[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Washington 10-26-1995 by Ord. No. 26-1995 as Sec. 5-8 of the 1994 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- PUBLIC DANCE
- Any dance to which admission can be had, either with or without the payment of a fee, but shall not include the operation of any restaurant, tavern or similar establishment in which dancing may be merely incidental to other operations; nor shall it include any private social gathering held by any fraternal, charitable, religious or educational organization, and limited to members thereof where such organization does not have, as a primary purpose, the sponsoring or holding of such social gatherings.
- PUBLIC DANCE HALL
- Any room, space or place in which a public dance is held.
Dancing. Dancing, as used in this chapter, shall not apply to exhibitions or performances in which the persons paying for admission, or other members of the general public, do not participate.
It shall be unlawful to permit any public dance to be held, or to permit any dancing in any public dance hall, until the public dance hall shall first have been duly licensed for such purpose. Any annual license, as required by this chapter, shall be for a term not exceeding one calendar year and shall expire on December 31 of the year for which it is issued.
In addition to those applicable requirements set forth in § 133-1 of this Code, an application for a license for a public dance under this chapter shall indicate the name and address of the person or organization sponsoring such public dance, the location, hours and date or days on which such dance is to be held, and shall indicate whether or not the applicant has ever had such a license revoked or suspended for violation of this chapter or of any ordinance of the Township or statutes of the State of New Jersey.
The Chief of Police shall be notified by the Township Clerk of the dance application and an investigation shall be conducted by the Police Department.
No dance shall be permitted in the Township without adequate police protection, including a member of the Police Department at the entrance of the dance.
The term "adequate police protection" shall be determined by the Chief or, in his/her absence, the Lieutenant, and shall take into consideration the number of persons attending, their ages, location of the dance and hours of operation.
Any application for a license under this chapter shall be granted unless the Township Clerk, after hearing and considering all evidence and objections, shall determine that the granting of the license will be detrimental to public health, public safety, property values or business conditions in the immediate area; or that the proposed location fails to comply with the health or safety provisions of this chapter or any other laws.
In the event an application is denied, the applicant may appeal such denial to the Township Council.
No license shall be issued under this chapter unless the premises sought to be licensed comply with and conform to all laws of the United States of America, the State of New Jersey and the ordinances of the Township of Washington; and are properly ventilated, supplied with sufficient toilet conveniences and are, in the judgment of the Chief of Police, a safe and proper place for the purposes for which they are to be used.
The fee for a license hereunder for any public dance hall or place or building used for public dancing shall be as set forth in Chapter 80, Fees.
The provisions of this section shall not apply to any dance sponsored or operated by any religious, charitable or nonprofit corporation of the State of New Jersey, or by any public school when held under the supervision of the Board of Education of the Township.
All public dance halls shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition at all times, and all rooms, stairways and other passages used in connection therewith shall be kept sanitary and well lighted. It shall be the duty of the Chief of Police to order and cause any dance hall or place where any public dance is held to be vacated whenever, in his/her judgment, any provisions of this chapter are being violated therein, whenever indecent acts shall be permitted therein or whenever any disorder shall take place therein.
Any dance which, in the opinion of the Chief of Police, is vulgar or immodest may be prohibited by him/her by proper rules or regulations. No patron or attendant shall dance or attempt to dance or take part in dancing any such vulgar or immodest dance in any public dance hall.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, the Public Safety Chairperson shall be authorized to promulgate proper and reasonable regulations, from time to time, in relation to dancing in public dance halls. Copies of such rules or regulations shall be printed and posted in every public dance hall or other place where a public dance shall be held and shall be posted therein by the licensee in a conspicuous place. The violation of any such rule or regulations by any licensee hereunder, or by any patron or attendant of any public dance shall be considered a violation of this chapter.
Dancing shall not be permitted to continue in any public dance hall, building or place between 1:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. This prohibition shall apply to licensee, attendants and patrons.
Revocation or suspension.
In addition to the provisions of § 133-10 of this Code, any license or permit issued hereunder may be revoked or suspended, after notice and hearing, by the Chief of Police:
In any event where the operation of any public dance hall encourages or leads to gatherings of disorderly persons, or to disorderly conduct, whether on or off the licensed premises.
In any event where a written protest against the continued operation of any public dance as licensed by this chapter shall be filed with the Township Clerk, signed by at least 25% of the owners of property located within 500 feet of the location of the public dance.
Upon written notice to the licensee and to the objectors, the Chief of Police shall set a date, not less than 10 nor more than 20 days after the filing of the protest, for a public hearing on the protest. After hearing the testimony of all interested parties, the Chief may revoke such license if, in his/her opinion, it appears from the evidence that operation of the public dance has been detrimental to public health, property values or business conditions in the immediate area, that it has led to disorderly conduct or that it has resulted in violations of the provisions of this chapter or of any other laws of the Township or the State of New Jersey.
Reissuance. Such license or permit when so suspended or revoked shall not be reissued until at least six months have elapsed.
Appeal. Any person aggrieved by any decision of the Chief of Police may appeal such decision to the Township Council.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, the Township Clerk may issue special one night permits to any fraternal, social, charitable, religious or educational organization to sponsor any public dance, either at any public dance hall licensed hereunder or at some other place in the Township, to be designated in the permit. Application for such special permit need not comply with provisions of this chapter, other than the provisions of §§ 67-8 and 67-9. The Township Clerk shall designate in any such special permit the date, place and hours when such dancing shall be carried on.