[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Poughkeepsie 10-20-1971 (Part II, Ch. 12, of the 1964 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Licensing of Places of Public Assembly Ordinance."
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any person (owner of lease), corporation, client or organization applying for a license under this chapter, including all offices or corporations, clubs or organizations.
- AMUSEMENT AREA
- Any property or parcel of land used for or intended to be used for the maintaining of operation of amusement rides of all types, sideshows and games of skill.
- BILLIARD ROOM
- A room or place used for the playing of pool or billiards and in which a limited number of pool tables are installed.
- BOWLING ALLEY
- A building in which a limited number of bowling alleys are installed and in which the sport of bowling takes place and which usually includes the sale and maintenance of bowling equipment and a refreshment counter with the sales of food and beverages.
- BUILDING INSPECTOR
- The Building Inspector appointed pursuant to Chapter 68 of the Code of the Town of Poughkeepsie. The Building Inspector shall administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter.[Amended 11-9-1994; 1-14-2009 by L.L. No. 1-2009]
- A group of amusement rides, accompanied with booths for games of skill, sideshows and refreshment stands.
- A traveling tent show in which performances given in a large tent or tents. A "circus" includes accessory amusement shows, rides and refreshment stands. Circus performances are usually limited to two in one day and normally have one-day stands.
- A self-service or quick service food stand that caters to automobile trade and where food is consumed by the persons in cars in the parking area or provides a take-out service for off-premises consumption of food and beverages.
- An operating permit issued by the Building Inspector in accordance
with this chapter.[Amended 1-14-2009 by L.L. No. 1-2009]
- PLACES OF PUBLIC ASSEMBLY
- Any room, place or space (indoor or outdoor) which is occupied or arranged to be occupied for recreational, amusement, social, sports, religious, patriotic, civic, travel and similar purposes and shall include assembly halls, museums, auditoriums, instruction rooms, dance halls or studios, cabarets, nightclubs, cafes, restaurants, any room or space used for private banquets, socials, card parties, bingo or weddings, lodge or meeting halls or rooms, rinks, gymnasiums, public swimming pools, billiard rooms, bowling alleys, archery ranges and halls used for public or private catering purposes, funeral parlors, private and parochial schools, recreation rooms, concert halls, broadcasting studios, theaters, stations, air terminals or surface and marine public transportation facilities or any other building, shed or enclosure, indoor or outdoor area, coming within the occupancy and other similar classification of this section as determined by the officer or officers charged with the enforcement of this chapter.
- Any room or place, including indoor or outdoor space, in which the business of serving food or drink to the public is conducted. The term "restaurant" shall be deemed to include all like or similar places of business, including bars, taverns, cabarets, clubs, discotheques, cafes, diners, lunchrooms, grills, nightclubs and catering establishments.
The Building Inspector, in accordance with this chapter, shall have the following functions, powers and duties in addition to those provided in other laws, ordinances, rules or regulations.
To issue or refuse to issue any license or permit provided for by this chapter.
To revoke, cancel or suspend, for cause, any license or permit issued under this chapter.
To inspect or provide for the inspection of any place of public assembly at any reasonable time and report results of the inspection to the owner or lessee, officers or trustees of the club or organization or persons responsible for public assembly property. Portions of said inspections may be delegated to the Arlington, New Hamburg or Fairview Fire District authorized inspector, Town Police, Plumbing and an authorized Electrical Inspector.
To prescribe printed forms of application for licenses or permits, to set fees with approval of the Town Board and to require that maximum occupancy notices be posted in two places of each place of assembly as directed and such other necessary forms and reports which he or she may deem necessary in order to properly administer and enforce this chapter.
To hold legal hearings, to subpoena witnesses, to compel their attendance, to administer oaths, to examine any person under oath and, in connection therewith, to require them to produce any books, records or papers relative to said appeal and review.
To adopt such reasonable rules and regulations as he or she may deem necessary for the proper control, operation and supervision of places of public assembly.
Applicants and licensees may request a review of the Building Inspector's decisions by the Town Board. Said request shall set forth, in writing, the reason for the appeal. The Town Board may grant or deny relief, either in a written statement or by holding a hearing for the applicant.
[Amended 11-9-1994; 3-27-1996 by L.L. No. 4-1996; 1-14-2009 by L.L. No. 1-2009]
No place of mass public assembly shall be operated or occupied until a license has been issued pursuant to this chapter.
Signs required by the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and the Town of Poughkeepsie Building Department shall not be removed, altered, defaced or destroyed except for replacement purposes or when conditions for which the signs were intended are no longer applicable.
Required signs removed, altered, defaced or destroyed without written permission from the appropriate authority shall constitute a violation and may be punishable by imposing a fine not to exceed $250 and/or 15 days' imprisonment. Each day of violation may be considered a separate offense.
The maximum number of occupants permitted within assembly spaces shall be established by the Code Enforcement Official and shall be conspicuously posted in each space and shall not be exceeded.
It shall be the responsibility of the manager or person in charge to assure that the occupant load does not exceed the number established by the Code Enforcement Official and should be issued a summons if not in compliance.
If an assembly area is not posted, the area shall be limited to a maximum occupancy of 49 or fewer.
A license shall be issued for a place of mass public assembly only after:
The premises have been inspected and all inspectors (Fire, Plumbing, Electrical, Building) have approved, in writing, the place of mass public assembly as to its complying with all laws, codes and ordinances which may be applicable thereto.
Said premises to be licensed are a safe place for mass public assembly and it meets requirements for maximum occupancy, for fire protection, electrical and plumbing and the number of persons per usable floor space or outdoor property area permitted as per determination by the Building, Fire and Police Inspectors.
The Building Inspector shall receive notice from the Zoning Administrator and Director of Municipal Development that premises meet requirements of Chapter 210, Zoning.
An application for a license shall be in writing on a form provided by or otherwise acceptable to the Building Inspector. Such application shall include such information as the Building Inspector deems sufficient to permit a determination by the Building Inspector that quantities, materials, and activities conform to the requirements of the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code. If the Building Inspector determines that tests or reports are necessary to verify conformance, such tests or reports shall be performed or provided by such person or persons as may be designated by or otherwise acceptable to the Building Inspector, at the expense of the applicant. The application form shall list:
The names of all persons with their legal addresses that have interest in the business that required the use of a place of mass public assembly.
The square footage of usable space to be used for mass public assembly and space available for kitchen, bar, stage, storage, dressing rooms, closets, seats and standee areas.
The number of toilets available for both patrons and employees.
The number of legal exits, number of tables, chairs and stoves.
Information regarding automatic sprinklers, fire detectors and fire extinguishers.
Type of entertainment and if music (live recorded) and dancing are planned for the business.
A plot plan of the outdoor area, if applicable, showing entrance and exits, parking areas, aisle and internal roads, other off-street parking available and water and sewer facilities; a floor plan of the building showing the above requirements to be submitted as part of the application; such other pertinent information which the Building Inspector may require in order to make a proper judgment in issuing the license.
Should the owners or operators plan or allow changes in the conditions under which they were granted a license, they must apply for a permit to make said changes. Within a five-day period, the inspector will accept or reject the application for the change. Failure to file, if willful and deliberate may be cause for suspension or revocation of the license. The inspector may waive the requirements of the supplemental application, in his or her discretion, should conditions warrant.
[Amended 1-14-2009 by L.L. No. 1-2009]
Licenses shall be issued annually, and a license shall be effective for one year from the date it was issued. Renewal applications will be made available 30 days prior to the expiration date of the current license. The effective period of each license shall be specified on the license. All existing places of mass public assembly in the Town of Poughkeepsie may operate on a temporary license (without fee) not longer than six months until all inspectors (Fire, Police, Plumbing, Building and Electrical) have reviewed the property and cleared the same for licensing, at which time a one-year license will be issued if the property meets the requirements.
All buildings occupied or used in whole or in part for public assembly purposes shall meet all applicable portions of Part 790 of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
The Building Inspector may be in agreement with the commissioners and officers of the Arlington, New Hamburg and Fairview Departments, arrange for a regular inspection schedule and have a similar schedule of inspections by a Police Inspector of all places of public assembly in the Town of Poughkeepsie.
The Building Inspector, using appropriate regulations and tables contained in the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code adopted in this chapter as a base maximum limit for occupancy, shall determine the maximum number of persons to occupy any premises or area at one time and shall post in a conspicuous place or places on an interior wall the maximum occupancy, including employees, in bold, readable numerals with a warning of penalty for allowing more than the maximum number of people to occupy such premises or area. It shall be unlawful to remove, deface or alter such license and posting notices.
[Amended 11-9-1994; 3-27-1996 by L.L. No. 4-1996]
Fees for approved licenses issued hereunder shall be payable annually and shall be based on the number of persons each place is designed to accommodate as certified by the Building Inspector or his or her designee and shall be determined pursuant to Chapter 105, Fees.
If the Building Inspector shall disapprove an application for a license under this chapter, he or she or his or her agent shall endorse upon such application his or her disapproval thereof and shall attach thereto a statement of his or her reasons therefor. The Building Inspector shall notify the applicant of such action by regular mail.
The Town Board, after a hearing, upon notice, at which the licensee shall be given an opportunity to be heard, may suspend or revoke any license issued, in its discretion, for any of the following causes:
A person licensed hereunder making any false material statement in the application for licenses.
A person licensed hereunder suffering or permitting any gambling, sale or use of prohibited drugs or permitting such premises to become disorderly.
Violation of this chapter, including the permitting of occupancy over the posted maximum number.
If the Building Inspector determines that any activity or building for which a license was issued does not comply with any applicable provision of the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
[Added 1-14-2009 by L.L. No. 1-2009]
Repeated complaints to or by the Police Department that a place of public assembly is a public nuisance or disturbs the peace in any of the following ways:
Lights on any part of premises licensed hereunder or on any place of public assembly that are so directed as to be a nuisance to adjacent properties (lights to be redirected or shielded).
Improper storage of garbage, failure to keep receptacles covered, failure to have garbage and rubbish removed at least two times weekly, failure to keep the area and cans in a sanitary condition or disturbing of neighbors by having garbage removed before 6:30 a.m. or after 6:30 p.m.
Permitting noxious gases, fumes, smoke or odors to emanate from premises which would annoy and disturb persons living on adjacent properties.
Permitting music to be played in a place of public assembly, either by mechanical device or live performance, in such a manner that the sound emanating therefrom shall be audible beyond the property line of the premises whereon the place of assembly is located. At no time shall music be played, live or mechanical, in a manner that disturbs the peace of an owner of adjacent property or the public.
[Amended 1-14-2009 by L.L. No. 1-2009]
Permitting loud, unnecessary or unusual noises that would disturb the peace of an owner of adjacent property or the public.
[Amended 3-27-1996 by L.L. No. 4-1996; 6-3-2009 by L.L. No. 22-2009]
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter or any of the rules and regulations adopted by the Building Inspector pursuant to this chapter shall be guilty of an offense punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed 15 days, or both. Each day of continued violation will constitute a separate violation.
In addition to any other remedies set forth herein authorizing the Town to enforce the provisions of this chapter, establishing penalties, and setting forth additional remedies, the person charged with the responsibility to enforce the provisions of this chapter may impose a civil fine or agree to a civil fine not to exceed $1,000 per day for each day of the violation. If said civil fine is imposed, then the alleged violator may appeal to the Town Board.