This is a draft from the Selectboard to update the Public Assemblage permit. They will be acting on it at the next Selectboard meeting on December 14, 2015. This is available for public comment. Please email the Town Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop in at the Town Office with your concerns.
TOWN OF BROOKFIELD
AN ORDINANCE FOR THE REGULATION OF PUBLIC ASSEMBLAGES
The Selectboard of the Town of Brookfield hereby enacts the following ordinance:
Section I – Definitions
- Public Assemblage: means any assemblage, gathering, parade, march, ceremony, show, exhibition, pageant, or procession of any kind, or nay rally or demonstration, or any similar display in or upon any place which constitutes an exclusive or prevailing use of the place; or in or upon any private property where such assemblage can reasonably be expected to constitute a public nuisance, or present a danger of substantial injury or harm to persons or property, or an imminent threat to the public health or safety.
- Public Place: means any street highway, sidewalk, park, building, or place owned by, or under the authority and control of, the Town.
- Public Nuisance: means an assemblage whose size, location, duration, or nature is such that: (a) it will substantially impair, restrict, or alter the normal and customary use of a public place, or (b) it will occupy, block, restrict, or deny to the public the normal and customary use of a public right-of-way, or (c) it will require the diversion of so great a number of police officers as to interrupt normal police protection of the Town or (d) interfere substantially with normal fire-fighting and ambulance service to the Town.
- Person: includes a corporation, partnership, unincorporated association or any other legal entity.
Section II – Permit Required
- A person shall not organize, sponsor, promote, participate in, aid, form, or start a public assemblage without a permit, as required by this ordinance.
- A permit application will be required for all public assemblage events involving 100 or more persons within the Town of Brookfield. A lower threshold of 50 or more persons will trigger the permit application requirement for public assemblage events within the Pond Village District of Brookfield (as defined in the Brookfield Development Bylaws and identified in the Town Plan).
- The provisions of this ordinance shall not apply to a permanent place of worship, a stadium, athletic field, arena, auditorium, theater, or similar place, nor to any other permanently established place of assembly which regularly holds meetings, entertainment, sports, or similar activities, providing that the assembly in such place does not exceed the carry capacity of the place, and is a normal and customary use of the place.
Section III – Application Procedure
- A person wishing to hold a public assemblage shall file with the Selectboard an application containing: (a) the name, address, and phone number of the applicant and the property owner; (b) the hour, date, and estimated duration of the assemblage; (c) the location of the place of the assemblage; (d) the purpose of the assemblage; (e) the maximum number of people who will be assembled; and (f) the applicant’s proposed arrangements for parking, crowd control, traffic safety, sanitation, and such other measures as will maintain the security and safety of the persons involved in the assemblage and the general public.
- The application shall be filed at least thirty (30) days prior to the assemblage.
- If the Selectboard determines that a public assemblage is to be held which can reasonably be expected to require a permit, and that no application has been made therefore, it shall request the person organizing or sponsoring such assemblage to file an application for an appropriate permit. Such request shall be prima facie evidence that a permit is required under Section 201 of this ordinance.
Section IV – Official Action on the Permit
- The Selectboard shall determine whether the applicant requires a permit. It shall grant a permit at least five (5) days prior to the assemblage unless it finds that:
a. The hour, day, and location of the assemblage will conflict with a previously scheduled assemblage.
b. The arrangements offered by the applicant are inadequate to prevent the creation of a public nuisance, or personal injury, or harm to persons or property, or a threat to the public health.
402. If the Selectboard does not grant or deny the application for a permit within not less than four (4) days prior to the assembly date, it shall be deemed to have granted the permit on the terms requested.
403. The Selectboard may attach such conditions to a permit as will best protect the public safety and the safety of the persons involved in the assemblage, including but not limited to:
a. An alternate time or location of the assemblage.
b. The installation of temporary sanitation facilities or provision for emergency medical service.
c. Effective crowd and traffic control procedures.
d. Seating, standing, or marching arrangements.
e. Surety bonds and liability insurance.
Section V – Obligations under Permit: Penalties
- A person who organizes, sponsors, promotes, aids, forms, or starts a public assemblage for which a permit is required, without having obtained a permit therefor, shall be fined not more than $1,000 for each violation.
- A person who obstructs or otherwise interferes with a public assemblage for which a permit has been obtained shall be fined not more than $100 for each violation.
- A person who willfully participates in a public assemblage for which no permit has been obtained shall be fined not more than $100.
- A person who willfully violates any of the terms or conditions attached to a permit for a public assemblage shall be fined not more than $1,000 for each violation.
- The Selectboard may not issue any permit if the proposed public assemblage would be in violation of any State or Town rule, regulation, ordinance, or statute.
- The foregoing shall not be construed to limit the authority of a law enforcement officer if enforcing the criminal laws of the Town of Brookfield or the State of Vermont, or the orders of any Court, or to enjoin in a Court of competent jurisdiction any public assemblage about to be held in violation of this ordinance.
Section VI – Severability
- If any part of this ordinance shall be held to be void, invalid, or unconstitutional either under the laws or Constitution of the State of Vermont or the United States by a court of competent jurisdiction, such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this ordinance and such portions shall be in full force and effect.
Section VII – Effective Date
This ordinance shall take effect sixty (60) days from adoption by the Selectboard.
Adopted July 25, 1988