AGENDA TITLE: Adopt an Ordinance to establish a policy for Public Facility Use requests. (PWD)

AGENDA DATE:  May 1, 2017

ITEM#:  9

DEPARTMENT: Public Works

DATE SUBMITTED: April 26, 2017

PREPARED BY:  Jeff Whitten, P.E. – Public Works Director

SUBJECT: Proposed Public Facilities Use Ordinance

EXHIBITS:  Ordinance





SUMMARY  This is a request for the Board to adopt an ordinance for a Public Facility Use request policy.

BOARD ACTION:  The City Manager and staff recommend approval.

EMERGENCY CLAUSE:  No emergency clause is requested. 




            WHEREAS, the Board of Directors does hereby determine that it is in the best interest of the City of Texarkana, Arkansas, to adopt a policy concerning the process for and issuance of public facility use permits;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED, by the Board of Directors of the City of Texarkana, Arkansas, that the Code of Ordinances of the City of Texarkana is amended to include the following provisions:




Sec. 17-20. – Purpose

The purpose of this article is to enhance the positive image of the city, to stimulate economic growth and promote tourism through the utilization of public facilities within the City.

Sec. 17-21. - Definitions.

The following words, terms and phrases when used in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

Applicant means a person, as defined herein.

Board means the Board of Directors of the City of Texarkana, Arkansas.

City means the City of Texarkana, Arkansas.

City Manager means the city manager of the City of Texarkana, Arkansas.

Department means the Public Works Department of the City of Texarkana, Arkansas.

Facilities or Public Facilities means, without limitation, all public property owned by the City with the exception of city parks and ballfields covered in Section 17, article I.

Force majeure means and includes fire, casualty, strikes, lockouts, labor trouble, inability to procure materials or supplies, failure of power, governmental authority, inclement weather, acts of God, war or terrorism or the potential or actual threat thereof, public safety or public welfare considerations, riots, or local, national or international emergencies, or other reason of like nature.

Permittee means any person who has been granted a PFU Permit.

Person means firms, partnerships, associations, organizations and bodies politic and corporate, or any combination thereof, as well as individuals.

Public Facilities Use (PFU) Permit or Permit or means the city's written authorization for a person to hold a special event. The permit may impose terms and conditions, and is subject to the guidelines of the permit.  A permit is only good for a single event.  Re-occurring events must have a separate permit for each event occurrence.

Public Facilities Use (PFU) manager of PFU manager means the city official, or his/her designee, designated by the City Manager as primarily responsible for managing and administering special events.

Special event means a temporary event or gathering of persons for a common purpose under the direction or control of a person, including a special event parade (defined below), using public property, that involves one or more of the following activities, except when the activity is for construction or house-moving purposes only:

(1)     Closing of a public street;

(2)     Blocking or restriction of public property, including public rights-of-way;

(3)     Sale of merchandise, food, or beverages on public property;

(4)     Sale of alcoholic beverages on public property where otherwise prohibited without procurement of all applicable licenses;

(5)     Installation of a stage, band shell, trailer, van, portable building, grandstand, or bleachers on public property where otherwise prohibited by ordinance; 

Special event parade means the assembly of persons whose gathering is for the common design of traveling or marching in procession from one location to any other location, involving the temporary closing of a public street, sidewalk or facility, for the purpose of advertising, promoting, celebrating, or commemorating a thing, person, date, or event.

Sec. 17-22. - General authority and duty of PFU Manager.

(a)   The PFU manager shall implement, administer, and enforce the provisions of this article.

(b)   The PFU manager has authority to issue a special event permit that authorizes one or more of the activities described in this article when the requirements of this article have been met.

Sec. 17-23. - Article cumulative.

(a)   The provisions of this article are cumulative of all city ordinances. Except as provided in building permits, electrical permits, food establishment permits, alcoholic beverage licenses and all other permits and licenses required by ordinance or other law for specific activities to be conducted in conjunction with or as part of the special event, permits must be applied for separately, in accordance with the applicable ordinance or law. The PFU manager must receive any necessary permit or license in addition to the special event application in order for an applicant to obtain a PFU permit.

(b)   Application for a PFU permit authorizes the PFU manager to issue permits for the activities described in this article in locations where the activity would otherwise be prohibited by ordinance.

Sec. 17-24. - Exemptions.

The following are exempt from the operation, rules, and regulations of this article:

(1)   Funeral processions;

(2)   Activities under the control of the Park & Recreation Department conducted on city property that do not affect public rights-of-way;

Sec. 17-25. – Prohibited acts – Generally

It is hereby declared unlawful for any person to do or to cause to be done any of the acts listed in Section 17-4 of the Code.

Secs. 17-26 - 17-29. - Reserved.

Sec. 17-30. - Permit required.

(a)   No special event may be held within the city without first obtaining a PFU permit. PFU permits are issued by the Department. A PFU application form may be obtained from the office of the PFU manager or as otherwise provided by the department. All applications shall be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

(b)   Except as otherwise provided in this article, a special event application form must be completed and submitted to the PFU manager no fewer than     45 days prior to a proposed special event.

The PFU manager may waive the above requirements if the application can be processed in a shorter time period, taking into consideration the nature and scope of the proposed event and the number and types of permits required to be issued in conjunction with the PFU permit.

(c)   The issuance of a PFU permit grants permission to use public property proposed to be used in connection with the special event.

(d)   The issuance of a PFU permit authorizes appropriate city departments to issue permits for activities in connection with the authorized event in locations where such activities would otherwise be prohibited by ordinance.

(e)   Issuance of a PFU permit does not authorize removal or alteration of public property and any such removal or alteration is strictly prohibited except as expressly allowed in writing by the PFU manager.

(f)   In addition to complying with all conditions of the PFU permit and all applicable city ordinances, regulations, rules, policies and guidelines, the permittee must comply with all applicable federal, state and county laws, rules and regulations.

(g)   A permittee may not and shall have no authority to assign, sell, transfer, pledge, encumber or otherwise convey a permit or any rights, duties, responsibilities or obligations thereunder.

(h)   No rights granted by a PFU permit shall create rights in anyone other than the permittee.

Sec. 17-31. - Application process.

(a)   The applicant shall contact the PFU manager to discuss desired or available dates for the event. 

(b)   At minimum, and in addition to the information required in this article, the applicant must provide the following information, all of which is public information subject to the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act and other applicable law:

(1)   Applicant information. Applicant's name, and if the applicant is an organization, the name of the organization and identification of authorized contact for the organization in good standing under the laws of the state and the United States; contact information including address and e-mail address and web site address (if applicable);  telephone number; facsimile number (if possible); copy of applicant’s or organization contact’s driver's license or government issued identification; and contact name and mobile telephone number of the person on-site and overseeing the special event. If the applicant is a corporation or other entity organized or authorized to do business in the State of Arkansas, copies of a current Certificate of Good Standing issued by the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office, or, if the corporation is not incorporated in or holding a Certificate of Good Standing in the State of Arkansas, copies of similar current certificates from the state in which the corporation is incorporated;

(2)   Event information. Event name; dates and times requested; type of event; any previous dates such event has been held; whether the event will be open to the public; vendor’s participation fee; admission fee; proposed event area; setup dates; tear down dates; event sponsors; and, if applicable, event beneficiaries;

(3)   Event special features. Plans for sound amplification; stage; dance floor; food and beverage service, including participating concessionaires and caterers; sale or distribution of alcohol; open flames; cooking; road closures; tents or canopies; temporary fencing; restrooms; sinks; dumpsters; trash containers; trash collection; carnival or amusement rides or attractions; seating; animals; barricades; inflatables; security; signage; ticket sales; and any other special features planned for or in conjunction with the event;

(4)   Indemnity.  The applicant shall Indemnify the city and its officers and employees against all claims of injury or damage to persons or property, whether public or private, arising out of the special event;         

(5)   Application fee. A non-refundable application fee of $25.00, plus any costs incurred by the city, must be submitted with the application and is required for each special event, which permit shall extend only to those dates requested in the application and which are approved by the PFU manager.

(c)   Fees must be in the form of cash, check or money order or other immediately available federal funds and shall be made payable to the city. Any amounts invoiced by the city must be paid within 30 days from the date of the invoice. Amounts not paid within 30 days shall incur a late fee of one (1) percent of the outstanding balance for each month payment is not received, but in no event in any amount in violation of applicable usury or other law.

(d)   The PFU manager will distribute the application to the Public Works Department, the Police Department and the Fire Department for review.  These departments shall review the application and make its determination within 14 days after a complete application for a special event, including all required fees and licenses and/or permits, has been submitted to the PFU manager.

If the PFU manager determines that clarification or additional information is necessary for proper consideration of an application, this time period may be extended an additional ten days from the date clarification or additional information is provided. Based on the recommendation of the Public Works Department, the Police Department and the Fire Department, the PFU manager may approve, approve with conditions, or deny an application. The PFU manager, or his designee, may also revoke a permit if he/she determines at any time after approval that the event is not in compliance with the permit or with this article.

In making a final determination to approve an application, each of the following factors shall be considered:

(1)   Whether the application establishes that there will be ample opportunity to properly plan and prepare for the event;

(2)   Whether the proposed dates or location conflict with another event or activity;

(3)   Whether the applicant has previous experience with hosting an event of the nature or scope proposed;

(4)   Whether police, fire, or other city services will be unduly burdened or adversely affected by the event;

(5)   Whether the event is reasonably likely to cause injury to persons or property, to provoke disorderly conduct or to create a disturbance; and

(6)   Such other factors as the committee may deem necessary or important in evaluating an application.

(7)   The following additional factors may be considered:

a.    Whether the event is likely to promote tourism by attracting tourists; and/or

b.    Whether the event is likely to have a positive economic impact by generating revenue for Texarkana, Arkansas hotels, restaurants and other merchants of the city.

(e)   The PFU manager shall notify an applicant in writing of the decision to deny or approve an event. If an application is approved, the notification must advise the applicant of the minimum staffing levels for the event (as may be recommended by the Public Works Department, the Police Department or the Fire Department), any specific requirements imposed pursuant to this chapter, and the time frame for completing such requirements.

(f)   A special event cancelled or postponed by the city on public property due to a force majeure may be rescheduled within 90 days following its original date subject to availability of the scheduled location. There shall be no charge for such rescheduling.

Sec. 17-32. - Directives of PFU manager or other authorizing official.

The permittee shall comply with the printed guidelines and with all other reasonable rules, regulations and directives of the PFU manager or his/her designee as may be issued from time to time.

Sec. 17-33. - Force majeure.

(a)   The city may, but shall not be required, in its sole discretion, postpone, cancel, suspend or close any special event or revoke a permit for any force majeure event.

(b)   The city shall have no liability for such postponement, cancellation, suspension or closing. Further, the city shall have no liability for failure to postpone, cancel, suspend, or close a special event for a force majeure event or any other reason.

Sec. 17-34. - Cancellation and revocation.

(a)   The PFU manager may deny a special event permit if:

(1)   A PFU permit has been granted for another special event at the same or approximately same location or which creates undue burden on the City;

(2)   The proposed special event will unreasonably disrupt the orderly flow of traffic;

(3)   The applicant, in its application, fails to adequately plan for:

a.    The protection of special event participants and spectators;

b.    Maintenance of public order in and around the special event location;

c.    Crowd security, taking into consideration the size of the event;

d.    Emergency vehicle access; or

e.    Portable restroom facilities for the special event as required by the PFU manager.

(5)   The applicant fails to comply with or the proposed special event will violate a city ordinance or other applicable law, unless the prohibited conduct or activity would be allowed under this article;

(6)   The applicant makes a false statement of material fact on an application for a PFU permit or fails to properly complete an application for a PFU permit;

(7)   The applicant fails to provide proof that the applicant possesses or is able to obtain a license or permit required by another city ordinance or other applicable law for the conduct of all activities included as part of the special event;

(8)   The applicant has had a PFU permit revoked within the preceding 12 months;

(9)   The applicant has committed, within the preceding 12 months, two or more violations of a provision of a PFU permit of this article;

(10) The applicant fails to pay any outstanding fees assessed under this article for the proposed special event or for a past special event;

(11) The PFU manager determines that the special event presents a threat or potential harm to the public health, safety, or welfare;

(12) The applicant or any other person responsible for the conduct or sponsorship of the special event is overdue in payment to the city of taxes, fees, fines, or penalties assessed against or imposed upon the applicant or other person;

(13) The applicant has a history of conducting or sponsoring special events in a disorderly, unsafe, unsanitary, or fiscally irresponsible manner;

(14) An event has been previously scheduled for the same time on property described in this article that is adjacent to the location of the proposed special event; or

(15) The applicant, if it is a corporation or other entity organized in accordance with applicable law, fails to provide copies of a current certificate required by Section17-31.

(b)   The PFU manager shall revoke a special event permit if:

(1)   The permittee fails to comply with or the special event is in violation of any provision of the PFU permit, a city ordinance, or any other applicable law;

(2)   The permittee made a false statement of material fact on an application for a PFU permit or failed to properly complete an application for a PFU permit;

(3)   PFU manager determines that the special event poses a threat of harm or disruption to the public health, safety, or welfare;

(4)   The permittee failed to pay any outstanding fees assessed under this article for the proposed special event or for a past special event;

(5)   The permittee or any other person responsible for the conduct of the special event is overdue in payment to the city of taxes, fees, fines, or penalties assessed against or imposed upon the permittee or such other person; or

(6)   The permittee, if it is a corporation or other entity organized in accordance with applicable law, failed to provide copies of a current certificate of existence as required by Section 17-31;

Sec. 17-35. - Appeal from denial or revocation of a PFU permit.

If the PFU manager denies the issuance of a permit or revokes a permit, the PFU manager shall issue written notice of the denial or revocation and of the right to an appeal. The applicant or permittee may appeal the decision of the PFU manager to the City Manager within five days after the date of the denial or revocations. If such appeal is not made within this five-day period, the decision of the PFU manager shall be final. The appeal shall be decided by the City Manager within ten days after the date of a timely filed appeal.  The decision of the city manager shall be final.

Sec. 17-36. - Appeal of permit conditions.

A permittee who disagrees with the requirements imposed by the PFU manager on a permit issued under this chapter may appeal to the City Manager setting forth the specific condition contested and the basis for the appeal within five days of the date of permit approval. The City Manager shall issue his/her decision within ten days and the decision of the City Manager shall be final.

Sec. 17-37. - Right of entry.

The city through its officials, employees, agents, and representatives shall have the right at all reasonable times to enter upon all permitted premises for the purpose of inspecting the permitted premises, for observing the performance of obligations under this article, and for the doing of any act or thing which the city may be obligated to or have the right to do under the permit, this article, or other applicable city ordinance, rule or regulation.


Sec. 17-38. - Site plan.

(a)   A conceptual site plan of the premises to be used for the event must be submitted at the time of the filing of an application for a permit.

(b)   On-site adjustments to the conceptual or final site plan may be made in consultation with the PFU manager.

(c)   A walk-through with the PFU manager, or his designee, to verify that the actual setup of the event site meets with the site plan may be conducted prior to the event opening.

Secs. 17-38 – 17-40 - Reserved

Sec. 17-41. - City services.

To best serve the safety and welfare of the public, the following services may be required (as determined by the PFU manager based on the review of the application by the Public Works Department, the Police Department and the Fire Department) in conjunction with a special event.

(1)   Police protection, security and crowd control;

(2)   Fire protection and/or emergency medical services;

(3)   Park maintenance;

(4)   Public works: street closures and water services;

(5)   Traffic and parking control;

(6)   Development services: building inspections, environmental health compliance, code enforcement;

(7)   Trash service

Sec. 17-42. – Traffic Control Plan.

Certain streets within the city may be temporarily closed to limit or exclude vehicular or pedestrian traffic prior to, during or after a special event. An applicant requesting street closure(s) for a special event shall submit a traffic control plan for approval showing the layout of all barricades and signs at the time of application. The PFU manager and the PFU committee shall consider such request in evaluating the application and may recommend additional or fewer street closures. Should street closures be approved, the city street department shall provide or place the barricades based on the level of service requested on the application.

Sec. 17-43. - Outdoor activities.

(a)   If temporary fencing crosses a fire lane or other route that would be utilized by emergency services, a barricade, gate or other temporary barrier must be placed and kept closed, but unlocked, at all times to accommodate public safety vehicles and provide an emergency exit. The fencing set-up must ensure that customers are not forced to re-enter an adjacent structure, if any, in order to vacate the licensed premises in case of an emergency.

(b)   All outdoor activities and entertainment must be confined to the area within the licensed premises.

(c)   All fire lanes throughout the property on which the event takes place must be kept completely unobstructed by vehicular traffic.

(d)   The applicant shall comply with all applicable laws governing the serving of alcohol.

Sec. 17-44. - Parking.

(a)   If parking needs for the event are expected to exceed the area(s) owned by or assigned to the host establishment(s), appropriate parking arrangements must be made with affected properties or establishments.

(b)   Any required handicapped parking space affected by any outdoor fencing for the event must be temporarily replaced using a space(s) outside the fenced area that is as close as practicable to the entrance to the establishment. Such temporary space must meet all requirements for handicapped spaces including the required "clear zone" on the driver's side of the vehicle and appropriate signage.

Sec. 17-45. - Alcoholic beverages.

Sales or service of alcoholic beverages must be in compliance with Chapter 3 of this Code and conducted in compliance with applicable permit issued by the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Commission ("ABC") or its successor agency; a copy of which must be provided to the PFU manager prior to commencement of the event.

Sec. 17-46. - Electrical work.

Applicants may use the City’s active electrical outlets for minimal requirements.  The applicant is responsible for ensuring the proper usage of all electrical services and is responsible for all electrician fees, including fees for servicing or repairing blown electrical services due to use of electrical supply.  

Sec. 17-47. – Tents.

A flame-spread certificate must be obtained from the tent supplier for each tent used at the event. Such certificate(s) must be readily accessible for inspection by city fire department personnel.

Sec. 17-48. - Outdoor food handling and food service area.

Food preparation, service and handlings shall be in conformance with applicable law, including, without limitation, prior procurement of all necessary department of health permits, food service licenses or vendor permits; copies of which shall be provided to the PFU manager prior to the event.  In addition, and without limitation or restriction on the authority of law enforcement, the applicant or permittee shall be solely responsible for observance and enforcement of all laws or requirements concerning alcoholic beverages. 

Sec. 17-49. - Noise.

No loud, excessive or unusual noise is allowed between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. during setup, operation or tear down of an event, unless otherwise approved as part of any permit issued. Failure to comply with a request from the department or police concerning noise may result in the immediate revocation of the PFU permit. Outdoor music must be provided at a volume level that is not distracting to drivers on adjacent or nearby streets and that is otherwise in violation of provisions of the Code or applicable law.

Sec. 17-50. - Signs.

(a)   All signs used in connection with a special event shall comply with all applicable laws.

(b)   Temporary signage complying with applicable law must be designed and constructed such that they do not leave adhesive residue on property when removed.

(c)   Permanent, existing signs on public property may not be removed or covered, unless done so temporarily with prior consent of the PFU manager.

(d)   Placement of directional signage outside of the event area shall be undertaken in coordination with the PFU manager and the Public Works Department.  All signage costs shall be the responsibility of the applicant and payment for any temporary or permanent signage supplied by the city is required in advance of the event.


Sec. 17-51. - Standards for issuance.

The application of a special event parade shall follow the same application process as a special event process in Section 17-31.  The PFU manager shall issue a permit under this article for a special event parade when, from a consideration of the application and from such other information as may otherwise be obtained, the PFU manager finds that:

(1)   The conduct of the special event parade will not substantially interrupt the safe and orderly movement of other traffic contiguous to its route or substantially interrupt the safe and orderly movement of other pedestrians on the sidewalk;

(2)   The conduct of the special event parade will not require the diversion of so great a number of police officers to properly police the line of movement and the areas contiguous thereto as to prevent normal police protection to the city;

(3)   The conduct of such special event parade will not require the diversion of so great a number of ambulances as to prevent normal ambulance service to portions of the city other than that to be occupied by the proposed line of march and areas contiguous thereto;

(4)   The concentration of persons, animals and vehicles at assembly points of the special event parade will not unduly interfere with proper fire and police protection of, or ambulance service to, areas contiguous to such assembly areas;

(5)   The conduct of such special event parade will not interfere with the movement of firefighting equipment en route to a fire;

(6)   The conduct of the special event parade is not reasonably likely to cause injury to persons or property, or create a disturbance endangering the public health, safety or welfare; 

(7)   The special event parade is scheduled to move from its point of origin to its point of termination expeditiously and without unreasonable delays en route; and

(8)   The applicant for a special event parade has the responsibility of coordinating with property owners if the staging prior to the parade event or the dismantling of floats will occur on private property;

Sec. 17-52. - Alternate permit.

The PFU manager, in denying an application for a special event parade permit, shall be empowered to authorize the conduct of the special event parade on a date, at a time or over a route different from that named by the applicant. An applicant desiring to accept an alternate permit shall, within seven days after notice of the action of the PFU manager, file a written notice of acceptance with the PFU manager. An alternate parade permit shall conform to the requirements of and shall have the effect of a special event parade permit under this article.

Sec. 17-53. - Conduct of participants during special event parade.

(a)   Special event parade participants shall not engage in any conduct that may endanger other participants or spectators.

(b)   Special event parade participants will register with the parade chairman, who will present a list of participants and related information to the PFU manager.

Sec. 17-54. - Public conduct during special event parade.

(a)   No person shall unreasonably hamper, obstruct, impede or interfere with any special event parade or parade assembly or with any person, vehicle or animal participating or used in a special event parade.

(b)   No driver of a vehicle shall drive between the vehicles or persons comprising a special event parade when such vehicles or persons are in motion and are conspicuously designated as a special event parade, unless as directed by uniformed law enforcement personnel.

(c)   After review of and at the recommendation of the PFU committee, the PFU manager shall have the authority, when reasonably necessary, to prohibit or restrict the parking of vehicles along any street or highway or part hereof constituting a part of the route of a special event parade. The PFU manager shall have signs posted to such effect and it shall be unlawful for any person to park or leave unattended any vehicle in violation thereof.


PASSED AND APPROVED this 1st day of May, 2017.



                                                                                                                                                 Ruth Penney Bell, Mayor






Heather Soyars, City Clerk






George M. Matteson, City Attorney

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