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Improving the Permitting Process for City of Santa Barbara Special Events

I am excited to share our recent efforts to standardize the City of Santa Barbara permitting process, improve customer service, and streamline internal processes to improve the event-planning experience for you as organizers, as you work with the us to create amazing festivals and special events for the community. 
Each year, Santa Barbara hosts hundreds of commercial- or nonprofit-sponsored public special events, including athletic and sporting events, commercial, community and cultural events. parades, festivals and concerts, block parties, and first amendment events in City parks, beaches, and the public right of way.

By nature, special events require significant planning, review, and permitting to protect public health and safety. We know this process is an extensive work effort and can sometimes be confusing, especially for first-time events.

To address this, the City created an interdepartmental team led by the Parks and Recreation Department. This team has worked to revamp the special event process from start to finish, improving coordination between City departmentsautomating the system where possible, and writing a new and comprehensive special events guide, among other changes. The team will present recommendations and associated changes to the Municipal Code at two upcoming public meetings, and we hope you will watch or join in with your feedback.


Ordinance Committee
Tuesday, October 27 at 12:30 p.m.
Ordinance Committee Agenda

Santa Barbara City Council
Tuesday, November 10 at 2:00 p.m.
City Council Agenda

Draft Materials for Review

Draft Ordinance
Draft Special Events Planning Guide

Thank you,
Rich Hanna, Recreation Manager
(805) 897-2591 

Last Updated: Dec 21, 2018
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