Town ordinance causes confusion over dealer's fundraiser

Publish Date: 
Aug 16, 2012

NORTH HAMPTON, N.H. – A recently passed town ordinance is creating confusion for a powersports dealer who’s trying to hold a charity benefit.

Seacoast Motorcycles is planning a Sept. 1 fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and the Sarah Fox Memorial Fund to honor the Portsmouth firefighter who lost her life to cancer last year.

But the event is supposed to include a band, and some local officials say that triggers the new ordinance, which requires organized events that are held "for the purpose of entertainment, games, shows or exhibitions at which 150 people or more may reasonably be expected to be present," to apply for a permit. The ordinance calls for a fine not to exceed $1,000 for holding an event without a permit, according to the Hampton Union.

The town’s Select Board earlier issued a permit for an event of similar size to another organization, but has denied a permit to Seacoast. However, selectmen suggested at a Monday meeting that Seacoast hold the event anyway, and that they would impose a $1 fine for violating the ordinance.

Town Administrator Steve Fournier warned that they could not set a fine until police issue a citation, so what will happen if the fundraiser goes on remains unclear.

Posted by Holly Wagner