[HISTORY: Adopted by the Annual Town Meeting of the Town of Belchertown 5-12-1992 by Art. 25. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to:
Protect the Belchertown Town Common's character as the historic center of town;
Protect from abuses the Town Common, town property and private property proximal to the Common;
Provide standards and requirements by which uses on the Common may be regulated; and
Provide for public health, safety and welfare.
The general boundaries of the area to be regulated include that area bounded by East Walnut Street on the north side, Park Street on the east side, Jabish Street on the south side and Main Street on the west side and known as the "Belchertown Town Common."
The permit granting authority for use of Town Common space shall be the Board of Selectmen. Approval of a display or event shall not imply endorsement by the Board of Selectmen. Permission for hawkers, vendors and peddlers shall be governed under Chapter 219, Hawkers, Peddlers and Transient Vendors, of the Code of the Town of Belchertown.
Each applicant group shall fill out the form available at the Board of Selectmen's office, providing the following information:
Name of group.
Contact person and phone number.
Dates desired for use of Common (include rain date if applicable).
Area of Common desired.
Times of operation.
For events only: list responsible individuals and times these persons will be present on the Common.
Normally, applications shall be received at least three weeks prior to the requested date of usage. Applications for use of paved and grassed portions of the Common shall be made separately.
Plan for cleaning up the Common during each day of operation shall be part of the application.
The applying organization shall designate a person or persons responsible for the event who shall be present on the Common during the entire event. If several persons are present in shifts for the event, these people and their times of responsibility shall be noted on the application form.
As a condition of receiving permission to use the Town Common, no group shall sublet any part of their authorized portion without approval of the Board of Selectmen.
Normally, separate permission must be obtained for events held during evening, as opposed to daylight, hours. Requests to continue a daytime event into evening hours may be granted by the Selectmen as part of the same permit upon a showing of reasonable need and feasibility of continuing the event for such duration without unduly interfering with traffic, health or safety.
Equipment, sale items, signage or other materials related to the event or display shall not be hung from nor attached to trees.
As a condition of granting a permit for use of the Town Common, an applicant shall be required to obtain and provide evidence of reasonable insurance to protect against claims, losses, injuries or damages resulting from such use and shall be required to agree to indemnify, hold harmless and defend the town and its officials, agents and employees from any and all claims, suits, causes of actions, judgments and demands of any nature made or obtained by third parties against the Town of Belchertown, its officials, agents, servants and employees relating to such use of the Common. Under such agreement, the applicant shall agree to pay any such judgments, interest, fees, penalties and all such costs associated with defending the town against such claims, suits, causes of actions, judgments and demands, including attorneys' fees for defense of the town, and its agents, servants, officials and employees by the attorneys of the town's choice.
The operation of a farmers' market shall be in accord with the rules and regulations promulgated by the Massachusetts Federation of Farmers' Markets, as amended.
If, in the judgment of said Board of Selectmen, the presence of Belchertown police officers is necessary during the event, the applicant shall pay the costs of police protection to the Town of Belchertown.
If electrical power is necessary for the operation of the display or event, the applicant shall be responsible for making arrangements with the Town Maintenance Department and for the costs of using this facility.
These rules and regulations may be waived, in whole or in part, for good cause shown only by a majority vote of the Belchertown Board of Selectmen upon a finding that such waiver is necessary to avoid an undue burden upon the legal rights of an applicant under the circumstances.
This chapter may be amended by the majority vote at a legal town meeting, either annual or special.
In the event that a clause of this chapter is found in violation of Massachusetts General Law or any provision shall be held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this chapter shall not be affected thereby, and the remainder of the chapter shall continue in full effect.