[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee (now Township Council) of the Township of Hillside 12-21-1971 as Ch. VII, Sec. 7-5, of the 1971 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- PUBLIC DANCE HALL
- Any place in which dancing is carried on and to which members of the general public are invited to attend and participate, regardless of whether any admission or other fee is charged.
No person shall conduct a public dance hall within the Township without having first obtained a license, the fee for which shall be $50.
Proof of compliance with N.J.S.A. 34:15-71, regarding workers' disability insurance, is required pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:52-1.1.
Churches, civic groups or charitable, fraternal and similar nonprofit public service organizations shall not be required to obtain a license or pay any license fee, provided that they file with the Police Chief a statement, in writing, setting forth:
This section shall not apply to dancing classes conducted by a teacher or instructor regularly engaged in giving dancing instructions.
In addition to the information required in § 140-2, an applicant for a license under this chapter shall supply the following information:
A complete physical description of the premises or dance hall at which the public dance will be conducted, which may be in the form of a plan or sketch. The description shall include but not be limited to the following information:
The dimensions of the room in which the dancing will take place, its location in respect to the rest of the premises and the number and location of all entrances and exits to the outside of the premises.
A general description of the nature and location of all other rooms which will be used in connection with the proposed public dance or dance hall.
A description of the sanitary facilities that will be provided.
A description of the emergency equipment and other precautions which exist on the premises for dealing with fire or other hazards.
A statement as to whether off-street parking facilities will be provided for persons attending the public dance or dance hall and, if so, the nature and extent of those facilities.
The date or, in the case of a dance hall, the days of the week and the hours during which dancing will be conducted and the number of persons expected to attend.
Where a license is sought for a dance hall, the applicant shall give notice to all persons owning property within 200 feet of the premises on which the proposed dance hall is to be located. The notice shall state the location of the proposed dance hall, the days of the week and the hours during which dances will be conducted and the number of persons expected to attend. The notice shall also advise the persons receiving it that if they desire to object to the granting of a license for a proposed dance hall, they shall so notify the Clerk, in writing, within 10 days after service of the notice, personally or by mailing a copy to the property owner's last known address. Where service is made by mail, the notice shall be considered as having been served three days after it is deposited in the mail.
The Construction Official, the Health Officer and the Fire Chief shall constitute a committee to inspect the premises at which the public dance or dance hall will be conducted. The committee shall determine whether or not the premises complies with all municipal ordinances within their respective areas of responsibility. In addition, they shall determine if the facilities on the premises are adequate for the health and safety of the persons expected to attend the dance and the maximum number of persons who may safely be permitted on the premises during a dance. The committee shall make its investigation and report the results, in writing, to the Clerk within a reasonable time after the filing of the application. The report shall contain a recommendation that the application be either granted or denied and may recommend that the application be granted subject to specified conditions required to assure public health and safety. The report shall also state the maximum number of persons who may safely attend the dance.
A license for a public dance hall shall be issued by the Township Council upon the receipt of a favorable report from the investigating committee. If the committee recommends that the granting of the application be subject to conditions, the license shall not be issued until the applicant agrees, in writing, to abide by the conditions set by the committee. If the committee recommends against the granting of the license, the application shall be denied.
A dance hall license shall be issued by the Township Council if the report of the investigating committee is favorable and if no objections have been filed within the time provided in § 140-6. If the committee recommends that the granting of the application be subject to conditions, the license shall not be issued until the applicant has agreed, in writing, to abide by the conditions. If objections to the granting of the license have been filed, the Clerk shall proceed in the manner directed in § 140-9. If the report of the investigating committee is unfavorable, the application shall be denied.
In any case where objections are filed to the granting of an application for a dance hall license, the Clerk shall so advise the Township Council, who shall hold a hearing on the application within a reasonable time. The applicant and any person filing objections shall be notified of the time and place of the hearing. At the hearing, both the applicant and the objectors shall have the right to be represented by an attorney, to testify themselves or present witnesses in support of their positions, to cross-examine opposing witnesses and, at their own expense, to have a stenographic record made of the proceedings. If, after considering all the evidence, the Township Council determines that the applicant has met all of the requirements of this section and the issuance of the license will not be detrimental to the public health and safety, it shall order the license to be issued; otherwise, the application shall be denied.
Applications to renew licenses to conduct a public dance hall shall be granted by the Township Council through the Clerk without the necessity of giving notice as required by § 140-6 and without a hearing as required by § 140-9, provided that the licensee files with the Clerk a sworn written statement reciting that there have been no changes in the conditions stated in the original application.
In addition to the information specified in § 140-5, each dance hall license shall state the day or days of the week and the hours during which dancing may be conducted and the maximum number of persons that are permitted to attend the dance.
Every person licensed under this chapter shall observe the following regulations:
The licensee shall have the duty to exercise the diligence to prevent unlawful or immoral acts as well as noisy or boisterous conduct or conduct which threatens to create a breach of the peace or annoy the comfort or repose of any person.
No alcoholic beverages shall be served, sold, possessed or consumed at any dance except at premises that are licensed to sell and serve alcoholic beverages or pursuant to special permit, and in such case pursuant to the terms and conditions of the license or permit.
Where the persons attending the dance are predominantly minors, the licensee shall provide adequate adult supervision.
Any police officer shall have the right to inspect any premises on which a public dance is being conducted. In addition, any premises licensed as a dance hall shall be subject to reinspection by the Health Officer, the Construction Official or the Fire Chief to ascertain whether the premises still complies with applicable municipal ordinances.
The Township Council may by resolution waive the application of any provision of this section to a particular licensee upon a showing that the literal application of the provision in question to a particular licensee will cause unnecessary hardship and that in the particular case the provision is not necessary to protect the public health and safety.
No person shall hold an outdoor block dance unless a written application is first made to and a special license is granted by the Township Council. There shall be no license fee for an outdoor block dance, but a permit from the Police Chief or, in his absence, the Acting Chief or officer in charge is required.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000; imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days; and/or a period of community service not exceeding 90 days.