Cedartown OKs new film ordinance
A crucial instrument in Cedartown’s toolbox for working with the film industry is now in place after Commissioners gave their approval to new language governing how productions are handled within the city limits.
Cedartown commissioners gave unanimous approval during their April session to implement revised language into the city’s code for how film companies will apply for use of city spaces — such as streets and sidewalks, for instance — to complete productions large and small.
Additionally, a new registration form is now in place as well, along with a schedule of fees for the use of certain services, such as police for traffic control or water for special effects, such as creating rain.
The film ordinance is the first within the county to be implemented and came about through Cedartown’s experience with past productions, completed on a project-by-project basis.
Now after the work of months, clear guidelines are in place for what the city will expect from companies seeking to use the city for a setting, along with governing the use of private property as well.
Specifically, Section 22-382 of the new ordinance will now require that anyone who is conducting filming on public or private property for commercial purposes — such as a movie, television show or even music video — now must obtain a permit from the city, along with any required by the International Fire Code or other provisions within the city code, either current or future.
When approved, a location agreement will be drafted with the city, and will govern the use specifically of city property. Those seeking to use private property will have to draft individual agreements with those owners.
Following the city commission’s decision to move forward with the “Brooklyn” project being proposed by Peachy Clean Productions, the new rules will go into effect that an application to film needs to be sought, with a three-page form drafted seeking information from applicants before given approval.
A request must be put in no less than five days before filming, but no more than 180 days before a production seeks to come to town.
Permits won’t be required by news media, for personal or family videos, indoor studio film productions, student film productions or anything considered low-impact, such as any videos being made that have a crew of 10 or less, takes three or fewer days, and is entirely conducted on private property without the use of city resources.
Fees are also established in the ordinance, with a base permit costing $100 per day, with an additional $200 a day charged for any need for road closures.
Any additional police fees are separate and require contact with the Cedartown Police Department individually on a case-by-case basis to determine staffing needs for any law enforcement use.
The city also is charging daily use for facilities being used. General fees are $500 for say renting out a city-owned prop- erty generally, and an additional $1,000 per day for the auditorium.
A $1 million liability insurance policy is required for large productions as well to be certified by the city before filming can occur, as well as other agreements for legal purposes to be completed before any production can move forward.
The city will also require a security deposit for some productions who might have higher impact on the city for cleanup purposes after if everything isn’t restored to the way it was before.
City manager Bill Fann said in November 2017 that it was an ongoing process of learning what works and doesn’t, and said that policy would continue for Cedartown’s new ordinance as well before the commission gave it final approval.