[HISTORY: Adopted by the Orangetown Town Board 1-16-1996 by L.L. No. 2-1996; amended in its entirety 4-30-2019 by L.L. No. 2-2019. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board of the Town of Orangetown recognizes that the Town's natural beauty, geographical location and historical sites are attractive to individuals, organizations, corporations, groups and other entities involved in the businesses of still photography, motion pictures and television.
It is hereby found by the Town Board of the Town of Orangetown that because such filming activities may create a threat to public safety, health or welfare due to the time, location or duration of the filming, or may unduly interfere with vehicular and/or pedestrian traffic, it is necessary to provide for the regulation of the taking of still or motion pictures within the Town through the issuance of permits and that said regulation is a matter affecting the public interest and therefore should be subject to supervision and administrative control for the purpose of safeguarding the public against the impact of such activities
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The taking of still or motion pictures, either on film, videotape, digital recording or similar recording medium, for commercial purposes intended for viewing on television, in theaters, through online platforms, including but not limited to video streaming, or for institutional use.
- HANDHELD DEVICE
- Any device that is able to be operated by a single person without substantial supporting equipment and can be held in hand, to include smartphones, camcorders, cameras, and other such similar devices, but excluding aerial drones.
- PRIVATE LANDS
- Any land within the unincorporated portions of the Town of Orangetown that is not public land, a public place, or a public building.
- PUBLIC LANDS
- Any and every public street, highway, sidewalk or square, public park or playground or other public place within the Town which is within the jurisdiction of the Town.
No person shall film or permit filming within the unincorporated section of the Town of Orangetown on public or private lands without first obtaining a permit therefor, which permit shall set forth the locations of such filming, the date or dates when filming shall take place, the name, address and telephone number of the applicant, a brief description of the activities, the number of cameras on the shoot, identify if a feature commercial or industrial shoot, the name of the producer, the type of equipment and props to be used, the number of persons to be employed, specific locations where the work will be done and vehicles which are to be used, including the description thereof and their license numbers.
Permits must be obtained from the Town Supervisor of the Town of Orangetown, or his/her designee, during normal business hours. Applications shall be in such form approved by the Town Board and accompanied by a permit fee in the amount established by the Town Board.
In addition, all applicants for said permits:
Must submit their permit applications to the Town Supervisor or his/her designee at least seven days in advance of any anticipated filming; application(s) received less than seven days in advance of any anticipated filming will be accepted at the discretion of the Town Supervisor and, if approved, subject to an additional fee, to be set forth by Town Board resolution;
Must submit with their application a parking plan map for all vehicles to be parked on all impacted roadways and public parking lots, as well as a traffic detour plan/map; and
One permit may permit filming at more than one location; however, each location shall be subject to a separate fee as designated by Town Board Resolution.
If a permit is issued and due to inclement weather or other good cause, not within the control of the applicant, filming does not in fact take place on the date or dates specified, the Supervisor or his/her designee may, at the request of the applicant, issue an amended permit for filming on other dates subject to full compliance with all other provisions of this chapter. No additional fee shall be required for an amended permit under this section.
Exemptions. Notwithstanding the requirements of this chapter, the filming activities designated below do not require a permit to be obtained pursuant to this chapter, if such activity does not obstruct or interfere with the use of any public lands. For purposes of this section, the term "obstruct or interfere with the use of any public lands" shall mean any filming activity which impedes or which involves the blockage, interruption or closure, in whole or in part, of any public lands.
Filming and coverage by news media.
Filming by and intended for the exclusive use of the owner and his/her immediate family.
Filming occurring on public lands or on private property resulting in an incidental use of public lands, and involving the personal, noncommercial use of a handheld device, as defined herein.
No permit shall be issued for filming on public lands or for using public lands for filming on private property unless the applicant for such permit provides proof of insurance coverage for bodily injury for any person in the amount of $1,000,000 and for any aggregate occurrence in the amount of $2,000,000 and agrees, in writing, to indemnify and save harmless the Town of Orangetown from any and all liability or damages resulting from the use of such public lands.
The holder of the permit shall take all reasonable steps to minimize interference with the free passage of pedestrians and traffic and shall provide traffic control personnel and approved traffic control devices as per the New York State Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices. The holder of the permit shall also comply with all lawful directives of the Orangetown Police Department.
The holder of the permit shall conduct filming in such a manner as to minimize the inconvenience or discomfort to adjoining property owners attributable to such filming and shall, to the extent practicable, abate noise. The holder shall avoid any interference with previously scheduled activities.
The holder of a permit shall take all reasonable steps to minimize the creation and spread of debris and rubbish during filming and shall be responsible for removing all equipment, debris and other rubbish from the filming location upon the completion of filming or the expiration of the permit.
Unless otherwise permitted pursuant to this chapter, filming in residential zones shall generally be permitted only Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
The Supervisor or his/her or her designee may refuse to issue a permit whenever he determines, on the basis of objective facts and after review of the application and a report from the Orangetown Police department, Highway Superintendent, Superintendent of Parks and Recreation and/or any other Town department head, that filming at the location and/or time set forth in the application would violate any law or ordinance or would unreasonably interfere with the public's use of the public lands.
The Supervisor or his/her designee may revoke a permit that has been issued due to permittee failure to comply with permit terms, but any permit fees paid or unpaid remain due.
A permit may authorize "special effects" filming which includes, but is not limited to the following: simulated gunfire, explosions, fires, sirens, car chases/crashes and helicopter landing and/or takeoff. Such "special effects" filming may only take place in nonresidential zones, unless otherwise approved by Town Board resolution. Notwithstanding the foregoing, when "special effects" filming is permitted as per this section, the landing area for helicopter landing and/or takeoff must be at least 900 feet from the nearest residential property line.
Any person violating this chapter or rules and regulations contained herein shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $5,000 and/or to imprisonment for a term not to exceed 90 days, or both.
The applicant shall pay to the Supervisor or his/her designee all fees required pursuant to this chapter and as established in accordance with a fee schedule which shall be established, and amended if appropriate, by Town Board resolution. In addition to any other fees authorized and required by this chapter, additional fees shall be charged and set forth in the fee schedule, for the following circumstances:
If the applicant starts filming or filming activity (which term is defined in this subsection and henceforth in this section to include the arrival of personnel or equipment, preparation for filming, or any activity associated with the activity set forth in the permit) prior to 8:00 a.m.; or
If the applicant does not end filming or filming activity (meaning the complete removal from the site of all participants, vehicles and equipment associated with the activity set forth in the permit) by 7:00 p.m.; or
If the applicant engages in filming or filming activity on a Saturday or Sunday or a national holiday; or
If the applicant's permit approves use for any period of time of curbside parking spaces in a commercial area; or
If the applicant intends to change his or her activities in any respect that deviates from the information put forth when the permit was issued, further written application must be made to the Supervisor or his/her designee.
If, in the discretion of the Chief of the Police, Superintendent of Highways, or Superintendent of Parks and Recreation, Town personnel are needed or requested at the site, the applicant shall pay to the Town a sum for the use of Town personnel pursuant to the applicable Town department's fee schedule or schedules for such use of personnel, but in no event shall said sum be less than $85 per hour for each Town employee required at the site.
If, in the discretion of the Chief of the Police, Superintendent of Highways, Superintendent of Parks and Recreation, vehicles (which list includes but is not limited to police vehicles, Highway Department vehicles, or Parks and Recreation Department vehicles) are needed or requested at the site, the applicant shall pay to the Town a sum for the use of said vehicles pursuant to the applicable Town department's fee schedule or schedules for such vehicle use, but in no event shall said sum be less than $15 per hour for any Town vehicle required at the site.
In addition to any other fees required and authorized by this chapter, if an applicant seeks permission to conduct filming in or otherwise occupy any Town-owned structures, real estate or portion thereof for any period of time, such use shall be subject to license fees to be set forth by agreement with the applicant and approved by Town Board resolution for each such instance and location as it may occur. This shall also apply to Town public roadways if a section of Town roadway is to be closed to public access or other vehicular traffic. It shall be the responsibility of the Supervisor or his/her designee, in consultation with the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation, the Chief of Police, and the department head primarily responsible for or otherwise occupying such Town-owned property, to make the initial determination as to the potential amount, scope, and terms of any such license agreement, which license shall be approved by the Town Board as described in this section.
In addition to any other fees required and authorized by this chapter, all applicants engaging in after-hours filming as described in Subsection E of § 14C-4, where said filming is determined by the Supervisor or his/her designee, in consultation with the Chief of Police, to be high impact on the area, shall provide or offer direct compensation to residents affected by said filming in a minimum fifty-yard radius from the location and shall provide an affidavit to the Supervisor or his/her designee showing that a reasonable effort was made to contact all such residents and all residents that were contacted were provided said compensation (or signed a written declination) prior to issuance of a film permit. The radius for said compensation may be increased by the Supervisor or his/her designee, in consultation with the Chief of Police, if it is determined that the impacts of said filming will reach beyond said fifty-yard radius, and the Supervisor or his/her designee shall notify the applicant of this wider radius prior to the issuance of a film permit. This subsection shall not be construed as a cap or limitation on compensation to residents impacted by filming, and the applicant shall be free to offer additional compensation in any manner they desire to any resident they desire.
In addition to any other fees required and authorized by this chapter, all applicants engaging in filming on a public roadway or sidewalk where said filming is determined by the Supervisor or his/her designee to obstruct access by the public to businesses in the area that would normally be operational at the time of filming, shall provide or offer direct compensation to each said affected businesses for times of obstructed access and shall provide an affidavit to the Supervisor or his/her designee showing that a reasonable effort was made to contact all such businesses and all businesses that were contacted were provided said compensation (or signed a written declination) prior to issuance of a film permit. The Supervisor or his/her designee at his/her discretion shall indicate the area of businesses with obstructed access for the applicant for each such application based on the area the filming is to take place. This subsection shall only apply to the hours in which obstruction and the regular business hours of each individual affected business overlap. Further, this subsection shall not be construed as a cap or limitation on compensation to businesses impacted by filming, and the applicant shall be free to offer additional compensation in any manner they desire to any business they desire.