event, no waiver of the fee shall be applicable and no application will be accepted or filed until an application fee of $500, by cash, money order or bank check, is paid by the amusement company to the Commissioner.

§ 83-11 Additional requirements for charitable organizations.

Any charitable organization, as defined and regulated by Article 7-A of the New York State Executive Law, filing an application to conduct an amusement event, in addition to satisfying the requirements of § 83-9 herein, shall include with each application proof of such organization's valid registration with the New York Secretary of State as a charitable organization.

§ 83-12 Display of permit.

All permits must be conspicuously displayed during the operation of said amusement event and be available for inspection by any person demanding such inspection.

§ 83-13 Denial or suspension of permit.

Any violation of this chapter or of any other ordinance, law or statute in connection with the operation or maintenance of carnivals, circuses, fairs or amusement events, or any violation of the conditions of the permit or a false statement made in the application, shall be cause for immediate denial or suspension of the permit by the Commissioner. Notice of such denial or suspension and the reason or reasons for such determination shall be mailed by the Commissioner by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the applicant at the address shown on the application. A copy of such notice of denial or suspension shall be filed in the Department of Housing and Buildings. The applicant shall have 10 days from receipt thereof to submit a written request to the Commissioner for an appeal hearing before the Commissioner, or a duly appointed hearing officer, as set forth in § 83-14. At such time, the applicant may provide the Commissioner with any relevant information in response to that set forth in the Commissioner's notice of denial or suspension.

§ 83-14 Appeal hearing.

The Commissioner or a duly appointed hearing officer as set forth in § 83-14E shall hear and determine all such appeals after a hearing.
All requests for an appeal hearing from a denial or suspension of a permit and/or license shall be in writing and shall be filed with the Commissioner, accompanied by the sum of $250 to cover the cost of the hearing and of processing the appeal. Notice of the appeal hearing shall be mailed to the applicant within not more than five days of the hearing date. An appeal hearing shall be scheduled within not more than 15 days of the date of receipt of a request for an appeal.
Conduct of hearings. At the hearing the applicant shall be entitled to be represented by legal counsel and provided with an opportunity to be heard. The applicant may present such competent and material testimony or other evidence in his own behalf as may be relevant to the subject matter of the hearing. All witnesses shall be sworn in and examined under oath, and all hearings shall be recorded.
No permit shall be issued, and any outstanding permit may be suspended or revoked, after a hearing, if the Commissioner or hearing officer determines that such amusement event includes an activity which, in the judgment of the Commissioner or hearing officer, will disturb the public peace and good order of the City of Yonkers or adversely affect the use and enjoyment of adjoining properties in adjoining use districts or that the conduct of the function will not be consistent with or will jeopardize the health, safety or welfare of the residents of the City of Yonkers.
The Commissioner shall notify the applicant of the determination by registered mail, return receipt requested, within three business days after such determination has been made. The decision shall be on file with the Department of Housing and Buildings and shall be final, subject to review by a court of competent jurisdiction.

§ 83-15 Fire Department certificate; inspection; changes to site plan.

Notwithstanding the issuance of a permit in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, no carnival, circus, fair or amusement event shall commence operation or open to the public unless it has first obtained from the Fire Department of the City of Yonkers a certificate affirming that all tents, buildings and structures are in a nonhazardous and reasonable fireproof condition. Such certificate must be filed by the applicant with the Department of Housing and Buildings prior to the time and date of commencement of operations as set forth in the permit. In addition, all tents, buildings, pavilions and other structures must be in compliance with the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
All tents, rides, buildings, structures, pavilions and electrical wiring equipment shall be in place and operational for purposes of inspection by City officials no later than 12:00 noon of the last business day immediately prior to the scheduled opening of said carnival, circus, fair or amusement event. In the event that, between the time of application and the date of inspection by City officials, changes to the site plan have been made about which the Commissioner has not been notified or for which an amended site plan incorporating the changes has not been provided, a penalty of $250 shall be immediately due and payable by the amusement company or, if an amusement company has not been retained, the applicant. No inspection shall be complete and a permit shall not be issued until such penalty is paid and an amended site plan is filed with the Department of Housing and Buildings.
No person is permitted to effectuate a change in the location, number and size of any tent, amusement ride, building, structure, pavilion or electrical wiring equipment after an inspection by City officials has taken place without the prior written consent of the Commissioner. All such requests for changes shall be submitted in an amended application, with a new site plan incorporating the proposed changes.

§ 83-16 Assembly, dismantling and/or removal of equipment.

Amusement rides, equipment and structures used for the carnival, circus, fair or amusement event shall not be assembled, dismantled and/or removed after 11:00 p.m. All amusement rides, equipment, tents, pavilions and other structures erected or used for the amusement event shall be dismantled and removed from the premises where the event took place within three days of the expiration of the permit.

§ 83-17 Penalties for offenses.

Any person or business entity, including the owner of the land and/or the amusement company, who is convicted of any prohibited act under this chapter shall be guilty of a Class I offense.

§ 83-18 Severability.

If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section, or part of this chapter or the application thereof to any person, individual, corporation, firm, partnership, entity, or circumstance shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unconstitutional, such order or judgment shall not affect, impair, or invalidate the remainder thereof but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section, or part of this chapter, or in its application to the person, individual, corporation, firm, partnership, entity, or circumstance, directly involved in the controversy in which such order or judgment shall be rendered.