[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Johnston 1-14-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-2, as amended through 1-13-2003. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is the purpose of this chapter for the Town of Johnston to adopt, by ordinance, a specific, distinguishable license for the operation of entertainment, as defined herein, as allowed by the Laws of the State of Rhode Island, as amended. It is the further purpose of this chapter to address and mitigate the secondary effects of entertainment establishments and businesses that are referenced herein and defined herein. Secondary effects have been shown to include increased crime, adverse impacts on the value of residential and commercial properties, and adverse impacts on the quality of life in the Town. All of said secondary effects/impacts are adverse to the public health, safety, morals and general welfare of the Town of Johnston and its inhabitants.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- BUILDING OFFICIAL
- The individual appointed by the Mayor to the position of Johnston Building Official, or his designee(s).
- Any live production of music by an individual, band, musician or musicians, any theatrical performance, rope or wire dancing or other show or exhibition or performance, including but not limited to karaoke, wrestling, boxing or sparring match or exhibition, or public skating rink or hall. The term “entertainment” as used herein shall include, but not be limited to, any music or sound provided by any mechanical, electronic or other means, such as record, tape, or other audio or audiovisual means, excepting therefrom the use of juke box devices, so called, which is provided in any individual or business establishment which has entertainment or amusement of its patrons as its primary or substantial business purpose. Nothing herein contained shall be intended to regulate or prohibit the operation or use of any sound-producing apparatus, television or video monitor which may be incidental to the function of any legally operating business establishment provided that the use or operation is not a primary source to an entertainment activity.
- INDIVIDUAL or BUSINESS ESTABLISHMENT
- Any person, corporation, club, partnership, association, society or any other organized group or persons, including officers, directors and trustees of a corporation, club, association or society.
- JOHNSTON FIRE DEPARTMENT
- The Chief of the Johnston Fire Department and his/her designee(s).
- Any room, place or space in the Town of Johnston in which entertainment, as defined herein, is produced or provided to which the public may gain admission, either with or without the payment of a fee, including, but not limited to, any building, theater, hall or rink.
- The Johnston Town Council, its agent(s) or designee(s).
It shall be unlawful for any individual or business establishment to conduct, maintain or operate or engage in the business of conducting, maintaining or operating a premises where entertainment, as defined herein, is provided unless the premises wherein the same is conducted, maintained or operated is licensed in the manner prescribed herein.
Issuance of license. A license shall be issued to an individual or business establishment, for either an individual event or for a period of up to one year, as determined by the Town, only after the Town Council of the Town of Johnston is satisfied that the applicant is a fit and proper person or business enterprise and shall have complied with all requirements set forth herein and set forth in the applicable Rhode Island General Laws including, but not limited to, causing an inspection to be made of the premises to be licensed and is satisfied that such premises complies with all laws and the rules and regulations of the Building Official and/or Rhode Island Building Code and the Fire Department as evidenced by written certificates issued to the applicant by the Building Official and Fire Department, said certificates to be provided to the Johnston Town Council prior to final action on the applicant's application.
Pursuant to the applicable Rhode Island General Laws, as amended, this chapter, as it pertains to the fees charged, shall not apply to entertainment provided by religious and charitable societies and volunteer fire-fighting companies duly organized and incorporated for the purpose of furthering their religious, benevolent, or fire-fighting work.
The license herein prescribed shall be issued by the Town Council of the Town of Johnston. Application for such license shall be made on a form containing such information as may be determined by the Town Clerk, with the approval of the Johnston Town Council, to be pertinent, including, but not limited to information set forth herein, and shall be certified to by the applicant.
The fee for each license, or the renewal thereof, if applicable, granted to an individual or business establishment shall be in the amount of $100 per license which may be issued for either a specific event or for up to one year, whichever may be granted by the Town.
If only certain rooms within a premises are to be utilized for entertainment, as defined herein, by the applicant, said applicant shall be required to indicate on the application the location of each and every room or space which is to be used for such purpose within the premises.
A partial fee of $25 shall be paid upon filing of an application for an entertainment license in order to defray the cost of processing the application, and it shall not be refundable. This processing fee shall be applied against the fee to be paid for issuance of said license as provided herein.
All licenses issued hereunder may be issued for a specific event or for a period of up to one year at the discretion of the Town. If an applicant is granted a license for one year, said license shall be effective for a term commencing on December 1 of a given year through November 30 of the following year. If, for some reason, a license is issued to an applicant, other than for a specific event, after December 1 said license shall expire on the 30th of November next thereafter unless otherwise provided for by the Town at the time of granting the license.
No license authorized by this chapter shall be issued or renewed unless the Building Official of the Town of Johnston and the Johnston Fire Department shall inspect the premises and certify that the premises complies with all state and local regulations.
All license fees and inspection fees set forth herein shall be made payable to the Town Treasurer and shall be for the general use of the Town of Johnston in its general fund.
Each license issued hereunder shall be kept posted at the main entrance of every premises licensed thereunder.
No license issued under the provisions of this chapter shall be transferred or assigned to any individual or business establishment or used by any individual or business establishment other than the license to whom it was issued, nor shall such license be used on any premises other than the premises stated in such license.
If, during the term of the licensing period, one or more directors, officers or greater than 10% of the stockholders of a corporate licensee are substituted or added, each substituted or added director, stockholder or officer shall, within five days of such substitution or addition, file with the Town Clerk of the Town of Johnston an application for an approval of the change of directors, stockholders or officers on such forms as are prescribed by the Town Clerk.
The individual(s) or business establishment(s) desiring a license to provide entertainment, as defined herein, shall use a form of application provided by the Town Clerk, as approved by the Town Solicitor, which shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
All premises licensed hereunder to provide entertainment to the public shall be kept at all times in a clean, healthful and sanitary condition, and all stairways and other passages and all rooms connected with providing said entertainment shall be kept open and well-lighted. The Building Official, the Police Commissioner, the Fire Commissioner or any inspector or uniformed patrolman or fireman of their departments shall have the power, upon complaint made, to inspect the premises to ensure compliance with this chapter.
All individuals or business establishments possessing a liquor license with a 2:00 a.m. permission from the Town and who provide entertainment, as defined herein, shall discontinue said entertainment on or before the hour of 1:30 a.m. and all said individuals and business establishments shall be closed on or before the hour of 2:00 a.m. All individuals or business establishments possessing a liquor license with a 1:00 a.m. closing and who provide entertainment, as defined herein, shall discontinue said entertainment on or before the hour of 1:00 a.m. and all said individuals and business establishments shall be closed on or before the hour of 1:00 a.m. If said individual or business establishment does not have a liquor license then their/its closing hour shall be set by the licensing authority at the time the application is acted upon but shall not be later than 1:00 a.m.
Revocation. The Johnston Town Council shall have the right to revoke any license granted pursuant to this chapter and applicable state laws at its pleasure upon grounds set forth in the Rhode Island General Laws, as amended.
Renewability. The Johnston Town Council shall have the right to refuse to renew any license granted under this chapter at its pleasure upon grounds as set forth in the Rhode Island General Laws, as amended.
Procedure to renew license. If an individual has been granted a license, other than for a specific event or for other than a period of time less than one year, prior to December 1 of each year, it shall by the licensee's obligation to acquire the proper forms from the Town Clerk to renew his/her/its license. In addition to paying the required fee of $100, as set forth herein, the licensee shall have the obligation to have the same inspections done, which were completed when he/she/it received the initial license, and pay the same inspection fees to the respective Town departments.
Whenever the Johnston Town Council shall disapprove an application for any license, or the renewal thereof, the applicant may appeal from the decision or order of the Johnston Town Council as provided by Rhode Island General Laws, as amended.
Whenever a license is issued hereunder by the Johnston Town Council for a term of more than 30 days, the Town of Johnston may cause the premises to be inspected at least once every three months by the Building Official and the Johnston Fire Department. The licensee shall have the obligation to cooperate with said official and the Johnston Fire Department with regards to these quarterly inspections.
The Town reserves the right granted to it by state law to appoint proper officials, at the expense of the licensee, to preserve order and to execute the orders of the Johnston Town Council at any show or during any entertainment provided under a particular license and to report any violation of law that may occur on the premises while said official is present.
Each individual or business establishment providing entertainment, as defined herein, to the general public prior to the adoption of this chapter shall apply for a license in conformity with this chapter within seven days of the adoption of this chapter and said application shall be acted upon by the Town as set forth herein.
In no way should the adoption of this chapter be interpreted as a waiver by the Johnston Town Council to exercise any rights granted to it by state statute or its Town Charter.