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The City of St. Augustine remains committed to providing accessibility to all and provides for handicapped accessible parking in the city. For a map of accessible parking locations, Click Here To notify the city regarding accessibility concerns contact Todd Grant, Public Works Deputy Director, Phn: 904.825.1040, Fax: 904.209.4286, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also write City of St. Augustine, P.O. Box 210, St. Augustine, FL 32085-0210.
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(Note: The term "busker" is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary (online) as: "a person who entertains especially by playing music on the street.")
Draft Plan for St. Augustine Buskers (Street Performers)
The following plan was developed from input by St. Augustine residents, businesses and visitors, internet research of busking regulations of other cities, and guidelines of busking guilds and organizations.
Most cities reflected the previous, uncontrolled, St. Augustine experience. One city—Vancouver—surveyed 42 cities before developing a plan. Its findings:
Many buskers are talented and their performances add life, color and interest to our streets. The entertainment they provide is often an enjoyable experience for the public. However, loud, repetitive and lengthy performances by buskers with limited or questionable talent can be a source of annoyance and distraction to those who live and work nearby; and complainants are unable to get the buskers to leave the area when their level of endurance has been reached.
Some examples of problem situations include:
• An amplified mariachi band playing at the same location for several hours;
• A harmonica player, who only knows one song, playing in front of the same store all day.
Surveys were conducted of 42 other cities and organizations as well as local buskers. The results indicate that the majority of municipalities successfully regulate busking through a permit system and that most buskers support a recognized permit program.
Here is an overview of the survey results:
• 69% of respondents reported they have street entertainers in their city.
• Only 14% of respondents regarded street entertainers as a problem in their cities.
• 60% of respondents did not regard street entertainers as a problem.
The following elements are proposed for debate on a busking ordinance for St. Augustine.
• A busking permit system and visible identification badge display
• A citizen Busker Board to oversee the program
• A paid or volunteer monitor to regulate busking on the streets
• Provision that any business or resident may request no busking near their location
• A busker time limit of one hour at the same location each day
• A rotation of buskers to adjacent historic streets
•"Higher risk" buskers would be required to carry appropriate liability insurance
• A Busker’s Code of Conduct
1. The busking policy of the City of St. Augustine is governed by a Busking Board and regulated on the city’s streets by a monitor.
2. Buskers are required to have a permit issued by the city, which is not transferable, and a badge, which must be displayed by the busker at all times while performing.
3. Permit fees are established to cover costs of administration.
4. Buskers in higher risk performances, as determined by the board, shall be required to carry appropriate liability insurance.
5. Permit issuance may be limited—by judgment of the Board—to avoid congestion in the downtown areas.
6. Any act, including a duo or group, shall require one permit, subject to the Board reserving the right to limit the maximum number of buskers to be included in any one permit.
7. Buskers shall not perform so close to one another as to interfere with the other’s performance.
8. Buskers must locate themselves and their audience where they are not obstructing the flow of pedestrian traffic or any business entrance, and will respect the right of businesses to operate without undue disturbance by entertainment outside their premises.
9. Owners and Occupiers of property in busking areas have the right to decline buskers in their immediate area, in general by written request to the city, or on a daily basis by requesting that the busker move, or by contacting the monitor to move the busker to an alternate location.
10. Buskers shall not occupy any one location for more than one hour in the same day.
11. To enhance the visitor experience throughout the downtown, Buskers agree to alternate, for each period of performance, between St. George Street and other downtown locations. Other locations include Cuna, Hypolita, Treasury, Charlotte, Spanish, Cordova and Aviles Streets, Cathedral Place, Avenida Menendez, the Plaza and the Visitors Information Center.
12. Buskers must abide by all municipal by-laws and all federal and state statutes and regulations while performing.
13. Amplification of performances, the use of drums, recorded or broadcast music is not permitted, except by special permission of the Board.
14. The use of sharp or dangerous objects is prohibited (i.e.: juggling knives, chain saws or flaming objects).
15. Buskers are permitted to encourage donations. However, buskers may not aggressively solicit donations, or sell performance-related or other merchandise.
16. Busking under this policy does not include sales of merchandise or services.
17. Buskers must be of good conduct, character and appearance while performing. Buskers are requested, insofar as feasible, to wear clothing reflecting various periods in the city’s history.
18. Buskers may be restricted during special events in the downtown area. Buskers are expected to respect the space allocated to City-approved special events and to move if requested by the City, the event organizer, or the monitor.
19. The Board reserves the right to refuse to grant, to suspend or to terminate any permit issued with respect to any busker performance in accordance with the provisions of the city code or this policy