[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Mount Pleasant 4-26-2016 by L.L. No. 5-2016. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board finds that significant commercial filming, videotaping, and recording on private and public property has been occurring in the Town of Mt. Pleasant that may create hardship, inconvenience, danger and discomfort to the citizens and residents of the Town of Mt. Pleasant because of the inconvenience and disruption of traffic on public streets and in private neighborhoods.
By reason of the foregoing, the Town Board finds that the health, welfare and safety of the public will be served by adoption of a local law providing a means of regulating, by license, the undertaking of any commercial filming, photography, videotaping or recording on private or public property within the Town of Mt. Pleasant.
The Town Board does hereby ordain and enact this chapter to accomplish the aforesaid purposes.
For purposes of this chapter, the term "filming" is contemplated to include filming, videotaping, photography and recording.
No movie, documentary or television program, commercial, promotional or similar presentation or any portion thereof shall be filmed, videotaped, recorded or otherwise made on any private or public property within the Town of Mt. Pleasant, whether or not a fee is to be paid or anything of value changes hands for such use of the property, unless the owner or tenant in control of the property, or an agent of the group or company doing the filming, or the individual doing the filming, hereinafter sometimes referred to herein as the "applicant(s)," first makes an application to and obtains a license from the Town Clerk for filming.
The application, permit and fee requirements in this chapter shall not apply to:
Filming by casual photographers, tourists or residents for personal use, by not-for-profit community organizations for a public purpose, by students for educational purposes, or by credentialed members of the news media; or
Filming which meets all of the following conditions:
Filming is limited to indoor locations;
The size of the entire cast and crew is limited to fewer than five individual members;
Filming is limited to between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.; and
Filming involves no potential noise, traffic or light impacts, including, but not limited to, the use of any pyrotechnic devices or artificial lighting, other than camera-mounted or handheld equipment.
Applications may be submitted to the Town Clerk in person or by mail and must contain at least the following information:
The name of the applicant.
The location of the property where filming is to take place.
Whether the applicant is the owner or tenant in possession of the property; the name of the owner of the property if the applicant is not the owner.
The name of the person or entity the applicant wishes to allow to film, videotape, etc.
The applicant shall submit a use plan showing the days and hours of proposed operation, parking plans and any mitigating measures proposed and the name, local address and local telephone number of a person who will be available 24 hours a day during the activity and who shall have control of and responsibility for the direction of all participants in the permitted activity and for the property for which it is permitted. The Town Clerk may seek the advice of the Chief of Police, Building Inspector, and Highway Superintendent in reviewing such plans, and may refer the license application to the Town Board for action/approval.
The applicant shall notify contiguous or adjacent property owners to the property being utilized for filming activities and demonstrate proof of same to the Town Clerk.
The Town Clerk may attach conditions and safeguards ensuring the orderly conduct of the activity and the minimization of impact of such use and shall specify the duration and hours of operation of such activity.
The Town Clerk shall require an applicant to furnish the Town with a hold-harmless and indemnification agreement, together with a certificate of insurance meeting the Town's minimum insurance requirements, as may be determined by the Town Attorney in his/her sole discretion, thereby relieving the Town from any potential liability by virtue of the applicant's activities. The applicant shall also furnish a copy of the applicant's insurance policy endorsement naming the Town of Mt. Pleasant as an additional insured. The Town Clerk may additionally require the applicant to post a reasonable bond to assure adherence to the license conditions set forth.
The Town Clerk may further require, as a condition of any license, that the applicant utilize the services of that number of Town of Mt. Pleasant police officers that the Chief of Police deems necessary to ensure the public safety at the location of the filming at a rate consistent with all costs to be paid, including all overtime costs as per the existing police collective bargaining agreement (CBA) to be paid by the applicant.
The Chief of Police shall have the power to cause the conditions set by any license granted under this section to be enforced.
Site plan approval by the Planning Board is not required for a license issued under this section.
Each applicant shall pay a fee to the Town of Mt. Pleasant, set in a fee schedule determined by the Town Board, for filming on private property per day, and a fee, set in a fee schedule determined by the Town Board, per day for any filming on public property. See § 60-8 for fee schedule.
Applications for such a license will not be considered unless accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee of $250.
Filming for which a license is required under § 60-2 above shall in no event be conducted at the same location (i.e., in the same building or at the same street address) more than any portion of 20 calendar days within any twelve-month period without permission from the Town Board.
Unless the Town Clerk provides otherwise, no applicant shall permit any filming for which a license has been issued to be conducted prior to 8:00 a.m. or after 7:00 p.m.
Unless the Town Clerk provides otherwise, no applicant shall permit equipment used in connection with such filming, including but not limited to lights and generators, etc., to be operated at the location described in § 60-3A(2) prior to 8:00 a.m. or after 7:00 p.m., and unless the Town Clerk permits otherwise, no applicant shall permit equipment to be used in connection with the filming or similar activities, nor accessory trailers, kitchens and facilities, to be set up outdoors at the location prior to 8:00 a.m., and all such equipment shall be removed from outdoors by 7:00 p.m. that evening. There shall be no filming on Sundays or any national holiday and no filming shall occur before 8:00 a.m. or after 7:00 p.m.
License holders shall take reasonable steps to minimize the creation and spread of debris and garbage from the filming location and shall be responsible for the removal of all equipment, debris and garbage upon completion of filming, or expiration of the license, whichever comes first. License holders shall clean and restore all public property utilized during filming to the same condition as existed prior thereto.
Any person, persons, corporation, company, group, or other entity of any kind who or which fails to obtain the license required herein or otherwise violates any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of an offense. Such offense shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $1,000 per offense or by imprisonment not exceeding 15 days or by both such fine and imprisonment. Each day such a violation occurs shall constitute a separate offense.
The imposition of such fine shall not be the Town's exclusive remedy in the event of a violation of this chapter. The Town may pursue any and all other legal remedies available to it in connection with any violation of this chapter, including recovery of costs and reasonable attorneys' fees incurred.
Violation of the terms and conditions of any license issued pursuant to this chapter, without prior written modification by the Town Clerk or the Town Board, shall constitute a forfeiture of the privileges conveyed under the license, requiring that all filming activities cease immediately. Any fees paid pursuant to this chapter are forfeited by the applicant.
The Chief of Police or his designee may suspend or revoke a license issued pursuant to this chapter when filming activities pose a hazard to persons or property and the location manager will not, or cannot, prevent the hazard after being instructed to do so by an officer of the Town of Mt. Pleasant Police Department.
Notwithstanding any of the foregoing, no applicant who has been previously convicted of a violation of this chapter shall be granted a license hereunder for a period of 18 months from the date of such conviction.
The Town Board may authorize a waiver of any of the requirements and/or limitations of this chapter whenever it determines that strict compliance with such limitations or requirements will pose an unreasonable burden upon the applicant and that such license may be issued without endangering the public's health, safety or welfare.
No license for the use of premises for the making of a film or videotape production shall be deemed to authorize the violation by any person of any general or local law, rule, or regulation unless specifically authorized in advance in writing by the Town Clerk after consultation with the Police Chief, Building Inspector, and Highway Superintendent.