Council eyes amending law on use of city parks, streets

GLOVERSVILLE – First Ward Councilwoman Robin Wentworth on Tuesday suggested the Common Council amend a section of the City Code regarding parks and recreation areas.

Wentworth said Chapter 190 of the city code poses a risk for the city because it isn’t clear about how and what city parks can be used for.

The code has “no regulations on how and when and by whom our city properties are being used,” Wentworth said. “I think it leaves us open for some liability.”

She said she used information from other municipalities to update the amendments she is looking to make to the city code.

Mayor Dayton King said he agreed the code should be amended to eliminate the liability. The Common Council voted unanimously to schedule a public hearing on the proposed amendment for the night of its May 28 meeting.

The amendment would prevent a person from occupying a public right-of-way or city-owned property for a “special event” without a current and valid city permit for the event.

A “special event” would be defined in the amendment as “an assembly or gathering where more than 50 people are expected to attend for entertainment, recreation, the display or sale of goods or services, to be undertaken by a person other than the City of Gloversville that may involve use or closure of public right-of-way or city owned property, control over vehicle and pedestrian access to the special event location, use of sound amplifying devices, use of public personnel or resources for emergency response or any combination of those elements.”

The amendment states a person can apply for use of a right-of-way or city-owned property for a special event only once in any three-month period at the same location, and any event will be limited to no more than two consecutive days between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.

It also would require the applicant to be a city-based organization or a city resident and wouldn’t allow any admission fee to be charged at the event.

A person who seeks use of a public street or city-owned property for a special event must apply for the permit with the city clerk with the following information: date and time of the event, type of special event, the area requested for use, requests for any use of public personnel or resources, type and location of any sound amplification and lighting to be used, type and location of any mobile food sales, provisions for waste disposal and toilet facilities, and a $1 million liability insurance certificate that specifically names as “supplemental insured” for the event date in question.

The amendment would also require the permit seeker to state the form of security the applicant will furnish to guarantee payment of the cost to the city to clean and restore the site upon the applicant’s failure to do so.

According to the amendment, after all the appropriate information is provided, the city will then review the application to ensure it is allowed under all local ordinances and make sure the event doesn’t conflict with any scheduled Gloversville Recreation Commission program at the same location.

The fee for a use permit will vary based on the type of event being held. The city will charge a $25 fee for privately planned events, whether open or closed to the public, but permits for non-profit-sponsored events will cost nothing, and events co-sponsored and approved by the Recreation Commission also will be free.

The amendment states a decision to deny a permit may be appealed by the applicant to the Common Council, whose decision on the appeal will be final.

“I think it is a good policy; we’ve just got to work on the details,” King said.

Levi Pascher can be reached by email at