07 NCAC 13B .1105          Public Assemblies and Meetings; Special Activity Permit

(a)  Public assemblies, meetings, gatherings, demonstrations, events, religious activities and other public expressions of views (hereinafter "event or activity") protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, including the distribution of non-commercial printed matter, are allowed within State Parks, so long as the requirements of this Section are met.

(b)  Where the number of persons expected to attend or participate in the event or activity is 20 or less, no Special Activity Permit is required.  If more than 20 persons are expected to attend or participate, approval under this Rule is required.  The Park Superintendent or his or her designee shall also determine if a Special Activity Permit is required by groups that have concurrently reserved shelters, lodges or similar meeting places. 

(c)  An application for such a Special Activity Permit shall be made at least 14 days in advance of the event or activity; shall set forth the name, address and phone number of the applicant; the name of the organization (if any); the name, address and phone number of a contact person; the date, time, duration, nature and location of the proposed event or activity; and the estimated number of persons expected to participate; the equipment and facilities to be used; The 14 day time frame shall be waived if the applicant can demonstrate that there will be no adverse effect on park operations, resources or facilities.  Special Activity Permit applications shall be approved or denied within 10 business days.

(d)  The Park Superintendent or his or her designee shall issue a Special Activity Permit on proper application unless:

(1)           A prior application for a permit for the same time and location has been made and has been or will be granted: the activities for a permit for the same time and location has been made and has been or will be granted; and the activities authorized by that permit do not reasonably allow multiple occupancy of that particular location;

(2)           It reasonably appears that the event or activity will threaten the health, safety and welfare of persons using the Park;

(3)           The event or activity is of such nature or duration that it cannot reasonably be accommodated in the particular location applied for, considering such things as damage to Park resources or facilities; impairment of the atmosphere of peace and tranquility in specially protected natural or historic areas; interference with interpretative programs, visitor services or other program activities, or the administrative activities of the Park; or impairment of public use facilities or services of Park concessionaires or contractors; or

(4)           The event or activity would constitute a violation of an applicable law or regulation.

(e)  The permit may contain such conditions as are reasonably consistent with protection and use of the Park for the purposes for which it is operated, including limitations on the time, location, number of participants, use and facilities, and number and types of equipment used, but not on the content or viewpoint of the message. Locations which may not be appropriate for Special Activity Permit events or activities include archaeological and interpretive program areas, historic structures; boat ramps; trails; sensitive or fragile natural areas; campgrounds; designated swimming beaches; scenic overlooks and the habitats of threatened or endangered species.

(f)  No permit shall be issued for a period in excess of 48 hours, and the timing of activities are subject to normal Park operating hours.  Permits may be extended for like periods, upon a new application, unless another applicant has requested use of that same location and multiple occupancy of that location is not reasonably possible.

(g)  If a permit is denied, the applicant shall be so informed in writing, with the reason(s) for the denial set forth.

(h)  Regardless of whether a permit is required, participants in events or activities covered under this Rule:

(1)           Are subject to Park rules or directives;

(2)           Are to adhere to locations specified for their event or activity while partaking in such event or activity;

(3)           Are subject to the usual fees for parking, admission or use;

(4)           Are not to place printed materials on Park signs, infrastructure, natural resources or vehicles;

(5)           Are not to obstruct or impede pedestrians or vehicles, or harass Park visitors with physical contact or persistent demands; and

(6)           Are not to threaten the health, safety and welfare of persons using the Park.

(i)  The Park Superintendent shall designate and maintain information on locations not available for events or activities.  Locations may be designated as not available only if such activities would;

(1)           Cause injury or damage to park resources or facilities;

(2)           Unreasonably impair the atmosphere of peace and tranquility maintained in specially protected natural or historic areas;

(3)           Unreasonably interfere with interpretive programs, visitor services, or other program activities, or with the administrative activities of the Park; or

(4)           Substantially impair the operation of public use facilities or services of Park concessioners or contractors;

(j)  Violation of the terms and conditions of a permit issued in accordance with this Rule shall result in the suspension or revocation of the permit by the Park Superintendent or his or her designee.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 143B-135.16;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. May 1, 2010; October 1, 1984; January 1, 1983;

Transferred from 15A NCAC 12B .1105 Eff. April 1, 2017.