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County Adopts Ordinance for Special Events on County Roads

Permits and Fees Required

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.— Today, the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors adopted an Ordinance for special events on County roads and approved a permit fee schedule for the events. The Ordinance provides a process for event organizers and the County to manage special events to reduce impacts on residents and to protect everyone’s safety. County staff will report back to the Board in September 2011 about the effectiveness of the Ordinance and potential amendments.

“The Ordinance is designed to protect the safety of both event patrons and users of the roads, and ensure that impacted neighbors receive advance notice of events,” said Supervisor Don Gage. “It is also important that the Board revisit this Ordinance in a year to see if it is working as intended.”

Special events addressed in the Ordinance include parades, street fairs, festivals, block parties, organized athletic or sporting events, and community celebrations. Depending on the types of activities, event holders will be required to obtain a special permit and pay a fee. The fees only reflect the cost of providing permit review and issuance. Some examples of the special events and associated fees are as follows:

Block Party (a festive gathering that requires the closure of a road) - $98
Minor Special Event (an event with more than 50 people and less than 500 people that does not require closure of road or diversion of traffic) - $200
Expressive Activity (First Amendment protected conduct) - $200
Major Special Event (event that requires closure of road or with more than 500 people) – Actual cost

Funeral processions by a licensed mortuary or funeral home that consist of fewer than 200 people and do not block traffic are exempted from the permit requirements.

“The emergence of signature events, such as the Tour of California cycling event prompted the County to review the adequacy of the current Ordinance,” said Sylvia Gallegos, Deputy County Executive. “We need to make sure that special events on County Roads are planned in a way that is safe and enjoyable for all.”

Event organizers can request a permit application by mail at the following address:
County of Santa Clara
Roads and Airports, Encroachment Permit Issuance Unit,
70 West Hedding St., 7th Floor, East Wing,
San Jose, California 95110

They can also apply by calling 408.573.2402, or fax at 408.947.1165.

The adopted Ordinance is the result of a two-year effort during which County staff met with various stakeholders including the Valley Transportation Authority's Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee and San Antonio Valley residents to discuss safety issues and neighborhood concerns. Stakeholders’ concerns are addressed in the Ordinance, including the Good Neighbor Standards that reflect residents’ needs in the area east of the Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton in the Diablo range, which is subject to numerous special events throughout the year.

Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Lingxia Meng, Office of Public Affairs (408) 299-5119; Sylvia Gallegos, Deputy County Executive (408) 299-5107
Posted: August 24, 2010