[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Hillsville 1-23-1995. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Council enacts this chapter for the purpose of regulating the time, place and manner of parades and demonstrations in order to accommodate competing demands for the public use of streets, sidewalks and public places. Regulation is necessary to preserve the public peace and safety, to permit free expression on issues of public concern, to protect persons and property, to maintain acceptable conditions of traffic flow upon the streets and sidewalks and to prevent, control or eliminate any illegal, injurious or dangerous effects of this lawful activity.
The Town Council does not enact this chapter or seek through its enforcement to deny or abridge any person's rights of assembly and free speech or the opportunity for communication of thought and discussion of public questions in public places.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have these meanings:
- A group of seven (7) or more persons assembled and acting in concert to call the public's attention to their opposition to, support of or position with respect to any subject.
- A parade or demonstration, or both.
- A mobile gathering, march or other procession of seven (7) or more persons for the purpose of attracting the public's attention.
- An individual, corporation, partnership, association, organization or other entity.
- SPONTANEOUS PARADE OR DEMONSTRATION
- An unplanned or unannounced coming together of persons, animals or vehicles consisting of a parade or demonstration which may occur in response to unforeseen circumstances or events of immediate and obvious importance that allows no opportunity for application to the Town Council.
- A public street, sidewalk or public place in the town.
It shall be unlawful for any person to organize, direct, lead or participate in any parade or demonstration upon any street within the town unless the Town Council or Town Manager, as appropriate, has first granted a permit for this activity.
This section shall not apply to any component of the Armed Forces of the United States or of this commonwealth, any governmental agency or organization, any funeral, religious or wedding procession or any group of persons lawfully engaged in picketing.
If a parade or demonstration is conducted without a permit, the Town Manager shall not disperse the event unless it is or becomes an unlawful assembly or riot as defined in §§ 18.2-405 and 18.2-406, Code of Virginia. In that latter case, the Town Manager shall follow the procedures established for unlawful assemblies and riots. The Town Manager, however, may seek the prosecution by the Town Attorney of any person violating any provisions of this chapter.
Any person proposing to organize, participate in or lead a parade or demonstration upon or in any street within the town shall file an application for a parade or demonstration with the Town Manager at least fourteen (14) working days prior to the next Council meeting before the parade or demonstration. The application shall set forth:
The name, address and telephone number of the person requesting the permit.
The name(s), address and telephone number(s) of the person(s) in charge of the parade or demonstration.
The name(s) and address of the sponsor(s) of the parade or demonstration and all participating organizations.
The date, hour and place for the assembly of the participants in the parade or demonstration and the expected duration of the event.
The streets, sidewalks and public places upon which the parade or demonstration is to occur.
Whether the parade or demonstration is to be conducted on foot, with animals, with vehicles or any combination thereof and the number of individuals, vehicles and animals expected to participate.
An estimate of the anticipated attendance.
The purpose of the parade or demonstration.
Any other information that may be required by the Town Manager.
Each application for a parade or demonstration permit shall be signed by the person named in the application as the person in charge of such parade or demonstration.
Upon the filing of a complete application for a parade or demonstration permit, the Town Manager shall promptly transmit copies to the Town Council. At its next meeting, the Town Council shall consider and act on the application, hearing the applicant on request and other persons the Council deems necessary.
The Town Council shall consider and may grant an application for a parade or demonstration permit and may impose limitations on the time, place and manner of the conduct of the event to prevent conditions that would be detrimental to the public peace and safety and would cause a physically dangerous or unworkable traffic condition upon streets. In determining such conditions, the Council may consider the following factors:
It shall be unlawful for any person, corporation, partnership, association or organization covered by the permit to violate or fail to comply with any such limitation.
The Town Council may deny an application for a parade or demonstration permit and notify the applicant of such denial where:
Upon the occurrence of conditions leading to the spontaneous parade or demonstration (as determined by the Town Manager), the Town Manager may immediately grant the permit for the parade or demonstration under the same standards and procedures, with necessary changes, as set out in this chapter for Town Council action. The Town Manager shall promptly report such action to the Town Council.
Due to the spontaneous nature of such event and in order to maintain safe or passable traffic conditions in the town, spontaneous parades and demonstrations shall be held on those public streets or parts thereof where the chance of unsafe or impassable traffic would be minimized.
It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully harass or interfere with any person lawfully parading or demonstrating pursuant to a permit issued under the provisions of this chapter. It shall be unlawful for a participant in an event to address bystanders using abusive or threatening language which would tend to provoke him or others to a breach of the peace.
The Town Manager may revoke any permit issued pursuant to this chapter if any person shall violate any prohibition, condition, restriction or limitation of the permit.
No permit shall be issued authorizing the conduct of a parade which the Town Council or Town Manager finds is proposed to be held for the sole purpose of advertising any product, goods, wares, merchandise or event and is designed to be held purely for private profit.
This chapter has no effect on the requirements for application to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) before a parade can be conducted on a state-maintained road. In that case, authorization must be obtained from VDOT and the Town Council, pursuant to this chapter.