Borough of West Chester, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 10-18-2016 by Ord. No. 13-2016[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also redesignated former Ch. 80, Peddling and Soliciting; Handbills and Posters, as Ch. 80, Peddling and Soliciting; Handbills and Posters; Street Performing.
The Borough finds that the existence in the Borough of street performers provides a public amenity that enhances the character of the Borough. The Borough seeks to regulate such performances so that they do not interfere with the quiet enjoyment of residents, public safety, and the ability of businesses to conduct their businesses uninterrupted. This article seeks to balance the interests of the street performers with those of the residents, businesses, visitors, and institutions of the Borough.
As used in this article, the following terms have the meanings indicated:
NOISE DISTURBANCE
Any noise which endangers, would endanger or is likely to endanger, or injures, would injure or is likely to injure, the safety or health of humans or animals, annoys, would annoy or is likely to annoy, or disturbs, would disturb or is likely to disturb, a reasonable person of ordinary sensibilities; endangers, would endanger or is likely to endanger, or injures, would injure or is likely to injure, personal or real property; disturbs, would disturb or is likely to disturb the peace; or creates, would create or is likely to create a nuisance.
PUBLIC AREA(S)
Those public sidewalks, parks and playgrounds constituting public space and public rights-of-way, as those terms are defined in this article.
PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
Any street, avenue, boulevard, highway, sidewalk, alley or similar place which is owned or controlled by a governmental entity.
PUBLIC SERVICE FACILITIES
Telephone, electric and cable television lines, poles, equipment and structures; water or gas pipes, mains, valves or structures; sewer pipes, valves or structures; pumping stations; telephone exchanges and repeater stations; and all other facilities, equipment and structures necessary for conducting a service by a government or utility service.
PUBLIC SPACE
Any real property or structures thereon which are owned or controlled by a governmental entity.
STREET PERFORMER
A person who has registered with the Borough for purposes of street performing, pursuant to this article.
STREET PERFORMING
Includes, but is not limited to, performing the following performance-art-related activities while recommending, requesting, accepting or soliciting contributions, money, property, and/or any other form of consideration or compensation from the general public: acting, singing, playing musical instruments, pantomime, juggling, magic, dancing, reading aloud, puppetry, and reciting and when observable from any public area. Street performing shall not include the production of items for sale.
No person may engage in street performing without registering with the Borough pursuant to and in accordance with this article.
A. 
An individual seeking to engage in street performing, as defined in this article, shall register with the Borough. Upon receipt of a complete registration form, the Borough shall issue a street performing registration card, which shall be valid as of the date on which it is issued.
B. 
A street performing registration card shall be nontransferable and shall contain the registration number of the street performer and the year in which the registration card was issued.
C. 
Each member of any group of street performers who perform together shall be required to individually register with the Borough, as well as maintain individual registration cards (as though each street performer was performing individually).
D. 
Upon the street performer's registering with the Borough for street performing, the Borough shall also give the street performer a copy of this article.
E. 
If a street performer loses his or her registration card, replacement registration cards may be obtained from the Borough for a fee, as established by resolution of Council.
A street performer shall clearly display his or her Borough-issued registration card while performing and shall allow inspection of the registration card by any authorized Borough employee, agent, or representative upon request.
A. 
Street performances may take place only in the following locations:
(1) 
Within that geographic area otherwise known and designated pursuant to applicable law as the Borough's Town Center (TC) Zoning District; and
(2) 
Within that geographic area otherwise known and designated pursuant to applicable law as the Borough's Institutional (IS) Zoning District; and
(3) 
In public areas where an authorized street fair or public festival is being conducted, provided that the street performer obtains the written permission of the sponsor of such fair or festival. When such events are sponsored by the Borough, permission to perform at the event must be obtained from the Borough.
B. 
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary set forth in Subsection A above, street performances may not take place within 100 feet of a school, library, or place of worship while in session, a hospital at any time, and other public areas excluded by the Borough Council, the Director of Public Works (or his designee), or the Chief of Police (or his designee) pursuant to applicable law.
C. 
Street performances may take place only during the following times:
(1) 
Sunday through Thursday: between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
(2) 
Fridays and Saturdays: between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.
D. 
No street performer or group of street performers shall remain in any one one-hundred-square foot area for a period in excess of 90 minutes.
E. 
No street performer or group of street performers shall operate, play or permit the operation of any musical instrument or similar device which produces, reproduces or electronically amplifies sound in such a manner to cause a noise disturbance.
F. 
No street performer or group of street performers shall operate, play or permit the operation or playing of any radio, television, phonograph, drum, musical instrument, cassette player, sound amplifier or similar device which electronically amplifies sound in such a manner as to create a noise disturbance.
G. 
A street performer or group of street performers may not create an undue interference with the passage of the public through a public area. If a street performer or group of street performers attracts a crowd sufficient to obstruct the public way, a Borough police officer may disperse the portion of the crowd that is creating the obstruction. Additionally, if a sizeable group of street performers assembles in such a way and/or manner which obstructs the public way or causes a noise disturbance or public nuisance, a Borough police officer may disperse the group of street performers to ensure the public health, safety and welfare.
H. 
A street performer or group of street performers may request contributions or money or property at a street performance, provided that no sign requesting contributions shall exceed 12 inches by 18 inches in size. Contributions may be received in any receptacle, such as an open musical instrument case, box or hat. Street performers may offer for sale recordings of only their own work, in any form. On sidewalks, displays with regard to such sale must not obstruct handicap ramps, doorways, or windows. Street performers shall not tape or post signs or posters on any public or private property or lean any displays against any public or private property. No displays may exceed more than 20% of the width of the sidewalk and in any event shall not exceed 15 square feet in total.
I. 
No street performer or the street performance itself shall obstruct the entrance to any private residence or property, nor the entrance to any business during the hours that the business is open for business.
A. 
A specific public area may be excluded from street performances by the Borough in the following circumstances:
(1) 
Upon recommendation from the Chief of Police (or his designee) in the case of an emergency, or due to public health, safety and/or welfare concerns, and pursuant to applicable law.
(2) 
Upon recommendation from the Director of Public Works (or his designee) in the case of scheduled or emergency repair work in the public right-of-way or any public service facility, and pursuant to applicable law.
(3) 
Upon recommendation from the Director of Building and Housing (or his designee) in the case of construction or property maintenance code matter on private property adjacent to the performance site, and pursuant to applicable law.
A. 
Any person who violates or permits the violation of any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding brought before a District Justice, be guilty of a summary offense and shall be subject to the payment of a fine not less than $25 for the first offense, not less than $100 for the second offense, not less than $250 for the third offense, not less than $500 for the fourth offense, and not greater than $1,000 for each subsequent offense, plus the costs of prosecution. Upon default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment in the Chester County prison for a period of not more than 30 days. Each section or provision of this chapter that is violated shall constitute a separate offense, and each day in which a violation of this chapter is found to exist shall constitute a separate offense, each of which violations shall be punishable by a separate fine imposed by the District Justice in the amounts stated hereinabove.