[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Saco on 3-16-1998; amended in its entirety 11-4-2002. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Saco Mass Gathering Ordinance."
It is recognized that mass gatherings attended by 1,000 or more persons can create hazards to public health and safety. However, many mass gatherings such as local sporting events, La Kermesse, holiday parades, etc., are a part of our community, and enhance the quality of City life. It is the City's purpose by this chapter to promote and permit safe mass gatherings.
The following definitions shall apply to terms used in this chapter. Terms not defined herein shall have their common meanings.
- Duly elected Councilors for the City of Saco.
- A duly elected member of the City Council for the City of Saco.
- The City of Saco, Maine.
- The Maine Revised Statutes Annotated.
- MASS GATHERING
- A gathering on private or public property, other than a gathering which is held in the daily operation of a business otherwise licensed or regulated by the City, in which an operator should reasonably anticipate the simultaneous presence of more than 1,000 unrelated individuals for a period of time exceeding six hours, but shall not include parochial school, private school or public school sporting events or school functions, nor shall it include any hearing or meeting called, organized or held by a department or agency of the United States, State of Maine or City of Saco, nor shall it include any Memorial Day, Fourth of July or Veterans Day parade held in honor of those national holidays.
- MASS GATHERING AREA
- Any place, public or private, maintained, operated, leased, controlled or used for a group gathering or assemblage.
- Operator shall mean the owner of the property encompassing the mass gathering area.
- All combustible or noncombustible, decaying or nondecaying solid or liquid wastes.
- SANITARY FACILITIES
- Toilets, privies, lavatories, urinals, drinking fountains and service buildings or rooms provided for installation and use of these units.
No person shall permit on his property, or otherwise conduct, a mass gathering which may reasonably be anticipated to, will or is intended to attract a continued attendance at such gathering of 1,000 or more unrelated persons for six or more hours until a license has been obtained from the City Administrator.
Any operator who violates any provision of this chapter or any term of a permit issued pursuant to this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty. It is a violation of this chapter and deemed a nuisance herein to hold a mass gathering within the City of Saco without a license. Operator(s) found in violation of this chapter shall be subject to a fine of not to exceed a maximum of $50,000, plus any and all costs of the City of Saco, including the Police and Fire Departments incurred by the City to terminate the mass gathering, safely disperse those in attendance and enforce this chapter.
Issuance. When considering the issuance of a license, the City Administrator shall seek advice from the Police Chief, Fire Chief, Code Enforcement Officer, Health Officer and such other officials or persons as he or she deems necessary. No license shall issue until the City Administrator is assured by the department heads that adequate safety, traffic, sanitation, refuse and water needs for the gathering have been addressed and satisfied. Upon satisfaction of the City Administrator that the ordinance standards have been or will be met, a license will be issued to the operator. In making a decision, the City Administrator will consider prior performance in holding mass gatherings.
Penalties. Any person who violates any provision of this ordinance or any term of a permit issued pursuant to this ordinance shall be subject to a civil penalty payable to the City of Saco in an amount not to exceed $50,000.
Denial. The City Administrator shall deny a license if he or she finds that one or more of the standards set forth in this chapter have not been met. The denial shall explain and detail the basis for the action taken by the City Administrator and may be reviewed and/or appealed as detailed below.
City Administrator's review. A license application to hold one or more mass gatherings shall be submitted to the City Administrator at least 90 days prior to the mass gathering contemplated. The license application shall contain the information described in § 139-7. The City Administrator shall grant or deny said application within 30 days of submission. In addition, a notice shall be placed in the local newspaper 90 days prior to such mass gathering. Abutters within 1,000 feet of the property lines shall receive written notice.
City council action. Within seven days after the granting or denial of a license by the City Administrator, an aggrieved party may file for a review by the City Council. The Council will take up the matter at its next regularly scheduled meeting and will hear from the applicant, the City Administrator and any department heads deemed necessary. The Council may take one of the following steps:
Appeal. A party aggrieved by the decision of the City Council may appeal under Rule 80B of the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure.
Fees shall be determined by Council after a public hearing.
The permit application submitted pursuant to § 139-6 shall be on the application form prescribed by the City Administrator and shall include the following information:
The application must include a description of the proposed event. A statement of the number of persons expected to attend the event, together with the maximum number of tickets which will be made available, if tickets are issued. Persons not holding valid tickets for an event for which tickets have been issued shall not be permitted to attend.
The application must also provide a site map of the area, at a scale of no more than 100 feet to the inch, showing the following:
The location and number of all proposed toilets.
The location and number of all lavatory and bathing facilities.
The location and number of water supply sources.
The location and size of the assemblage area(s).
The location of the food service areas.
The location and size of the camping areas, and number of campsites.
The on-site ingress and egress of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. (See § 137-7A)
The off-site ingress and egress roads.
The location of refuse disposal facilities and collection facilities.
The location and size of the parking areas, including the number of parking spaces.
The location of all traffic control personnel.
The location of the first aid facilities.
A copy of the evacuation plan to be used in an emergency.
Detail list of names of abutters within 1,000 feet of the property lines.
Standards. All facilities required by this chapter shall comply with the regulations promulgated by Title 22 M.R.S.A. § 1601 pertaining to mass gatherings and the following standards. When off-site facilities are to be utilized in order to meet the requirements of this chapter, they shall be described, and written consents from the property owners providing the facilities shall be submitted with the application indicating that they have read the application and understand the scope and nature of the mass gathering.
Evidence shall be provided to show that provisions for access for the ingress and egress of pedestrians and vehicular traffic shall be maintained, and that all public roadways in the proximity of the mass gathering will be adequately staffed with trained traffic control personnel to insure safety to all the public for the duration of the mass gathering.
Evidence shall be provided that sufficient safeguards have been incorporated into mass gathering plans in order to insure that City maintained streets and roads will remain accessible to public safety vehicles (police, fire and rescue) during the proposed mass gathering.
A detailed plan for controlling traffic must be submitted, which shall include:
A description of the routes which persons attending the event are likely to take.
The number and assigned location of persons who will be present to direct traffic at the site both before and after the event. Under no circumstances shall private citizens be assigned the duty of directing traffic on public roads.
A description of what means will be available to remove disabled vehicles from locations where their presence will obstruct the free flow of traffic, including a written statement by any private towing agencies that their towing services will be available.
A description of parking shall be provided, specifying the location of all roads and parking lots.
Grounds. Each mass gathering area will be well drained, adequately illuminated, free of refuse and debris and so arranged as to provide sufficient space, vehicles, sanitary facilities and appurtenant equipment for the number of persons reasonably anticipated to be assembled, and adequate on-site parking space will be provided.
Evidence must be provided in writing from the operator concerning the source(s) of potable water. Where water is distributed under pressure and flush toilets are used, the water system shall deliver water at normal operating pressure (20 pounds per square inch minimum to all fixtures at the rate of at least 30 gallons per person per day).
Where water under pressure is not available, and nonwater toilets are used, at least three gallons of water per person per day shall be provided for drinking and lavatory purposes.
If the Biddeford-Saco Water District is to be utilized as a source of potable water, a written statement from the directors of said Water District must be submitted to affirm that the District has the capacity to provide the necessary quantity of water without adversely affecting the supply to their normal customers.
Transported water shall be obtained from an approved source, and stored and dispensed in an approved manner. "Approval" as used in this subsection means in compliance with standards adopted by the State of Maine Division of Health Engineering.
Sanitation. Adequate sanitation facilities will be made available, and the City will require that one toilet per 150 persons estimated in attendance. Adequate number of handicap accessible toilets shall also be provided. Further:
No wastewater will be discharged except in a manner consistent with the requirements of the State Department of Human Services, Division of Health Engineering.
Disposal and/or treatment of any excretion or liquid waste will be in a manner consistent with the requirements of the State Department of Human Services, Division of Health Engineering.
Refuse disposal. A description of the number, type, and location of refuse facilities, including a statement as to when and how the accumulated refuse will be picked up, by whom, and to what facility it will be taken. The operator will provide proof that refuse containers will be readily accessible throughout the mass gathering area, and that at least one fifty-gallon refuse container or equivalent will be provided for each 100 persons expected to attend the mass gathering. The operator shall be responsible for all fees associated with the cleanup and disposal of refuse resulting from the mass gathering.
Vermin control. Insects, rodents and other vermin shall be controlled by proper sanitary practices, extermination or other safe and effective control methods, and, where necessary, animal parasites and other disease transmitting nuisances shall be controlled.
Evidence must be provided in writing that a sufficient number of certified law enforcement personnel licensed pursuant to 32 M.R.S.A. §§ 9401 - 9417, will be on duty near and within the assembly site area and that the City Administrator has approved the same. A minimum of at least one such certified security person, (not including persons concerned solely with traffic control) shall be available for each 1,000 persons in attendance when alcohol is not present and one for every 500 when alcohol is present on the property.
If he deems it necessary in the interest of public safety, the City Administrator shall have the authority to require that all security personnel be certified graduates of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.
Fire protection. Evidence must be provided in writing that the Saco Fire Chief has accepted mass gathering plans as meeting fire protection concerns. If, in his/her judgment, the conditions which exist at the mass gathering area constitute an unsafe environment, the Fire Chief shall recommend the City Administrator deny the issuance of a mass gathering permit. In addition, evidence must be provided that the Regional Forest Ranger has inspected the site and assessed the forest fire hazard. If, in his opinion, conditions warrant, the Forest Ranger shall have the authority to impose a ban on any and all fires during the mass gathering.
Medical. The applicant must demonstrate how emergency medical services will be provided, and further demonstrate coordination with the City of Saco Fire Department should their units respond to the site. All necessary personnel must be licensed by the State of Maine as physician assistant, registered nurse, or emergency medical technician. A transporting ambulance, duly licensed by the State of Maine, shall be available on the site during the entire time of the mass gathering. Telephone and radio communications shall be provided and kept available for emergency purposes. The operator of the mass gathering shall contact area hospitals, advise them that a mass gathering will be held, and inform them of the expected attendance at the event.
Sound. Reasonable precautions will be taken to ensure that the sound of the assembly will not exceed the Standard Residential Noise Code.
There may be overnight assemblage, but all activities must end by 11:00 p.m. and may not recommence before 7:00 a.m.
Past history. The operator has prior history that is unsatisfactory.
Complete application. The application for permit (including any required attachments and submissions) must be fully completed and executed.
The applicant has tendered the required application fee with the application, indemnification agreement, insurance certificate, and security deposit within the times prescribed by the Code.
The application for permit does not contain a material falsehood or misrepresentation.
The applicant is legally competent to contract or to sue and be sued.
The applicant outstanding and unpaid debts to the City of Saco.
A fully executed prior application for permit for the same time and place has been received, and a permit has been or will be granted to a prior applicant authorizing uses or activities which do not reasonably permit multiple occupancy of the particular park or part hereof.
The use or activity intended by the applicant would conflict with previously planned programs organized and conducted by the City of Saco and previously scheduled for the same time and place.
The proposed use or activity is prohibited by or inconsistent with the classifications and uses of the property pursuant to the City Code.
The use or activity intended by the applicant would present an unreasonable danger to the health or safety of the applicant, or other users of the property, of City of Saco employees or of the public.
The applicant has not complied or cannot comply with application licensure requirements, ordinances or regulations of the City of Saco concerning the sale or offering for sale of any goods or services.
The use or activity intended by the applicant is prohibited by law, by this Code or ordinances of the City of Saco.
The operator shall carry public liability insurance in an amount of not less than $1,000,000 per person for bodily injury and for property damage. Proof of insurance must be shown to the City Administrator before a license can issue. The proof of insurance may be reviewed by the City Attorney.
The operator of the mass gathering shall provide a cash deposit to the City, which amount shall be determined by the City Administrator, and will be deposited in an interest-bearing account. The purpose of the account shall be to allow the City to pay costs related to protecting the public health and safety. Any interest earned and any remaining balance in this account shall be returned to the applicant following completion of the mass gathering, and clean-up by the applicant of the area used for this mass gathering, compliance by the applicant with any applicable state or local law or regulation, and payment by the applicant of all proper claims against the applicant for damage to real or personal property in the municipality for which the permit is issued and arising out of facts done or omitted to be done by the applicant, his agents or employees. A permit shall not be issued until receipt of said deposit.
City costs shall be those incurred by the City in connection with the mass gathering, which relates to any adverse consequences due to the mass gathering, and which would not have been incurred by the City if such mass gathering were not held. Such costs shall include but not be restricted to road signs, damage to City roads or ditches, or any other adverse consequences to any public facilities or works, such as the municipal water supply. City costs shall also include the cost of hiring a constable or constables to oversee the City's interests in ensuring the public safety and enforcing the conditions of this chapter. Within 30 days after the mass gathering, the City costs shall be calculated, and the deposit shall be refunded to the operator to the extent it exceeds the actual City costs. If the actual City costs exceed the amount deposited, the operator shall pay the excess to the City within 10 days after being so notified.
The City Administrator may revoke the permit at any time prior to the date of the scheduled event if the operator has failed to comply with any of the commitments made in the application, or the requirements of this chapter, or if the operator has failed to secure any other license or permit required by the City of Saco or any other government agency in order to hold the mass gathering on the proposed site. Except in cases of emergency, the City Administrator shall revoke a permit only after giving notice to the operator of the reasons for the proposed revocation and providing an opportunity to be heard with respect thereto. Written notice of the reasons for the revocation shall be delivered to the operator or his or her agent, personally or by expedited mail service.
No more than one permit under this chapter shall be issued to any single operator or group, within any sixty-day period, for an event for which more than 1,000 persons are reasonably expected to attend.
No operator will permit, encourage or suffer any person, firm, business, family or corporation from selling or merchandising clothes, food, goods, second-hand merchandise, etc., at a mass gathering unless that person, firm, business, family or corporation has secured a vendor or victualer's license as required by City ordinance in Chapter 104; but to do so is a violation of this chapter.
Any vendor or victualer found at a mass gathering without license to so operate will be removed by the police from the mass gathering, and the operator will be cited for violation of this chapter.