Public Assembly/Event Permitting SOP
To outline the process for an event to be held on public property in accordance with City Code of Ordinances:
- Chapter 46-6, Parks & Recreation: “Permits for public assembly, sale or distribution of printed materials, or use of alcohol beverages.”, and when applicable,
- Chapter 78-187, Special Events and 78-46 Application
This policy applies to all events planned on public property that would be permitted through the Recreation Department as defined in Section 46-6 in the Code of Ordinances “Permits for public assembly, sale or distribution of printed materials, or use of alcohol beverages.”
All events, as defined in Chapter 46-6, are required to have a valid permit issued by the Recreation Department through an application process that is in “accordance with standard operating guidelines”. As defined in Chapter 78-187, City co-sponsored events on City property are “administered and implemented by this SOP” with the Development Review Committee (DRC). Events that are not City co-sponsored, depending on the magnitude, will mirror the DRC review team process. The review team incorporates input from applicable departments including Construction Services, Police, Fire Rescue, Planning and Zoning, Risk Management, Community Services, Neighborhood Services, and Administration. The City requires that any Event Planner follow all prescribed steps/actions as deemed necessary by the review team, including all insurance coverages. The Staff Coordinator, as assigned, is responsible for the application of this SOP and working directly with the Event Planner.
All events will be required to comply with an emergency action plan (EAP) coordinated by the Deputy Leisure Services Administrator (DLSA) with applicable departments (Police, Fire, and others). Safety measures and actions deemed necessary for the safety and security of the event are at the complete discretion of the City.
This SOP is applicable to indoor and outdoor areas but does not include permitting for fields and facilities when utilized as intended. These types of permits are governed by Chapter 46 of the City Code of Ordinances, and the guidelines in the Facility Permitting SOP and the Facility Use Policies and Procedures Manual.
The City will not be responsible for any expenses, damages, loss of income or any other outcome related to the event planned for any reason including weather, cancellation by the City for due cause, or event stoppage by the City for any due cause. Any damage incurred using City facilities, and/or staffing added by the City at any point during the event, is the responsibility of the event planner.
Levels of Permits:
As defined in Chapter 46, permits are issued for either Park Pavilions or Public Assembly (term utilized broadly to encompass that portion of the chapter). Specifically, this SOP governs Public Assembly Events.
Public Assembly Permits
- Level 1 Event Permit – These are routine in nature, generally for invited participants, does not require significant set up or change to the facility, and might have outside vendors. General public attendance is limited, although, spectators of participants might attend. Examples of this type of permit would include annual PBGYAA sport tournaments/opening days, non-City pickleball tournaments, or the Labrador Dog event.
- Level 2 Event Permit – These can be one-day or multi-day events and the public is invited. Limited set up and could include displays and/or tents. An example of this would be the Just Between Friends show hosted in the BRCC Gym or Lululemon Fitness Workout in a park.
- Level 3 Event Permit – These can be one-day or multi-day events and the public is invited. These events exceed the level of planning and coordination of the above events and set-up is more complicated. An example of this type of permit would be a large event or festival held in a park such as Artigras and the Menorah Lighting.
City Co-Sponsored Event Permits
These permits are issued where an approved partnership agreement is executed. In practice, approved partnerships are uncommon and must have a demonstrated significant economic impact and social value to the community
Application Process for Public Assembly Permit:
Permitting follows the guidelines outlined in the most current Public Assembly and Event Permitting on Public Property Handbook. The Event Planner must complete the application for a permit within a reasonable timeframe to be considered by the department:
- 60 days in advance of the date for Level 1 requests, and
- 90 days in advance for Level 2 or 3 requests.
The City reserves the right to deny an application if:
- The application is submitted later than the timeframe above;
- The event creates an undue strain on City resources or causes damage to City assets;
- The event does not demonstrate a community benefit, is illegal or discriminatory in nature;
- The requested date or location is not available or has conflicting activities already planned in that area;
- The event exceeds the capacity of the intended area requested and/or would create a negative impact on the surrounding community;
- Past interaction with the Event Planner has been negative, including lack of disclosure of information, poor treatment of staff and/or facilities, non-payment of fees, or other negative interaction as deemed by the City.
The planning for events takes time. For an Event Planner to begin to secure services and conduct marketing efforts, the approval process will follow:
- Date/Site Hold – Once a fully completed application is reviewed by staff and the Event Planner has responded with details to additional questions asked by the department, a “hold” will be placed in the facility booking system. This is a preliminary date hold and can be revoked by the City as the details of the event become clear.
- Preliminary Approval – Will be given based on initial successful planning meetings with the Event Planner and all fees due at that time are paid. This preliminary approval solidifies the event occurrence except for unforeseen circumstances or non-compliance by the Event Planner with the terms and conditions set during the planning process.
- Approval – Will be issued by the department when all the terms and conditions outlined during the planning process have been met by the Event Planner and the remainder of the fees due at that time are paid.
At any point during the approval process the planning for the event can be stopped by the City, or approval revoked if:
- It is found that the Event Planner did not provide full information about the event and/or misleads staff during the planning process.
- There is non-compliance of the terms and conditions outlined during the planning process.
- Fees are not paid by the Event Planner in a timely manner.
- Natural disaster or circumstance that is out of the control of the City.
- The event is deemed not to be of public benefit.
During and Post Event Process:
Event Planners are expected to follow all directives issued by the City as it relates to the event in progress. This may include but is not limited to direction from Police, Fire/Rescue, Community Services, Recreation, or Administration. Failure to do so may cause the City to close the event. Event Planners are to keep in contact with the designated Staff Event Coordinator frequently during the event, and to apprise them of any changes, issues, or incidents that occur.
A post event review will occur with the Event Planner. Depending on the magnitude of the event, the review team might be assembled for input on an after-action report. During the post event review, the designated department staff person will provide the Event Planner with a summary of any fees due and share insights on the events from the City’s perspective. Additionally, City departments will issue invoices for services rendered. If the event is deemed successful, and a positive working relationship has been established, the Staff Event Coordinator, with approval from the LSA/DLSA, will issue a date/site hold for the next event.