[HISTORY: Adopted by the Commissioners of the City of Rehoboth Beach 5-12-1995 by Ord. No. 595-1. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Unless the particular provisions or the context otherwise requires, the definitions and provisions contained in this section shall govern the construction, meaning and application of words and phrases used in this chapter:
- DANCE HALLS or DANCE CLUBS
- Any establishment other than a restaurant [as defined in § 270-19B(3)] where dancing by the patrons takes place or where dancing by the patrons is permitted to take place. As used in this chapter, the term "dance hall" includes "dance clubs."
- Any person who renders any service in connection with the operation of a dance hall business and receives compensation from the operator of the business or patrons.
- Any person who is lawfully on the premises of a dance hall who is not an employee or operator of the dance hall business.
The Commissioners of the City of Rehoboth Beach find from past experiences of police actions and investigations, citizens' complaints and personal observations that patrons of dance halls in the city tend to congregate and to display illegal and offensive conduct, including fighting, during late night and early morning hours. In order to promote the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the City of Rehoboth Beach, as well as its businesses and tourists, and the integrity of the environment of the city, it is appropriate to enact legislation to regulate the operation of dance halls in the city.
Nothing in this chapter shall repeal or amend the city prohibition against the use of structures and land for dance halls pursuant to § 270-19B(1), Municipal Code of Rehoboth Beach.
The regulations and restrictions of this chapter, including but not limited to the hours of operation and the prohibition of alcoholic beverages, shall apply to any person or persons who own, operate or use the dance hall establishment, including those parties who use the dance hall establishment for a private party or other charitable function and/or any other type of function.
No person shall engage in or carry on business of a dance hall establishment unless a valid dance hall business permit has been issued by the city pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
The hours of operation for dance halls shall be restricted to 8:00 p.m. to the following 1:00 a.m. each day.
Any person desiring a permit to operate a dance hall establishment shall file a written application with the City Manager on a form to be furnished by the City Manager. The applicant shall accompany the application with a tender of the correct permit fee, as hereinafter provided, and shall, in addition, furnish the following:
The type of ownership of the business, i.e., whether individual, partnership, corporation or otherwise.
The name, style and designation under which the business or practice is to be conducted.
The business address and all telephone numbers of the business to be conducted.
The following personal information concerning the applicant, if an individual; and concerning each stockholder holding more than 10% of the stock of the corporation, each officer and each director, if the applicant is a corporation; and concerning the partners, including limited partners, if the applicant is a partnership; and concerning the manager or other person principally in charge of the operation of the business:
Authorization for the city, its agents and employees to seek information and conduct an investigation into the truth of the statements set forth in the application on the qualifications of the applicant for the permit.
The names and addresses of three residents of the county who will serve as character references. These references must be persons other than relatives and business associates.
Written declaration by the applicant, under the penalty of perjury, that the information contained in the application is true and correct, with said declaration being duly dated and signed in the city.
Upon receiving the application for a dance hall establishment, the City Manager shall review the application.
In the case of application for a dance hall establishment, the City Manager shall conduct or cause to be conducted an investigation of the premises where the dance hall establishment is to be conducted for the purpose of assuring that the premises complies with all regulations of public health, safety and welfare.
Before any permit shall be issued under this chapter, the City Manager shall first sign his approval of the application.
The City Manager shall issue a dance hall establishment permit within 45 days of receipt of the application, unless he finds that:
The correct permit fee has not been tendered to the city and, in the case of a check or bank draft, honored with payment upon presentation.
The operation, as proposed by the application, if permitted, would not comply with all applicable laws, including but not limited to the city's building, zoning and health regulations.
The applicant has knowingly made any false, misleading or fraudulent statement of fact in the application for the permit or in any document required by the city in connection therewith.
The applicant has operated a dance hall establishment and has had a license denied, revoked or suspended for any of the above causes by the city or any other state or local agency within two years prior to the date of the application.
The applicant, if an individual, or any of the officers and directors, if the applicant is a corporation, or any of the partners, including limited partners, if the applicant is a partnership, and the manager or other person principally in charge of the operation of the business is not over the age of 21 years.
The dance hall establishment shall display its permit in an open and conspicuous place on the premises of the dance hall establishment.
The permit fee for a dance hall establishment shall be $270 per year or any part thereof.
Any permit issued pursuant to this chapter shall be subject to suspension or revocation by the City Manager for violation of any provision of this chapter or any regulations or other ordinance of the city or of any statute of the State of Delaware or of any statute of the United States of America or for any grounds that would warrant the denial or issuance of such permit in the first place; provided, however, that before any permit is revoked or suspended by the City Manager, he shall give 10 days' written notice in advance, by certified mail with return receipt requested, directed to the permit holder at the dance hall's address within the corporate limits of the City of Rehoboth Beach, of the reason for the intended revocation or suspension, and upon the correction of the defect within 15 days following receipt of said notice as determined by the City Manager, no revocation or suspension shall take effect for the first offense.
Upon a second or subsequent offense of a similar nature, the City Manager shall suspend the permit and shall immediately notify the permit holder by certified mail, with return receipt requested, directed to the permit holder at the dance hall's address within the corporate limits of the City of Rehoboth Beach. The period of suspension shall be for 10 days. A second or subsequent offense shall be an offense occurring within 30 days of the preceding offense. If the holder of a permit commits three similar offenses within a twelve-month period, the permit shall be revoked by the City Manager and notice of such revocation shall be given to the permit holder as provided herein.
No dance hall establishment permit shall be transferable, separable or divisible, and such authority as a permit confers shall be conferred only upon the permittee named therein.
No person shall sell, give, dispense, provide or keep or cause to be sold, given, dispensed, provided or kept any alcoholic beverage on the premises of any dance hall establishment.
Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $50 nor more than $200 for each offense, and for the purposes of this chapter, a separate offense shall be deemed to be committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.