Chapter 8.70


8.70.010    Definitions.

8.70.020    General provisions.

8.70.030    Film permit application.

8.70.040    Review process.

8.70.050    Denial/revocation of film permit.

8.70.060    Permit fees.

8.70.070    Reimbursement and compensation for city services and use of city facilities.

8.70.080    Appeals.

8.70.090    Indemnification and insurance requirements.

8.70.100    Display of film permit.

8.70.110    Administrative regulations.

8.70.120    Penalties.

8.70.010 Definitions.

The following words and phrases, whenever used in this chapter, shall be construed as defined in this chapter:

(1)    "Applicant" means any person who seeks a permit under this chapter for filming activity in the city.

(2)    "City property" means all real property and improvements owned, operated or controlled by the city within the city’s jurisdiction. City property includes, but is not limited to, City Hall, police and fire facilities, recreational facilities, parks, libraries, streets and sidewalks, and public rights-of-way.

(3)    "Film" shall include motion pictures, television shows or programs, commercials, digital media in any medium including film, tape, or digital format.

(4)    "Filming activity" shall mean and include all activity attendant to staging or shooting commercial motion pictures, television shows, or programs, commercials, digital media, still photography in any medium including film, tape, or digital format.

(5)    "News media" shall mean the photographing, filming or videotaping for the purpose of spontaneous, unplanned television news broadcasts ("breaking news") or reporting for print media by reporters, photographers or camerapersons.

(6)    "Permit" means a film permit issued by the city of Menlo Park public works department consistent with the provisions of this chapter.

(7)    "Small operations" shall mean filming activity that: (A) involves fewer than twenty-five (25) persons, (B) does not require the closure of any portion of streets, sidewalks, public passageways, or any public property, and does not create any obstruction to free the passage of pedestrians and vehicles, and complies with all vehicle and pedestrian traffic laws, (C) does not involve the use of aerial vehicles (manned or unmanned) or any vehicles, as defined in the Vehicle Code, during filming, (D) does not involve any pyrotechnics, simulated or actual gunfire, or animals, except for domestic animals and/or service animals that are kept in compliance with applicable leash laws, and (E) does not require use of any city services.

(8)    "Studio" shall mean a fixed place of business certified as such by a local fire authority having jurisdiction where filming activities (motion or still photography) are regularly conducted upon the premises. (Ord. 1091 § 2 (Exh. A), 2022).

8.70.020 General provisions.

(a)    Permit Required. Except as provided by the terms of a permit, lease, or contract which has been specifically authorized by the city council, no person shall use any city property for filming activity without first applying for and receiving a permit from the public works director or designee.

(b)    The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the following:

(1)    News media, including reporters, photographers or camerapersons employed by a newspaper, news service, or similar entity engaged in on-the-spot print media, publishing or broadcasting, of news events concerning those persons, scenes, or occurrences which are in the news and of general public interest; or

(2)    Small operations; or

(3)    Filming activities (motion or still photography) conducted at a studio; or

(4)    Photographers conducting still photography; or

(5)    City-produced government access films. (Ord. 1091 § 2 (Exh. A), 2022).

8.70.030 Film permit application.

(a)    To receive a film permit, an applicant must complete and file an application with the public works director or designee on a form approved by the city manager or designee. The applicant must provide the following information:

(1)    The name of the person, firm, or corporation employing the persons who will be performing in the film; and

(2)    The name of the person(s) who will be responsible for the filming crew on location in the city; and

(3)    The specific location(s) where filming activity will take place, including a logistics plan or map showing the property to be used for the filming activity, including bus zones, no-parking areas, any structures to be installed as part of the filming activity; and

(4)    The specific hours and dates that the filming activity will take place; and

(5)    A description of the character or nature of the proposed filming activities; and

(6)    The exact number of personnel/persons to be involved in the filming activity; and

(7)    A description of any activity which may cause public alarm, such as the use of any animals, gunfire or pyrotechnics, low-flying helicopters and/or unmanned aircraft systems ("UAS"); and

(8)    If unmanned aircraft systems will be used, all applicable documentation (i.e., remote pilot certificate, UAS registration certificate, waivers, detailed flight plan, etc.); and

(9)    The exact type and number of vehicles and equipment to be employed, along with a parking plan sufficient for the vehicles and equipment; and

(10)    The extent to which permission is desired for the obstruction of or interference with normal use of public property to be used; and

(11)    Proof of insurance in an amount of at least two million dollars ($2,000,000) that will remain in effect through the duration of the filming activity in the city; and

(12)    UAS pilots planning to fly under four hundred (400) feet in controlled airspace around airports must receive an airspace authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before they fly.

(b)    The public works director or designee shall review and issue or deny the application within twenty-eight (28) days of receipt of a completed application. (Ord. 1091 § 2 (Exh. A), 2022).

8.70.040 Review process.

(a)    Subject to the criteria for denial set forth in Section 8.70.050, the public works director or designee shall issue a film permit if it is determined that all of the following criteria have been met:

(1)    The preparation for or the conduct of the proposed filming activity will not unreasonably burden city resources necessary, significantly interfere with the provision of governmental services to the public, interfere with the city’s provision of public services to the public, or prohibit access to city property to the public for an extended duration while the property is used for the filming activity; and

(2)    The preparation for or the conduct of the proposed filming activity will not unduly impede, obstruct, or interfere with the operation of emergency vehicles or equipment in or through the particular permit area or adversely affect the city’s ability to perform municipal functions or furnish city services in the vicinity of the permit area; and

(3)    The proposed filming activity does not otherwise present a substantial safety, noise, environmental, or traffic hazard, which cannot be mitigated with the imposition of reasonable traffic control or safety measures.

(b)    In deciding whether to approve an application, no consideration may be given to the message of the event, the content of speech, or the identity or associational relationships of the applicant. (Ord. 1091 § 2 (Exh. A), 2022).

8.70.050 Denial/revocation of film permit.

The public works director or designee may deny any application for a film permit or revoke such a permit if the public works director or designee finds any of the following:

(1)    The applicant has knowingly made a false, misleading or fraudulent statement of fact to the city in the application process; or

(2)    The application does not contain the information required by this chapter; or

(3)    The application does not satisfy the requirements of this chapter; or

(4)    The applicant fails to comply with any conditions of approval including, but not limited to:

(A)    Remittance of fees, charges or deposits; or

(B)    Submittal of an indemnification agreement and/or proof of insurance for the film permit as required by the city; or

(C)    Timely receipt of all required approvals.

(5)    The applicant has damaged city property and has not paid in full for such damage or has other outstanding and unpaid debts related to a prior film permit issued by the city.

(6)    The filming would occur at a location and time in conflict with another event or other activity already permitted or that can be permitted to another applicant that submitted an application first in time.

(7)    The filming activity would be in conflict with applicable provisions of any federal, state and/or local laws. (Ord. 1091 § 2 (Exh. A), 2022).

8.70.060 Permit fees.

Film permit application fees for filming activity pursuant to this chapter shall be established by separate resolution of the city council. (Ord. 1091 § 2 (Exh. A), 2022).

8.70.070 Reimbursement and compensation for city services and use of city facilities.

(a)    The applicant shall reimburse the city for any personnel provided to the applicant (i.e., police, traffic safety) for the purpose of supporting film activities.

(b)    The city shall be compensated for the use of any city property or facilities to the extent that such use constitutes a cost to the public.

(c)    Fees for services, municipal expenses, and rental of facilities may be established by resolution of the city council. (Ord. 1091 § 2 (Exh. A), 2022).

8.70.080 Appeals.

An applicant may appeal the denial or revocation of a permit by providing the city manager or designee written notice of appeal within five (5) days of the denial or revocation. The city manager or designee shall hold a hearing within ten (10) days of the filing of a notice of appeal, at which time the applicant may present any and all evidence, testimony, and information relevant to the city manager’s decision. The city manager or designee, within five (5) days following the appeal hearing, shall issue a decision. The decision of the city manager or designee shall be mailed or delivered to the applicant and shall be final and binding. (Ord. 1091 § 2 (Exh. A), 2022).

8.70.090 Indemnification and insurance requirements.

(a)    Indemnification. Each permittee shall execute a hold harmless agreement in a form approved by the city agreeing to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the city against losses and liabilities incurred from the willful or negligent acts or omissions of the permittee or its officers, employees, and agents.

(b)    Except as otherwise prohibited by law, the permittee shall procure and maintain in full force and effect during the term of the permit a policy of insurance from a reliable insurance company authorized to do business in the state. The policy shall be in an amount of at least two million dollars ($2,000,000) per occurrence and shall be endorsed naming the city, its boards, officers, agents, employees, and volunteers as additional insureds for protection against claims of third persons for personal injuries, wrongful deaths, and property damage. Higher liability limits or separate aerial coverage shall be required for the use of helicopters, aerial equipment, or UAS.

(c)    Workers’ Compensation Insurance. Permittees shall conform to all applicable federal and state requirements for workers’ compensation insurance for all persons operating under a film permit. (Ord. 1091 § 2 (Exh. A), 2022).

8.70.100 Display of film permit.

A copy of the film permit shall be displayed at the filming site and shall be exhibited upon demand of any city official. (Ord. 1091 § 2 (Exh. A), 2022).

8.70.110 Administrative regulations.

The city manager or designee may adopt administrative regulations that are consistent with and that further the terms and requirements set forth within this chapter. All such administrative regulations must be in writing. (Ord. 1091 § 2 (Exh. A), 2022).

8.70.120 Penalties.

Any person who intentionally violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Violations of this chapter may enforced pursuant to any laws and remedies available to the city including but not limited to enforcement as a misdemeanor and/or public nuisance pursuant to Chapters 1.12 and 8.04. (Ord. 1091 § 2 (Exh. A), 2022).