The Davis Parks and Community Services Department is proposing a new permit policy for organized special events and gatherings held at city parks and greenbelts.
The draft policy states that the use of a greenbelt with 30 or more participants, a neighborhood park with 50 or more participants or a community park event with 100 or more participants [would] require a permit. The policy would not apply to designated picnic areas and athletic fields.
An application fee and deposit are required, and additional fees may apply, depending on staff time needed. The proposed application fee is $25 for co-sponsored groups, $50 for community groups and $100 for all other users. Deposits start at $200 for fewer than 100 people, $400 for 101 to 250 people, $600 for 251 to 500 people and $700 for 501 or more people.
Community services superintendent Michelle Wierschem said the proposal came about because the city has received several requests about events in the past.
“We get quite a few requests to use our parks in an organized way – fundraiser barbeques, weddings and the Fun Run,” she said. “Up until now we have just received requests and [asked questions about them], but the problem is that we haven’t had a policy to lay out to everyone in advance [for] all the considerations they need to think of.”
Known as the Special Events/Use of Parks and Greenbelts Permit Policy, the policy is designed to improve coordination between event organizers and the city and to make sure facilities are well-maintained. The process ensures that all concerns surrounding an event are considered and provides a consistent standard of use.
“The permit system helps us keep better track of what’s going on and helps us address the impact,” said Councilmember Lamar Heystek. “When one group or gathering or event leaves behind an impact, it jeopardizes the ability of others to enjoy the facility.”
In the past, there have been problems with damage to public areas, such as trash. Effects also include impacts on public restrooms, damage to turf and sprinkler heads and parking and neighborhood impacts like noise and traffic.
Wierschem said the permit process would help in situations where a park is not big enough to accommodate the size of an event, which has been an issue in the past.
“Through the permit process, they just fill out a permit at city hall, and it goes around to all the appropriate departments,” Wierschem said. “They get a response if it can be approved, [to inform them of] any conditions, and any information about the event.”
The Davis Recreation and Park Commission is looking for community feedback on the proposal.
Community members can either provide written comments by June 11 to be included in the staff report or attend the Recreation and Park Commission meeting June 19 at 7 p.m. in the East Conference Room of the Davis Joint Unified School District offices, located at 526 B St.
Written comments can be sent to the Community Services Department at 23 Russell Blvd., Davis, CA 95616, by fax at 757-5642 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
For more information, visit cityofdavis.org or contact the Davis Community Services Department at 757-5626.
POOJA KUMAR can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.