Chapter 14.50


14.50.010    Title.

14.50.020    Purpose.

14.50.030    Territorial application.

14.50.040    Policy.

14.50.050    Intent.

14.50.060    Definitions.

14.50.070    Special events committee – Membership.

14.50.080    Powers of the special events committee.

14.50.085    Exemption to noise control code.

14.50.090    Application and processing of permits and post event evaluation.

14.50.100    Decision.

14.50.110    Conditions authorized and additional permits.

14.50.120    Permit fee and charges.

14.50.130    Hold harmless.

14.50.140    Insurance requirements.

14.50.150    Adoption of procedures.

14.50.160    Liability.

14.50.170    Violation.

14.50.180    Review of the special events code.

14.50.010 Title.

This chapter shall be known as the special events code. It is referred to herein as the “code.” (Ord. 4622 § 1, 1993.)

14.50.020 Purpose.

It is the purpose of this code to provide for the issuance of special event permits to regulate events on the public streets and public property of the city in the interest of public health, safety and welfare; and to provide for fees, charges and procedures required to administer the permit process. (Ord. 4622 § 1, 1993.)

14.50.030 Territorial application.

This code and the procedures adopted hereunder shall be in effect throughout the city. (Ord. 4622 § 1, 1993.)

14.50.040 Policy.

It is the policy of the city, as implemented through this code and any procedures adopted hereunder, to recognize the substantial community benefits that result from special events. These events provide cultural enrichment, promote economic vitality, and enhance community identity and pride. They also may provide opportunities for family activities and funding for our community’s nonprofit agencies. Partnerships between the city, event sponsors and the community are valuable in ensuring successful events. Therefore, the city will strive to accommodate special events. The city recognizes that events can be difficult to implement successfully and that the city requirements may represent a significant portion of an event’s costs. When setting fees and conditions for events, the city will be sensitive to their impacts on the event’s costs while balancing the city’s obligation to protect public health and safety. It is the city’s goal to have successful special events that enrich and enliven the community.

It is the policy of the city that events be staged in various areas in Bellevue (Downtown, Eastgate, Crossroads, Wilburton Hill, Newport Hills, and Factoria) when feasible, thus encouraging the participation by a greater number of Bellevue citizens. The city also recognizes that certain events are site-specific; therefore flexibility is important when determining event locations. (Ord. 4991 § 2, 1997; Ord. 4622 § 1, 1993.)

14.50.050 Intent.

It is the specific intent of this code and any procedures adopted hereunder to place the obligation of complying with the requirements of this code upon the applicant or sponsor, and no provision hereof is intended to impose any duty upon the city or any of its officers, employees or agents. Nothing contained in this code or any procedures adopted hereunder is intended to be or shall be construed to create or form the basis for liability on the part of the city, or its officers, employees or agents, for any injury or damage resulting from the failure of the applicant or sponsor to comply with the provisions hereof. (Ord. 4622 § 1, 1993.)

14.50.060 Definitions.

The following words and phrases when used in this chapter shall mean:

“Annual event” means an event recurring each year at approximately the same date which has previously complied with the permit requirements of this code.

“Applicant” means the authorized agent of the sponsor who completes the application and acts as primary contact for the special event.

“Closed route” means a route along or across a public right-of-way on which nonemergency vehicle traffic is not permitted to proceed for the entire duration of a special event.

“Event participants” means a person in attendance at an event, including spectators, vendors, event staff, city staff, and all others present for the purpose of the event.

“Fair/carnival” means a stationary event, held for one or more days.

“Notice of intent” means a notice to stage a special event submitted by an applicant which informs the city of a proposed event.

“Parade” means any organized group marching or in procession, whether on foot, animal, or vehicle.

“Procedure” means a procedure adopted by the special events committee, to implement this code, or to carry out other responsibilities as may be required by this code or by other codes, ordinances, or resolutions of the city or other agencies.

“Race/run” means an organized event upon a public street, sidewalk, or trail in which 10 or more persons participate by walking, running, riding a bicycle, or operating a wheelchair.

“Right-of-way use permit” means a permit issued pursuant to the Right-of-Way Use Code Chapter 14.30 BCC.

“Rolling closure route” means a street, sidewalk, trail, walkway, or other right-of-way closure to accommodate an event, where as the event passes, the right-of-way is reopened for use by the general public.

“Special event” means a sponsored event held on the public streets, sidewalks, walkways, or on other publicly owned property which interferes with normal vehicular or pedestrian traffic and requires the use of city services.

“Sponsor” means the person or group responsible for the special event to be held.

“Temporary special events license” means the license required under Chapter 5.12 BCC.

“Temporary use permit” means a permit issued pursuant to Chapter 20.30 LUC.

“Transportation management/parking plan” means a plan developed by the applicant/sponsor to identify and mitigate traffic/parking impacts, conditions, and proposed solutions associated with a special event (includes transportation demand management measures). (Ord. 4714 § 1, 1994; Ord. 4622 § 1, 1993.)

14.50.070 Special events committee – Membership.

There is created hereby a special events committee to carry out the provisions of this code. In order to assure working representation from all appropriate segments of the community and to provide effective deliberation and stakeholder approval of all impacting events, the special events committee shall consist of the following members:

A. One representative each from the police, fire, parks, development services, and transportation departments.

B. A representative from Metro Transit.

C. A representative from the downtown business district.

D. Three business representatives appointed by the city council, one to represent the area west of I-405 and north of I-90, one to represent the area east of I-405 and north of I-90, and one to represent the area south of I-90.

E. Four neighborhood representatives appointed by the city council, two to represent the area west of I-405 and north of I-90, one to represent the area east of I-405 and north of I-90, and one to represent the area south of I-90.

F. Two event promoter representatives appointed by the city council, one to represent volunteer promoters and one to represent paid promoters.

G. The chair of the committee shall be from the lead department. The chair shall provide for maintaining committee records, arranging meeting times and places and issuing permits on behalf of the committee. (Ord. 5821 § 18, 2008; Ord. 5516 § 1, 2004; Ord. 4991 § 1, 1997; Ord. 4622 § 1, 1993.)

14.50.080 Powers of the special events committee.

The special events committee shall have the power to:

A. Interpret and administer this code;

B. Represent the city, under the authority of the city manager, in discussions and in maintaining agreements with the person(s) who represents the event;

C. Coordinate with city departments and with other government agencies for the provision of governmental services for such special events;

D. Establish terms and conditions, appropriate fees, and the time(s), place and manner of the event;

E. Approve or deny special events permits;

F. Adopt policies and procedures for administering this code as necessary; and

G. Recommend to the city manager or his/her designee whether to grant an exemption to the noise control code under BCC 9.18.020(A)(13). The special events committee shall make such recommendation to the city manager or his/her designee based on the criteria set forth in BCC 14.50.085. (Ord. 5722 § 1, 2007; Ord. 4622 § 1, 1993.)

14.50.085 Exemption to the noise control code.

A. Upon recommendation by the special events committee, the city manager or his or her designee will grant or grant with conditions an exemption to the noise control code pursuant to BCC 9.18.020(A)(13) if the use of the sound amplification equipment:

1. Will not constitute a public nuisance;

2. Will not endanger the public health or safety;

3. Will not endanger public property; and

4. Is associated with an event that is open to the general public.

B. Violations of permits issued pursuant to this section shall be considered a civil noise infraction enforced as set forth in Chapter 9.18 BCC. (Ord. 5722 § 2, 2007.)

14.50.090 Application and processing of permits and post event evaluation.

A special events permit must be obtained from the city to stage a special event. (If a proposed use or event would require both a right-of-way use permit under Chapter 14.30 BCC and a special events permit under this chapter, then the application will be processed under this chapter and a right-of-way use permit under Chapter 14.30 BCC will not be required.) The following procedure applies:

A. A notice of intent must be submitted to the city by the special event applicant/sponsor, listing location/route, date, and time. The notice of intent must be filed at least 90 days prior to the date of the proposed event to allow adequate review time, provided this requirement shall not apply to a special event which is sponsored or cosponsored by the city. A notice of intent for annual events must be submitted by January 15th of the year in which the event is to be held and will be processed within 60 days. First time events will be encouraged to list several options for location, route, date, and time.

B. The special events committee shall review the notice of intent and determine if the event can be accommodated. The committee shall meet with the applicant/sponsor to prioritize locations/routes. Applicant is required to provide to the committee a complete package of information on the proposed event, including a tentative site plan and activities involved with the event.

C. A notice of pending decision on first time or significantly changed events must be mailed by the city to affected businesses/residents (to be determined on a case-by-case basis by the special events committee) along with a request for written comments.

D. The special events committee shall meet with the applicant/sponsor to discuss comments received and possible conditions and fees.

E. After knowing possible conditions/fees the applicant must apply for a formal special event permit and pay an application fee in accordance with BCC 14.50.120.

F. The special events committee shall make a decision on the application and set any conditions and fees, in accordance with BCC 14.50.110 and 14.50.120, and upon payment issue the permit.

G. The special events committee shall notify the city council of approval of events.

H. The applicant/sponsor must provide notification to the affected area (to be determined on a case-by-case basis by the special events committee) regarding approval of the event, date(s), time(s), and location/route, to take place 15 days prior to event.

I. A post event evaluation shall be conducted by the special events committee. The evaluation may include a survey of affected residents/businesses and a meeting with the applicant/sponsor and the special events committee. (Ord. 4714 § 2, 1994; Ord. 4655 § 1, 1994; Ord. 4622 § 1, 1993.)

14.50.100 Decision.

In deciding whether to approve, approve with conditions, or deny a permit, the special events committee shall determine whether:

A. The event, as proposed, can be shown to function safely;

B. The diversion of police and fire resources to support the event will not deny reasonable police and fire protection to the city;

C. The special event will not cause unreconcilable interference with previously approved and/or scheduled construction, maintenance or other activities;

D. The special event sponsor/applicant provides a transportation management/parking plan for traffic control/parking management which may include accommodating transportation demand management measures;

E. The location/route meets the criteria established in the procedures. (Ord. 4622 § 1, 1993.)

14.50.110 Conditions authorized and additional permits.

A. The special events committee may include in a special event permit, among other provisions, reasonable terms or conditions as to the time, place and manner of the event; compliance with health and sanitary regulations, emergency services, and security. Additional permits may be required to meet the conditions established by the permit, and/or other city codes.

B. In order to accommodate other concurrent events, the rights of abutting owners and the needs of the public to use streets or parks, the conditions may include, but not be limited to, reasonable adjustments in the date, time, route or location of the proposed event; accommodations of pedestrian or vehicular traffic using the street; and limitations on the duration of the event. (Ord. 4622 § 1, 1993.)

14.50.120 Permit fee and charges.

A. Permit fees and charges are based on a flat fee schedule depending on the type of event and duration/participation level.

B. Application Fee. Thirty-five dollars to cover permit processing (nonrefundable).

Fee Schedule

Type of Event


Fun run/bike race (rolling closure)


Race/parade (closed course)


Less than or equal to 3 hours per day


Greater than 3 hours per day




(Daily participation over entirety of event)


Less than 5,000 event participants


5,000 – 25,000 event participants


25,001 – 50,000 event participants


Greater than 50,001 event participants


The fees above will be increased or decreased effective January 1st of each year (beginning January 1, 1996) to reflect the current published annual change in the Seattle Consumer Price Index for wage earners and clerical workers.

Additional fees may include park department user fees. Fees associated with permit conditions (i.e. electrical, security, fire, etc.) are in addition to the above fee schedule and are the sole responsibility of the applicant/sponsor.

Temporary special event license fees paid to the city will be deducted from the above fee schedule. In the event that the temporary special event license fees exceed the fee for the special event permit, no credit will be given and the higher fee will be charged.

C. When Payable. A $35.00 application fee is required when the applicant/sponsor files the application. Fees assessed from the fee schedule are payable 30 days prior to the event taking place.

If the applicant/sponsor is anticipating paying a temporary special events license fee, a $2,000 deposit shall be required 30 days prior to the event, and balance shall be required 30 days after the event has taken place and final assessments of fee are determined.

D. Refund. Fees charged from the fee schedule are refundable (minus the $35.00 application fee), if the special event is canceled after the permit is issued, and written notice is received by the special events committee 30 days prior to the date of the event.

A sponsor which is financially unable to pay all or a portion of the permit fees and charges under this section may apply to the special events committee for a waiver of such fees and charges. The sponsor may be required to provide such financial information, including information as to income and assets, as to enable the committee to determine if the sponsor is, in fact, unable to pay such fees and charges. The committee may waive such fees and charges as it determines a sponsor is financially unable to pay. (Ord. 4714 § 3, 1994; Ord. 4622 § 1, 1993.)

14.50.130 Hold harmless.

As a condition to the issuance of any permit under this chapter, the applicant shall agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless the city, its officers, employees and agents, for any and all suits, claims or liabilities caused by, or arising out of any use authorized by any such permit. (Ord. 4622 § 1, 1993.)

14.50.140 Insurance requirements.

The applicant shall provide general liability insurance naming the city as an additional insured. Limits of coverage will be determined by the city’s risk manager at the time of application. Certificates of insurance are to be submitted to the city for approval 14 working days prior to the day of the event. Acceptability of insurance is subject to approval by the city’s risk manager. (Ord. 4622 § 1, 1993.)

14.50.150 Adoption of procedures.

The city may prepare and adopt procedures for the purpose of implementing this code or to carry out other responsibilities as may be required by this code or other codes, ordinances of the city or other agencies. Such procedures do not require approval by the city council. (Ord. 4622 § 1, 1993.)

14.50.160 Liability.

The city and employees charged with enforcement and administration of this code, acting for the city in good faith and without malice in the discharge of their duties shall not thereby render themselves liable personally for any damages which may accrue to persons or property as a result of any act required by or by reason of any act or omission in the discharge of such duties. (Ord. 4622 § 1, 1993.)

14.50.170 Violation.

Any person violating any provision of this code is guilty of a civil infraction, Chapter 1.18 BCC. (Ord. 4622 § 1, 1993.)

14.50.180 Review of the special events code.

A review of the code will take place every two years, with fee schedules being adjusted to meet city costs for services. (Ord. 4622 § 1, 1993.)