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South Valley Journal

Block Party? You May Need a Permit

Aug 04, 2016 11:40AM ● By Briana Kelley

Riverton City now requires an event permit for block parties, runs, rides, etc.

By Briana Kelley | [email protected] 

Riverton, Utah - Riverton now requires a permit for special events.

The Riverton City Council voted 3-1 on April 19 to approve the requirement of a special event permit both for legal and safety issues. According to city officials, a special events permit should be used by people and organizations who would like to host an independent event that would take place on city streets or property, such as runs, rides, block parties, neighborhood parades or car shows. 

“The approval of a special events permit benefits event organizers and the city by ensuring event success and safety within our community,” Angela Trammell, Riverton’s public information officer said. “It serves event organizers by providing them with information, like what types of road construction or existing uses may be taking place It serves the city with alerts that we can share with the public and helps us be aware of larger scale activities that occur in Riverton.” 

Sheril Garn, director of parks and public services, presented at the April 19 council meeting in favor of the permit. Garn believes that it is now time and in the city’s best interest to have a special event permit both for legal and safety issues. Garn listed a number of requests for different types of events in the city and believes having a permit will allow council members, Unified Police Department (UPD) and others to know in advance what events will occur in the city. 

The permit presented was multiple pages. It clarifies whether the event in question is public or private, specific items needed and so forth. Questions on the permit include the type of event and what materials and personnel will be needed. It also includes park rules and regulations and answers to various questions.

A committee comprised of representatives from Ordinance Enforcement, Legal, UPD, Unified Fire Authority and Parks and Recreation reviews each application . At this time there is no fee required, but the council asked staff to bring the permit back to council with recommended fees at a later date.

“Some of these events take quite a bit of staff time,” Public Works Director Trace Robinson said. “If there is no fee, that might be something council needs to look at again.”

Others voiced that, though fees may be necessary, the amount should be used to cover staff time and not for profit.

“We’re not looking to generate fees but to make sure that everyone is safe and everyone is on board with an event,” Planning Director Jason Lethbridge said.

In the end, council members voted 3-1 to approve the permit. Councilmember Trent Staggs voted no. Staggs voiced that the city already has a fee schedule for facilities, and he was concerned about the amount of time that staff could spend on these special events. Councilmember Sheldon Stewart was out of town.

“We have a fee schedule, we have facilities...these special events—I think we will spend an inordinate amount of time trying to control these events,” Staggs said.

A special events permit is different than a facilities reservation and is not needed for the public to reserve a city park pavilion or indoor pavilion.

The permit is not yet available online. Residents are encouraged to email [email protected] to request a special permit. Currently, there is no city fee required for the permit. However, there may be potential fees from other entities, including police, fire, health department, trash removal and barricade company, as needed. 

“I think this allows us to have more events, safer events, and moving forward this will help the city,” Councilmember Brent Johnson said.