Chapter 11.03


11.03.010    Purpose and Intent.

11.03.020    General Provisions.

11.03.030    Definitions.

11.03.040    Types of Special Event Permits.

11.03.050    Standards and Requirements.

11.03.060    Permit Review Procedures.

11.03.070    City Services Deposits and Damage Reimbursement for Certain Special Events.

11.03.080    Indemnification Agreement.

11.03.090    Revocation of Permit.

11.03.100    Appeals and Calls for Review.

11.03.110    Permits and Fees Not Exclusive.

11.03.120    Interference with Special Events.

11.03.010 Purpose and Intent.

To provide regulations allowing for special events while mitigating impacts on residents, visitors and businesses, maintaining traffic circulation, and ensuring public safety. (Ord. 2004-4 § 1 (part), 2004)

11.03.020 General Provisions.

A.    Permit Required. No person shall conduct, operate, maintain, or organize any special event regulated by this chapter and no person shall allow the use of their premises for such a special event without first obtaining a special event permit in accordance with this chapter and paying the required fee.

B.    Applicability. These regulations shall apply to the following special events:

1.    Outdoor concerts and other entertainment, public or semi-public dance, recreation, or sporting events.

2.    Circuses, carnivals, fairs and festivals.

3.    Swap meets.

4.    Walks, runs, athletic events, bicycle and vehicle races not exempted under subsection (C) of this section.

5.    Organized/sponsored vehicle and boat shows.

6.    Sales events outside the normal sales area of a business, such as sidewalk and parking lot sales and other special promotions.

7.    Auto dealer sales events involving promotional attractions such as barbecues, tents, canopies, special signage, and similar facilities.

8.    Fireworks displays.

9.    Outdoor weddings and picnics with attendance of one hundred fifty (150) or more persons, within guidelines established by City Council Policy B-16.

10.    Assemblies, conferences or meetings in a designated reserved area outdoors, with attendance of one hundred fifty (150) or more persons.

11.    Street fair or craft show on a residential or commercial right-of-way which is likely to obstruct or delay or interfere with normal flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic.

12.    Other events with potential attendance of one hundred fifty (150) or more persons, as determined by the Director, which are not exempted per subsection (C) of this section.

13.    Car washes whereby the public is encouraged/invited to attend.

14.    Parades or motorcades.

15.    Fastening of a vessel pursuant to Section 17.25.010.

C.    Exempt Activities. The following activities are exempt from the provisions of this chapter:

1.    Normal promotional/sale activities conducted within the approved display area of a business establishment as provided for in Title 20.

2.    Commercial filming regulated by Chapter 5.46.

3.    Live entertainment at an established place of business, such as a restaurant or tavern, regulated by Title 20 and Chapter 10.26.

4.    Temporary land uses regulated by Title 20 of this Code.

5.    Yard, garage, or other personal property sales in residential districts regulated by Title 20 of this Code.

6.    Activities or events held or conducted by or on behalf of the City, a public school, or the State conducted on property owned or leased by such entity or its sponsor.

7.    Events conducted by homeowners’ associations on common area property within the association’s boundaries.

8.    Any other special event specifically exempted in this Code from the provisions of this chapter.

9.    Activities or events authorized under a conditional use permit under Title 20. (Ord. 2020-5 § 5, 2020; Ord. 2016-4 § 1, 2016; Ord. 2013-11 §§ 38, 39, 2013; Ord. 2010-10 § 1, 2010; Ord. 2004-4 § 1 (part), 2004)

11.03.030 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, certain terms shall have the meanings set out below:

“Applicant” means any person who seeks a permit under this chapter to operate a special event. For special events on private property the property owner shall be the applicant. For special events on public property, the operator shall be the applicant. An applicant who has received an approved permit under the provisions of this chapter shall also be considered a permit holder.

“Attendance” means the number of attendees anticipated to attend or who participate in a special event, whichever number is greater.

“Attendee” means any person anticipated to attend or participate or who actually does participate in a special event.

“City” means the City of Newport Beach.

“City Council” or “Council” means the City Council of the City of Newport Beach.

“City Manager” means the City Manager of the City of Newport Beach.

“City property” means all real property and improvements owned, operated or controlled by City within the City’s jurisdiction. City property includes, but is not limited to City Hall, police and fire facilities, recreational facilities, parks, beaches, libraries, streets and sidewalks, streetlights and traffic lights.

“Director” means the Recreation and Senior Services Director.

“Level 1, 2, or 3 Permits” means a classification level of permit as determined by the Director, Department Director or Reviewing Director based on factors such as the nature, size, location, and duration of an event.

“Motorcade” means an organized procession containing twenty-five (25) or more vehicles, except funeral processions, upon any public street, sidewalk or alley.

“Operate” means to manage, stage, promote, sponsor or carry on a special event.

“Operator” means the person who manages, stages, promotes, sponsors or carries on a special event.

“Outdoor(s)” means any place other than in a permanent building. Outdoor(s) shall include tents, canopies and temporary structures.

“Parade” means any march or procession consisting of people, animals or vehicles, or combination thereof, except funeral processions, upon any public street, sidewalk or alley, which does not comply with traffic regulations or controls provided in this Code and the California Vehicle Code.

“Person” includes an individual, corporation, partnership, trust, non-profit organization, association, group or other business entity or organization.

“Reviewing Authority” means the person or body authorized under the provisions of this chapter to review and act upon a special event application, i.e. either a specified staff, Department Director or the City Council.

“Special event” means any special event described in Section 11.03.020(B).

“Title 20” or “Zoning Code” means Title 20 of the Newport Beach Municipal Code. (Ord. 2013-11 §§ 40, 41, 2013; Ord. 2004-4 § 1 (part), 2004)

11.03.040 Types of Special Event Permits.

A.    Special Event Permit. Special event permits are for one-time events and for events which may recur but which are scheduled individually.

B.    Bundled Events Permit. Bundled event permits are for multiple events scheduled over a one year time period by one Applicant. The permit may cover one event that recurs during the year or a variety of events similar in nature during the year, such as weddings, anniversaries and birthday parties. Up to twenty (20) events could be scheduled under a single bundled event permit and there is no limit as to the number of bundled event permits one venue can apply for in a given year. (Ord. 2004-4 § 1 (part), 2004)

11.03.050 Standards and Requirements.

A.    Duration of Events. Events lasting more than thirty (30) consecutive days shall be deemed “temporary land uses” and shall be regulated by Title 20 of this Code.

B.    Event Site and Hours of Operation. Special event activities shall be limited to the areas so designated in the permit approval. Special events shall not be conducted between the hours of eleven p.m. and seven a.m. unless the Reviewing Authority determines that other hours of operation will not result in conditions materially detrimental to nearby property owners, residents, or businesses, or to public health or safety.

C.    Other Requirements. In addition to the requirements set out in this section, the Reviewing Authority may also impose conditions of approval relating to use of City beaches, fire protection, traffic, parking, security, dust control, water quality protection of the bay and ocean, noise, temporary structures, signs and banners, outdoor lighting, insurance, and other matters deemed by the Reviewing Authority to be necessary for protection of public health, safety and general welfare.

D.    Use of Fireworks. Any special event, including special events otherwise exempted from the provisions of this chapter under Section 11.03.020(C) that involve the use of fireworks shall require written approval by the City Manager, subject to approval of the Fire Chief and Police Chief.

E.    Overnight Habitation. If a special event requires overnight habitation of the site by security, caretaker, or other personnel, the overnight facilities shall be so identified and approved in the permit. Approval of the facilities by the County Health Officer may also be required. (Ord. 2013-11 § 42, 2013; Ord. 2004-4 § 1 (part), 2004)

11.03.060 Permit Review Procedures.

A.    Reviewing Authority. All Applicants for special events regulated by this chapter shall apply for a permit from the Recreation and Senior Services Director.

B.    Application Filing. Applications for special events shall be made in advance of the start of the special event. Applications shall be submitted to the appropriate Director, not less than the number of days established by resolution of the City Council. The City Council Resolution shall establish time periods for applications to be submitted sufficient to allow for review of completed applications depending upon the number of attendees and impact of the special event on City property.

Late submissions shall constitute grounds for denial. However, if an application is made less than the required time, the Director shall determine if there is sufficient time remaining for proper review of the application under the provisions of this chapter. If the Director determines that there is sufficient time for review, an increased fee shall be charged for late filing, as determined by resolution of the City Council. If the Director determines that there is not sufficient time, the Applicant shall be given the option of rescheduling the special event, or withdrawal of the application, or denial of the application. If the application is withdrawn prior to processing, the Applicant would be given a full refund of fees.

C.    Submission Requirements. Applications for special events shall be completed in their entirety on forms supplied by the Director, and shall include information such as the Applicant, a description of the special event, a site plan or route plan, and any other information deemed necessary by the Reviewing Authority to complete review of the proposal. If the special event is proposed to be operated with, or on behalf of another person different than the Applicant, the application shall include the name, address and telephone number of each person who will operate the special event. Any person who applies for a permit as an authorized agent of the Applicant shall provide written authorization of such agency.

D.    Fee. Applications shall be accompanied by a fee established by resolution of the City Council. The fee shall be established at a rate to cover the City’s actual costs of review and processing of the application and to reimburse the City for all City department service charges the City incurs in connection with or due to the activities under the permit. These costs are for the direct impacts caused by the special event or those in attendance at the special event, not actions of onlookers. Prior to issuance of the permit, the Applicant may be required to submit a cash deposit in an amount sufficient to cover the total City departmental charges estimated to be incurred in connection with the permit. After the special event has concluded, City departments shall submit the final invoices and billings for each department, which shall be totaled into a final invoice and provided to the Applicant, who shall pay any unpaid balance within thirty (30) days of receipt of the invoice. The fee shall be in addition to other fees required by the Code, and shall not be waived.

E.    Review Process. The Director shall review and act on complete permit applications in accordance with the procedures set out below. The Director may refer any application to the City Manager for special review under the procedures set out in subsection G of this section.

1.    Filing. Applications shall undergo initial staff review. Within ten business days of filing, the Director shall cause the Applicant to be notified in writing whether the application is complete. If an application is determined to be incomplete, the notification shall identify those parts of the application that are incomplete and shall indicate the manner in which they can be made complete. The Director may reject the application if the Applicant fails to complete the application after having been notified of the additional information request.

2.    Other Department Review. If the Director determines that there are potential traffic or safety issues associated with a proposed special event, the application shall be referred to the Police and/or Fire Departments for review of such issues and recommended conditions of approval. In addition, the Reviewing Authority may refer the application to any other appropriate staff member or department for review and recommended conditions of approval.

3.    Public Notice. The Director may require a mailed or delivered notice of a proposed special event to property owners if the Director determines, on a case-by-case basis, and that the public interest would be served by such notice. The Director may also require proof of said notice when deemed necessary.

4.    Action by Director. After determination that the application is complete, the Director shall conduct an appropriate investigation, including consultation with other departments and site visits as deemed necessary. The Director shall then approve a special event permit, with or without conditions, unless he or she finds that:

a.    Special review of the proposed special event by the City Manager is required under subsection G of Section 11.03.060;

b.    One or more of the standards of Section 11.03.050 of this chapter are not met;

c.    The special event will cause substantial traffic, safety or health hazards within any area of the City;

d.    The special event will cause excessive noise impacts that will be materially detrimental to the general public, property owners, residents, or businesses near the special event site or route;

e.    The special event is scheduled to occur at a location and time in conflict with another special event scheduled for the same day or weekend and such conflict will create conditions materially detrimental to the general public or to nearby property owners, residents, or businesses, or would adversely impact the City’s ability to provide adequate services;

f.    The special event is proposed to be located in or upon a building or premises which is hazardous to the health or safety of the special event attendees under the standards established by the Uniform Building or Fire Codes;

g.    The time, route, or size of the special event is reasonably likely to substantially interrupt the safe and orderly movement of traffic contiguous to the special event site or route, or disrupt the use of a street at a time when it is usually subject to great traffic congestion; or the special event is not reasonably likely to move from its point of origin to its point of termination in four hours or less;

h.    The concentration of persons, animals and vehicles at the site of the special event, or the assembly and disbanding areas around a special event, is reasonably likely to prevent proper police, fire, or ambulance services to areas contiguous to the special event;

i.    The size of the special event is reasonably likely to require diversion of so great a number of police officers of the City to ensure that participants stay within the boundaries or route of the special event, or to protect participants in the event, as to prevent normal protection to the rest of the City. Nothing herein authorizes denial of a permit because of the need to protect participants from the conduct of others, if reasonable permit conditions can be imposed to allow for adequate protection of special event participants with the number of police officers available to police the special event;

j.    The location of the special event is reasonably likely to substantially interfere with any construction or maintenance work scheduled to take place upon or along the City streets, or a previously granted encroachment permit;

k.    The special event lacks adequate parking for employees and the public attending the proposed event under the applicable standards of Title 20 of this Code, except where the special event is part of an existing legal nonconforming use with respect to parking;

l.    The application is made by an Applicant for a special event where conditions of a previous permit issued to the Applicant were violated, or where any City ordinance, rule or regulation was violated;

m.    The special event is in conflict with applicable provisions of any federal, state and/or local laws;

n.    Information in the application or supplemental information is found to be materially false or misleading;

o.    The special event will have an adverse effect on the health, safety or welfare of the public;

p.    The special event will consist of a parade or motorcade which is proposed to be held for the sole purpose of advertising any product, goods, wares, merchandise, or event, and is designed to be held purely for private profit;

q.    The applicant refuses to agree to abide by and comply with all of the conditions of the special event permit; and

r.    The Chief of Police makes any finding contrary to the findings required to be made for the issuance of a special event permit.

The Director shall approve, conditionally approve, or deny an application on one or more of the grounds specified above. The Director shall act as expeditiously as possible and, in any case: (i) no later than thirty (30) days after the Director received a completed application pursuant to subsection (E)(1) above. If the application is denied or approved on conditions other than those accepted by the Applicant, the Director shall inform the Applicant of the grounds for denial of the application in writing, or the reason for the conditions imposed, simultaneously with notice of the decision, and shall further inform the Applicant of his or her right of appeal.

If the Director relied on information about the special event on other than that contained in the application, the Director shall inform the Applicant of the additional information he or she considered. The Applicant shall be notified of any permit conditions at the time the application is approved and of the Applicant’s right to appeal the permit conditions. If the Director determines that good cause to consider a late application does not exist under Section 11.03.060(B) within seven days of receipt of the late application, the Director shall inform the Applicant of the reason for his or her determination regarding lack of good cause and of the Applicant’s right of appeal. If a Level 1 permit is denied by the Reviewing Director that decision is final.

5.    Conditions of Approval. As conditions for granting a special event permit, the Director may impose reasonable terms and requirements concerning the time and place of the special event; the area and manner of conducting the special event; the maximum number of attendees; the intensity of sound amplification; the protection of the bay and ocean relative to water quality; the regulation of traffic; the number and size of signs and banners; any traffic barricades to be provided by the Applicant; whether alcoholic beverages are allowed; and such other requirements as the Director finds reasonable and necessary for the protection of persons and property.

6.    Permit Issuance. If the permit is approved, the Director shall cause the permit to be issued subject to confirmation that all information and documents required by this chapter have been filed, all required fees, deposits, and sureties have been paid or posted, and all conditions of approval have been provided for.

7.    Applicant Notification. After action on the application, the Director shall cause the Applicant to be notified in writing within five days of the decision. The Applicant may appeal decisions by the Director to the City Manager in accordance with this section.

F.    Appeals to City Manager. Within ten days of the date of written notification of action by the Director, an Applicant for a Level 2 or Level 3 Permit may appeal any denial of the application or any condition of approval to the City Manager. The City Manager shall hear appeals at least ten days following filing of the appeal. The City Manager’s decision on the appeal of a Level 2 Permit shall be final.

G.    Special Review by City Manager. Applications for special events which the Director determines has the potential for greater-than-usual noise, traffic or other impacts on nearby property owners, residents, and businesses, may require special review by the City Manager. The City Manager shall review the application with the Applicant at least ten days following the Director’s decision that the application requires special review.

H.    Appeals or Calls for Review of City Manager Decision. The City Manager’s decision under subsection (F) or (G) of this section shall be rendered within ten (10) days of his or her consideration of the appeal or special review. The City Manager shall approve the application unless he or she makes one (1) or more of the findings for denial set out in subsection (E)(4) of this section, in which case the City Manager may deny the application. In approving a special event permit, the City Manager may impose conditions of approval, as set out in subsection (E)(5) of this section. The City Clerk shall notify the applicant in writing within five days of the City Manager’s decision. The City Manager’s decision on an appeal under subsection (F) of this section for all Level 2 permits shall be final. The City Manager’s decision under subsection (G) of this section and on all Level 3 permits may be appealed or called for review pursuant to Section 11.03.100. (Ord. 2015-9 § 15, 2015; Ord. 2013-11 §§ 43—46, 2013; Ord. 2004-4 § 1 (part), 2004)

11.03.070 City Services Deposits and Damage Reimbursement for Certain Special Events.

A.    City Services Deposit. The Applicant or Operator of the special event involving the sale of food or beverages, erection of structures, participation of horses or other large animals, use of water aid stations or other events for which the need for cleanup is likely, shall be required to provide a City services deposit prior to the issuance of a special event permit. The City services deposit and cleanup plan shall be in the amount established in a deposit fee schedule for special events adopted by Resolution of the City Council.

B.    Refund. The City services deposit shall be refunded after the special event when in the opinion of the Director the area used for the permitted special event has been fully cleaned and restored to the same condition as existed prior to the special event. If the actual cost for cleanup is less than the estimated cost, the Applicant will be refunded the difference.

C.    If City property is damaged or destroyed by reason of the operator’s use, special event or activity, the applicant or operator shall reimburse City for the actual cost of replacement or repair of the damaged or destroyed property. All such costs shall be included into the invoice referenced above, unless an accurate cost for replacement or repair of one or more items of City property cannot then be ascertained, in which case, City may bill the applicant or operator when such information becomes available.

D.    Appeals. If the applicant or operator disputes the cleanup charge, he or she may appeal to the Director within five days after receipt of the cleanup bill. The decision of the Director shall be final. (Ord. 2004-4 § 1 (part), 2004)

11.03.080 Indemnification Agreement.

Prior to the issuance of a special event permit, the applicant must sign an indemnification agreement to reimburse City for any costs incurred to repair damage to City property occurring in connection with the permitted special event and proximately caused by the acts or omissions of the operator, its officers, employees, or agents, or any person who was under the applicant’s or operator’s control insofar as permitted by law. The indemnification agreement shall also provide that the applicant shall defend the City against, and indemnify and hold the City harmless from, any liability resulting from any damage or injury occurring in connection with the special event proximately caused by the acts or omissions of the applicant, its officers, employees or agents, or any person who was under the applicant’s control insofar as permitted by law.

For purposes of this section, a person who merely is an attendee of the special event is not considered, by reason of attendance or participation alone, to be “under the control” of the applicant. (Ord. 2004-4 § 1 (part), 2004)

11.03.090 Revocation of Permit.

A.    The City Manager may revoke any special event permit issued pursuant to this chapter after written notice to the permit holder for any of the following causes:

1.    Failure to Comply. The permit holder fails, neglects or refuses to fulfill any of the provisions of the permit or its conditions of approval;

2.    Misrepresentation. The permit holder has made a material misrepresentation in the application or any other document required pursuant to this chapter;

3.    Violation of Law. The permit holder has violated state, federal or local laws or regulations in his or her conduct of the special event;

B.    Revocation shall become effective at the date and time ordered by the City Manager. (Ord. 2004-4 § 1 (part), 2004)

11.03.100 Appeals and Calls for Review.

If an applicant is aggrieved by any decision of the City Manager under this chapter, the applicant may appeal to the City Council by filing with the City Clerk a statement addressed to the City Council setting forth the facts and circumstances regarding the City Manager’s decision and the basis for the appeal. The appeal shall be accompanied by a fee as established by resolution of the City Council. A member of the City Council, in their official capacity, may call for review any action of the City Manager under this chapter for the purpose of bringing the matter in front of the entire body for review. A call for review is exempt from the payment of a fee and shall be filed with the City Clerk on a form provided by the Clerk. The City Clerk shall provide written notification of the time and place set for hearing the appeal or call for review. The City Council at its next regular meeting held not less than ten (10) days from the date on which the appeal or call for review was filed with the City Clerk shall hear the appeal or call for review and all relevant evidence. The City Council may sustain, overrule or modify the action of the City Manager, and decision of the City Council shall be final.

The right to appeal or call an item for review shall terminate upon the expiration of ten (10) days following personal delivery to the applicant or the deposit of a letter in the United States mail advising the applicant of the action of the City Manager. (Ord. 2015-9 § 16, 2015: Ord. 2004-4 § 1 (part), 2004)

11.03.110 Permits and Fees Not Exclusive.

Charges, fees and permits required by this chapter shall be in addition to any license, permit or fee required under any other chapter of this code, and may not be waived unless with the expressed written permission of the City Manager when deemed that given the nature of the event, it would be appropriate for the City to be a co-sponsor of the event; thereby, waiving a portion or all related fees. (Ord. 2004-4 § 1 (part), 2004)

11.03.120 Interference with Special Events.

A.    No person shall knowingly violate any of the terms of a special event permit.

B.    No person shall knowingly join, interfere with or participate in any permitted special event without the consent, and over the objection of, the special event permittee. (Ord. 2013-11 § 47, 2013)