Chapter 18A.40


18A.40.005    Purpose.

18A.40.010    Applicability.

18A.40.020    Exemptions.

18A.40.040    Application and Approval.

18A.40.050    Event Announcement.

18A.40.060    Review Required.

18A.40.070    Operation Standards.

18A.40.080    Outdoor Music Festivals.

18A.40.090    Aquatic Events.

18A.40.100    Insurance.

18A.40.110    Compliance.

18A.40.005 Purpose.

This Chapter provides regulations for the permitting of temporary events to insure an adequate level of safety and compatibility while accommodating events that serve to enhance our quality of life. Examples of events include, but are not limited to, fairs, concerts, tourism at farms, movies, dances, races, regattas, parades, runs, walks, festivals, sporting events, street fairs, arts and crafts shows, carnivals, circuses or similar transient amusement or recreational activities, rallies, and rodeos. (Ord. 2013-85 § 1 (part), 2013; Ord. 2013-30s2 § 5 (part), 2013)

18A.40.010 Applicability.

This Chapter shall apply to the following:

A.    Temporary events where the activity is not designated or intended as a permanent use, and the event is expected to result in any one or more of the following effects:

1.    Gathering of 150 persons or more at any one time.

2.    Disruption of the ordinary and normal use of a public facility or public right-of-way.

3.    Requires increased public service above what would be normally required in the absence of the event including, but not limited to, fire, police, traffic control, and crowd control measures.

B.    Outdoor Music Festivals. Outdoor entertainment, amusement and/or assembly, which attracts, or it is reasonably anticipated will attract, 1,000 or more persons, in which the presentation of outdoor, live or recorded musical entertainment is or is anticipated to be a major activity is subject to additional regulations set forth in PCC 18A.40.080.

C.    Aquatic Events. Events on water shall also be subject to the regulations set forth in PCC 18A.40.090.

(Ord. 2014-42 § 2 (part), 2014; Ord. 2013-85 § 1 (part), 2013; Ord. 2013-30s2 § 5 (part), 2013)

18A.40.020 Exemptions.

This Chapter shall not apply to the following:

A.    Funeral processions.

B.    Groups required by law to be so assembled.

C.    Assembly of persons or event on school or public park grounds.

D.    Established permanent places of worship.

E.    Other activities and events deemed by the Director to be exempt.

(Ord. 2013-85 § 1 (part), 2013; Ord. 2013-30s2 § 5 (part), 2013)

18A.40.040 Application and Approval.

A.    Approval Required.

1.    An event may not operate until an event approval has been issued as provided in this Chapter.

2.    An event approval shall not be issued to any person under 18 years of age.

3.    An event approval shall not be transferable or assignable without the consent of the Director.

B.    Application.

1.    Event permit applications shall be submitted to Planning and Public Works (PPW) 90 or more days prior to the first day of the event for which the application pertains.

2.    The County may accept one event application spanning a series of periodic dates for events such as outdoor concert series or farmer/art markets that have identical event set-up and dismantle times, site plans, and service providers.

3.    If event plans vary significantly from day-to-day or have multiple distinct event types (e.g., a parade with a separate festival) that may be best managed as separate events, the County may require separate applications for the specific event types.

4.    An event or events that take place more often than 90 total calendar days per year per project site shall not be considered a temporary use and shall be considered a principal use subject to all applicable regulations for such principal use.

C.    Approval Issuance.

1.    Subsequent to the filing of an application, the County shall, without unreasonable delay, approve or deny an application.

2.    The Director shall have the authority to impose conditions upon the approval that promote public safety and are consistent with the purposes of this Chapter.

3.    If the application is denied, the Director shall inform the applicant of the grounds for denial.

D.    Modification of Approval. The Director may modify an approval by imposing additional conditions, or by modifying or removing existing conditions, as necessary to promote public safety and accomplish the purposes of this Chapter.

E.    Duration of Approval. Approvals are valid for the duration of the event(s), as specified in the approval.

(Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2013-85 § 1 (part), 2013; Ord. 2013-30s2 § 5 (part), 2013)

18A.40.050 Event Announcement.

A.    The applicant may be required to provide event information to nearby residents and businesses. The announcement shall be provided at least seven days prior to the event, and at a minimum, shall include the following information:

1.    Date and time of event;

2.    Type of activities to be held at the event; and

3.    Mobile number that is staffed by an event representative throughout the event set-up, event duration, and dismantle.

B.    The event approval shall, at all times, be kept posted in a conspicuous place where the event is being conducted.

(Ord. 2013-85 § 1 (part), 2013; Ord. 2013-30s2 § 5 (part), 2013)

18A.40.060 Review Required.

Event applications may be reviewed by the following departments, and may be reviewed by others as deemed appropriate by the Director:

A.    Pierce County Planning and Public Works. Planning and Public Works is responsible for processing all event applications, reviewing applications for compliance with the submittal standards for structures and membranes, and shall determine if adequate parking, ingress and egress facilities are provided. Additionally, each application to hold a parade, motorcade, run, or assembly within the public right-of-way shall be reviewed by the Planning and Public Works Department.

B.    Pierce County Fire Prevention Bureau.

1.    Written approval of the County Fire Marshal is required, indicating that reasonable access will be available at all times during the operation of the event for transporting fire and emergency equipment to the site, and to other persons and properties in the vicinity of the proposed event.

2.    All events must comply with the applicable provisions of the Pierce County Fire Code, Chapter 15.12 PCC, as enacted or thereafter amended.

3.    Each event operating amusement rides shall provide to the Fire Marshal certification that all rides have been inspected for safety by a recognized safety inspection program approved by the current liability insurance carrier. Safety inspections shall be made annually and each ride which passes the safety inspection shall be stamped for proper documentation.

4.    The Pierce County Fire Marshal is authorized to inspect all event venues and equipment for compliance with all applicable Uniform Fire Code requirements, and may also inspect for amusement ride safety certification, electrical inspection certification, and daily amusement ride inspection reports.

C.    Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD).

1.    The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department reviews the application for compliance with applicable regulations pertaining to environmental health.

2.    The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, or its equivalent, may inspect all event premises and all applicable equipment for compliance with all applicable health regulations.

D.    Pierce County Finance Department. The Department of Finance reviews event applications to ensure that adequate insurance is provided.

E.    Pierce County Sheriff.

1.    The Sheriff determines if adequate traffic control and crowd protection policing have been contracted for by the applicant.

2.    In the event it becomes necessary to secure the services of a deputy sheriff to properly enforce the provisions of this Chapter or to maintain order at an event, all expense for such services shall be borne by the applicant and it is the applicant's duty to secure the service of such officer or officers as are necessary to preserve order.

3.    If alcoholic beverages will be furnished and/or sold at the event, a permit from the Washington State Department of Liquor Control is required in addition to an event approval. The County Sheriff and State representatives will review the event plans and alcohol management strategies before the license is approved. If the event will take place on public park land; within a county-owned facility; or other county managed property, a letter of authorization to serve alcohol from an authorized representative of the managing County department shall be provided. Both the Sheriff and managing County department may place restrictions on the way in which alcohol is managed at the event.

4.    All grounds and any building, room or other structure wherein the event is held shall at all times be open to inspection by the Sheriff, his deputies, or any other government official(s).

(Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2015-25s § 2 (part), 2015; Ord. 2013-85 § 1 (part), 2013; Ord. 2013-30s2 § 5 (part), 2013)

18A.40.070 Operation Standards.

The following general standards shall apply to all events subject to review under this Chapter, unless otherwise specified in the approval.

A.    Duration and Hours of Operation.

1.    Each project site may host an event or events for no more than 90 total calendar days per year.

2.    All events shall be discontinued and no part thereof shall be open after the hour of 1 a.m., and shall remain closed until 10 a.m. of the same day unless different hours are approved by the Director.

B.    Duty of Preserving Order. The applicant shall preserve order.

C.    Amplified Sound. The event shall comply with Chapter 8.76 PCC, Noise Pollution Control. Additionally, the applicant shall carefully assess the environment in which the event is proposed to take place in order to develop a plan that best limits the impact of sound generated by event activities to the surrounding neighborhood.

1.    Issues to be considered include, but are not limited to:

a.    The direction of speakers;

b.    Use of directional speaker systems with cut-off points;

c.    Placement of smaller sound systems in specific locations throughout the venue rather than far-ranging single amplification systems;

d.    Placement of speakers and sound system devices; and

e.    The use of amplified music during the set-up and dismantle of the event.

2.    A schedule for sound checks (short time periods of excessive noise), if planned as part of the event, shall be authorized as part of the approval.

3.    Unless otherwise stated, issuance of an event approval will serve as approval to use amplified sound within the event venue as outlined in the application. Decibel readings at pre-determined locations may be required throughout the event. Where sound exceeds the approved decibel/sound limits, the Sheriff or Health Department shall require that the sound be reduced or discontinued.

(Ord. 2013-85 § 1 (part), 2013; Ord. 2013-30s2 § 5 (part), 2013)

18A.40.080 Outdoor Music Festivals.

An outdoor music festival is any outdoor entertainment, amusement and/or assembly, which attracts, or it is reasonably anticipated will attract, one thousand or more persons, in which the presentation of outdoor, live or recorded musical entertainment is or is anticipated to be a major activity. All outdoor music festivals are subject to the regulations set forth in this Chapter, unless otherwise specified in this Section:

A.    No approval shall be granted for an Outdoor Music Festival of more than one day's duration.

B.    Outdoor music festivals shall not be open to the public before the hour of 10 a.m. and shall not remain open to the public after 12 midnight of the same day.

C.    No firm, person, society, association or corporation conducting an outdoor music festival, nor any person having charge or control thereof at any time when an outdoor music festival is being conducted, shall permit any person to bring into said outdoor music festival, or upon the premises thereof, any intoxicating liquor, nor permit intoxicating liquor to be consumed on the premises, and no person during said time shall take or carry onto said premises or drink thereon intoxicating liquor.

D.    No approval shall be granted for an outdoor music festival unless the application is accompanied by the written approval of the Sheriff of Pierce County indicating that the following conditions have been complied with by the applicant.

1.    That adequate traffic control and crowd protection policing have been contracted for by the applicant. Traffic control and crowd control personnel shall be commissioned peace officers, licensed merchant patrolmen, or named persons meeting the Pierce County Sheriff's requirements for becoming merchant patrolmen. One such person shall be provided for each 200 persons reasonably expected to be in attendance at any time during the event for the purpose of crowd control, and one such person shall be provided for the purpose of traffic control for every 400 persons reasonably expected to be in attendance; provided, that no less than 20 percent of the traffic and crowd control personnel shall be commissioned police officers or deputy sheriffs: provided further, that any commissioned police officer or deputy sheriff who is employed and compensated by the promoter of an outdoor music festival shall not be eligible and shall not receive any benefits whatsoever from any public pension or disability plan of which he is a member for the time he is so employed or for any injuries received during the course of such employment.

2.    It shall be the duty of policing personnel other than commissioned police officers or deputy sheriffs to report any violations of the law to the Pierce County Sheriff or his deputies.

E.    No outdoor music festival shall be operated in a location which is closer than 500 yards from any school, church, house, residence or other place of permanent human habitation.

F.    No application for an outdoor music festival permit shall be issued until the Pierce County Sheriff shall have fingerprinted, investigated the character and reputation of the applicant or applicants, and his or their fitness to conduct such business. Every application shall be accompanied by the fingerprints and a 3-inch by 5-inch photograph of each and every person having any proprietary interest of 10 percent or more in said licensed activity.

(Ord. 2013-85 § 1 (part), 2013; Ord. 2013-30s2 § 5 (part), 2013)

18A.40.090 Aquatic Events.

All events on water are subject to the regulations set forth in this Chapter, unless otherwise specified in this Section:

A.    An individual or organization planning to hold a regatta, race, or aquatic event which by its nature, circumstances or location may introduce extra or unusual hazards to the safety of life on the waters of the County, shall submit an application to the Department. The application shall, at a minimum, be reviewed by the Sheriff, Parks and Recreation, and Finance Department.

B.    Where such events are to be held regularly or repeatedly in a single area by an individual or organization, the Department may, subject to conditions, grant a permit for such series of events for a fixed period of time, not to exceed one year.

C.    Applications shall include the following details.

1.    Name and address of the sponsoring organization.

2.    Name, address, and telephone number of person or persons in charge of the event.

3.    Nature and purpose of the event.

4.    Information as to general interest.

5.    Estimated number and types of vessels participating.

6.    Estimated number of spectator vessels.

7.    Estimated number of persons, participants, and all others.

8.    Minimum number of vessels and persons furnished by sponsoring organization to patrol the event.

9.    A time schedule and description of activities.

10.    A scale drawing showing the boundaries of the event, various water courses, or areas to be utilized by participants, officials, and spectators.

D.    Upon receiving an application to hold a regatta, race, or aquatic event, the Sheriff and Parks and Recreation shall take the following actions or make the following determinations:

1.    That the proposed regatta, race, or aquatic event may be held at the proposed location with safety to life;

2.    That the interest of safety of life and property requires changes in the application before it can be approved;

3.    That the event requires no regulation or patrol at the proposed location;

4.    That the application is to be recommended for approval or rejection by the County Executive for stated reasons; and

5.    The recommendations shall be sent to the Department at least 30 days prior to event.

E.    The Department may, before taking action on the application, require the applicant to petition or poll the property owners on the lake who could be affected by the event. The Department may also require that the applicant post notice in the local paper and/or at the proposed site of the event, prior to taking action on the application.

F.    The Sheriff may close for general use any part or whole of a lake for the purpose of the aquatic event.

G.    If the Sheriff deems safety requires, one or more Sheriff's Department vessels may be assigned to the event for the purpose of enforcing not only the event regulations, but also for assistance work and the enforcement of laws generally. The Sheriff may charge a fee for services provided under this Section.

1.    Nothing in the provisions of this Section shall be construed to mean that the operator of a vessel competing in a race, regatta, or trials, which has been duly authorized, or an operator engaged in industrial development and testing of experimental and product vessels, shall be prohibited from attempting to obtain high speed on approved racing and testing courses, nor while so engaged shall such vessels or operators be required to comply with RCW 79A.60.130.

(Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2013-85 § 1 (part), 2013; Ord. 2013-30s2 § 5 (part), 2013)

18A.40.100 Insurance

A.    Prior to event permit approval, Pierce County Finance shall find that Commercial General Liability insurance and a separate additional Insured Endorsement for the Host Organization and all contracted service providers has been provided.

1.    If the event includes the use of alcohol, Liquor Liability Insurance will also be required.

B.    Minimum policy limits are generally $1 million per occurrence with a $2 million aggregate; however, the County reserves the right to adjust policy limits according to the level of risk associated with the event.

1.    Events operating amusement rides shall provide a Certificate of Insurance showing evidence of Comprehensive General Public Liability and Property Damage Liability Insurance with limits of not less than $10 million per occurrence.

2.    Each policy and endorsement must include the County, its officer, employees, volunteers and agents as additionally named insured.

3.    Insurance coverage must be primary and maintained for the duration of the event including set-up and dismantle dates and times.

C.    The applicant and all contracted service providers that have paid employees must also submit proof of Workers Compensation Insurance with a minimum policy limit of $1 million.

D.    If the event has pollution or environmental exposure, an Environmental Insurance Policy will be required with a minimum limit of $1 million naming the County as an additional insured.

E.    If a service provider indicates their insurance is already on file with the County Finance Department, that information shall be included with the submission of insurance documents. Examples of common service providers include: Professional Event Organizer, Medical Services, Private Security Company, Parking/Shuttle Company, Equipment Rental Company, Power/Lighting Company, Staging/Production Services Company, Sanitation Services, Pyrotechnic/Special Effects Provider, Catering/ Bar Service.

(Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2013-85 § 1 (part), 2013; Ord. 2013-30s2 § 5 (part), 2013)

18A.40.110 Compliance

A.    The Applicant is responsible for complying with the requirements of this Chapter. No provision is intended to impose any obligation upon the County, or its officers, employees, or agents.

B.    It is the applicant's responsibility to insure that all equipment and devices used in the event comply with all applicable State and Federal regulations.

C.    The applicant shall insure that any and all devices used for the purposes of gambling are duly licensed pursuant to State and County laws and regulations.

D.    It is unlawful for any person, persons, corporation, organization, landowner, or lessor to allow, encourage, organize, promote, conduct, permit, cause to be advertised or participate in an event, unless an event approval has been obtained from the Planning and Public Works (PPW) for the operation of said event.

E.    See Chapter 18.140 PCC for enforcement and penalty provisions.

(Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 2013-85 § 1 (part), 2013; Ord. 2013-30s2 § 5 (part), 2013)