[Adopted 4-19-2011 by Ord. No. 2011.26]
The City of Biddeford recognizes that the character of its community can be enhanced by events that bring its citizens together; provide opportunities for growth and recreation; and provide Biddeford with cultural and economic benefits. The City's policy is to encourage and allow events that meet this description while ensuring that the needs of those affected are adequately considered during the planning and approval process.
This policy is to establish a standard for a street closure request; provide for the safety of special function participants and the general public; and to ensure that all entities, such as City agencies and the general public have been adequately notified in order to address any of their concerns. This policy is also to ensure that public input is considered prior to the closing of any public way to minimize any adverse impact upon the community.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this article, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning.
- BLOCK PARTY
- A neighborhood event that is organized by residents of an individual block, street or neighborhood and intended for the collective enjoyment of residents living in the designated area. Block parties may involve the closure of a public way to general traffic for a limited period of time and are restricted to areas that are predominantly residential in nature. Block parties shall not involve the closure of primary streets.
- COORDINATING COMMITTEE
- The following named individuals comprise the Coordinating Committee: Police Chief, Fire Chief, the Director of Codes Enforcement, the Director of Public Works, and the Recreation Director.
- DEMONSTRATION or STREET PROTEST
- An action by a mass group or collection of groups of people in favor of a political or other cause; it normally consists of walking in a mass formation, and either beginning with or meeting at a designated endpoint or rally to hear speakers.
- EVENT COORDINATOR
- The person making application to hold a block party or special event.
- PRIMARY STREET
- Any United States or state numbered route or other high-volume City street deemed critical to the movement of a large number of motor vehicles. Included in Biddeford are Route 1, Route 9, Route 111, Route 208, Guinea Road, Hill Street, Granite Street, Jefferson Street, Lincoln Street, South Street, Main Street, and West Street.
- SPECIAL EVENT
- An event or function occurring within the City of Biddeford that is open to, or intended to attract the general public, and requires the closure of a public way, or any part thereof, for a period longer than two hours. Large-scale public events may involve or take place on a public way or in or on publicly held facilities. Depending on the location and time of the event, smaller-scale events involving a brief or transitory closure of a public way, or any event that requires the full or partial closure of a street for a period of less than two hours, e.g., a parade, shall be reviewed by the Police Chief, who may choose to refer it to the full Coordinating Committee for approval. Except for Route No. 1, a special event may involve the closure of primary streets within the City.
- TRAFFIC SAFETY OFFICER
- A member of the Police Department assigned by the Chief of Police as the City's coordinator/contact person for block parties and/or special events held on or upon public streets.
[Amended 6-6-2017 by Ord. No. 2017.54]
Any person who desires to conduct or sponsor an event at a public park, public ground, or street of the City in which it could reasonably be assumed that 25 or more persons might gather or participate shall first apply for and obtain a permit from the Codes Enforcement Office, which after collecting the fee described below, will process the application in coordination with the permitting authority as defined under Section 6-144. Special event permit fees shall not be waived without City Council approval.
The Director of Parks and Recreation or his designee shall be the permitting authority for events held in any of the City's parks listed in Chapter 46 of the Code of Ordinances, in which it could reasonably be assumed that 25 or more persons might gather or participate.
The Chief of Police or his designee shall be the permitting authority for events in which it could reasonably be assumed that public streets, public rights-of-way would be blocked so as to prevent the free and unobstructed movement of vehicular or pedestrian traffic.
The City Council shall be the permitting authority for City of Biddeford parks, recreation, public buildings, grounds and streets for events in which it could reasonably be assumed that 1,000 or more persons might gather or participate; or any event which is proposed to last longer than two consecutive days, regardless of the number of persons anticipated to gather or participate.
Any person, firm, corporation, business or organization seeking a permit to hold a special event within the City of Biddeford must file an application (See Appendix A) with the permitting authority at least 30 days prior to the beginning of the event; or in cases related to activities protected by the First Amendment to the United States or Maine Constitution, other than commercial speech, two business days. Permit applications are available through download on the City's website or at the City Clerk's Office.
The application must include a site plan or a detailed map showing:
The location of the special event.
The location of any grandstand, stage, viewing area, rest room facilities, vendor's parking/assembly areas (if necessary) and any other equipment or material brought in for use during the special event.
A written description and the location of any traffic control devices, barricades, or other signage necessitated by the event.
The application must describe how the event coordinator will notify the residents and/or businesses in the area that could be affected by the special event. At the least, this shall include a public notification in a local newspaper, and a mass mailing to the residents and/or business in the area.
The application shall be accompanied by an indemnification agreement (Appendix B) which releases the City of Biddeford and its officers and employees from any liability arising from, or in connection with the special event, and a certificate of insurance with minimum liability coverage in the amount of $400,000.
Editor's Note: Appendix B is included at the end of this chapter.
The applicant and/or organization is responsible for the full cleanup of the area immediately following the special event, and the applicant agrees to reimburse the City for costs to repair any City facility or property damaged during the event, including during the time of set-up and tear down. The City shall invoice the applicant upon completion of the repairs with net thirty-day terms. Only water-soluble, nonpermanent markings or chalk may be used on City rights-of-way.
Depending upon the size and nature of the event, the City may require that City employees, including Police, Fire, Public Works, Code Enforcement and/or Parks and Recreation, are present at or assist with the event. The City shall determine the number of personnel necessary to ensure the safety of the public and participants, and to minimize the inconvenience to residents, and to reduce public liability exposure to the event sponsor and the City. The cost associated with the use of any such personnel, including City equipment, is the responsibility of the event sponsor. The City shall invoice the applicant for the applicable fee with terms net 30 days. Fees may be waived in whole or in part by the City Council prior to the special event.
Upon receipt of a completed application, the Chief of Police will hold a meeting of the Coordinating Committee to discuss logistics for the special event. The meeting shall be scheduled at the earliest opportunity, but shall take into account the notification requirement mandated by this policy, and shall allow sufficient time to permit the event coordination to advise the public of the special event and of the Coordinating Committee meeting.
The Coordinating Committee shall review the application with the event coordinator to clarify the nature and circumstances of the event and may establish conditions under which the special event may be held. The purpose of the Coordinating Committee review shall be to determine whether the event can be conducted without any adverse impact upon public safety, or that the proposed event or activity shall not endanger the health and safety of all persons who visit the area to be impacted.
The Coordinating Committee shall consider the following factors prior to granting authority for a street closure under this policy:
The special event must enhance the cultural, recreational or economic potential for the City of Biddeford.
Adequate plans for the detouring of local traffic have been made by the event coordinators.
Reasonable access for business and residents working and living within the affected area has been provided.
Proper notification of persons living and residing within the affected areas has occurred.
Traffic flaggers are the responsibility of the event coordinator, and must be approved for use by the Committee. Safety training requirements and age of the flaggers will be factors.
Editor's Note: Appendix A is included at the end of this chapter.
The following are exempted from the provisions of this policy:
A special event that is sponsored and already being coordinated by the City of Biddeford.
Athletic events regulated by the Recreation Department or School Department of the City.
Utility or maintenance work governed by other provisions of the City ordinances.
The fees established by this policy shall not apply to activities protected by the First Amendment to the United States or Maine Constitution, other than commercial speech, if the permit for the activity allows the activity to use park space for eight hours or less in one calendar day. The foregoing exemption shall not apply to an event or activity intended or scheduled to occur more than 14 cumulative hours in a period of seven consecutive days during which its permit allows exclusive use of park space. For the purpose of this subsection, an event or activity shall be considered to be using park space during the time in which a permit allows the event or activity exclusive use of the space, whether or not the activity is actually occurring during that entire time, and whether or not the applicant allows other uses to occur during that time. The City's determination of the need for exclusive use shall be final.
The fees established under this policy shall not apply to a demonstration or protest that is protected by the First Amendment to the United States or Maine Constitution, nor is a permit required if the demonstration is conducted so as not to interfere with the free and unobstructed passage of vehicular or pedestrian traffic. Otherwise, a permit is required, but no fee shall be imposed.
The permittee is responsible for designating a person who shall be in charge of the conduct of the event or activity and who shall be on the park grounds while the event or activity is being conducted.
The permittee is responsible for keeping the park clean and free from debris.
Where structures are to be erected in the park, the permittee shall be responsible for complying with building code requirements, including, but not limited to, the section of the building code dealing with temporary structures.
For events where more than 2,000 individuals are anticipated to gather or participate in the event or activity in the park, the permittee shall provide a bond in the form of cash, certified check or surety bond from a surety company qualified to do business in the State of Maine in an amount of not less than $2,000. Such bond shall be utilized to guarantee cleanup of the area and shall be applied against claims by the City for excessive damage to real or personal property in the park.
Activities protected by the first amendment to the United States or Maine Constitution, other than commercial speech, are exempt from Subsection (a)(4) if the permit for the activity allows the activity to use park space for eight hours or less in one calendar day.
The foregoing exemption shall not apply to an event or activity intended or scheduled to occur more than 14 cumulative hours in a period of seven consecutive days during which its permit allows exclusive use of park space. For the purpose of this subsection an event or activity shall be considered to be using park space during the time in which a permit allows the exclusive use of the space, whether or not the event or activity is actually occurring during that entire time, and whether or not the applicant allows other uses to occur during that time.
Any person firm or organization who has been denied a special event permit may appeal to the City Manager for reconsideration.