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Posted on: April 2, 2018

City's Special Event Regulations have been Amended

Ordinance 1385 Amended the City's Special Event Regulations: 

WHAT WAS AMENDED?

Gig Harbor Municipal Code Chapter 5.28 ‘Special Events’ has been amended by Ordinance 1385.

WHY WAS THE CODE AMENDED?

The Parks Commission was asked to review the City’s Special Event Code (GHMC 5.28) by the City Council in direct response to public complaints regarding unpermitted events occurring within the City’s parks.  The unpermitted events disrupted normal park usage, negatively impacted park maintenance.

The City’s Comprehensive Plan (Strategic Plan for the City) addresses the importance of publically owned spaces being available for public use and uses in The Harbor Chapter Policy 3.5.4:

“Maintain that publically owned parks are available for public use and uses that provide the greatest public benefit of citizens and visitors alike” (Comprehensive Plan, page 3-5). 

Additionally, the City’s Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan furthers the need for the code changes through Policy ‘Park Design Standards C”:

“Define and enforce rules and regulations concerning park activities and operations that will protect user groups, department personnel, and the general public-at-large” (PROS Plan, page 90).

It is incumbent for the City to ensure its citizens have access and enjoyment of the lands they own.  Unpermitted and/or excessive special events not only prevent “normal and regular park usage” by tax payers, they create additionally/unfunded maintenance issues. 

The amendments to Chapter 5.28 address the above issues. 

WHAT ARE THE PRIMARY CHANGES?

- “Special Event” is further defined and clarified.

- “Special Expressive Event” is added to address events related to the First Amendment.

- Code is clarified as to when a permit is required.

- Traffic control and road closures are further explained and defined.

- Smoking (including vaping) is not allowed at Special Events.

- Enhanced restrictions on Special Events at Skansie Brothers, Ancich and Eddon Boat Parks are included. 

WHEN WAS THIS CODE AMENDED?

The code was amended on March 26, 2018.

WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW? 

Public parks are available to the general public at all times (except during prohibited hours).  This includes during Special Events.  Having a Special Event permit DOES NOT preclude the general public from attending your event.  

WHEN WILL NEW SPECIAL EVENT FORMS BE AVAILABLE?

New Special Event Permits and Forms will be available the week of April 16, 2018. 

WHO SHOULD I CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION?

City of Gig Harbor Public Works Department (253) 851-6170

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