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Record No: CB 118463    Version: Council Bill No: CB 118463
Type: Ordinance (Ord) Status: Passed
Current Controlling Legislative Body City Clerk
On agenda: 9/21/2015
Ordinance No: Ord 124860
Title: AN ORDINANCE relating to the Special Events Committee, special events permitting, and special events fees; amending Sections 15.52.005, 15.52.010, 15.52.020, 15.52.030, 15.52.040, 15.52.050, 15.52.060, 15.52.080, and 15.52.090 of the Seattle Municipal Code; and repealing and replacing Section 15.52.070 of the Seattle Municipal Code.
Sponsors: John Okamoto
Attachments: 1. Att A - Repealed Section 15.52.pdf
Supporting documents: 1. Proposed Substitute CB 118463 (Added 9/16/15), 2. Proposed Amendment to Substitute CB 118463 v2, 3. Summary and Fiscal Note, 4. OED Special Events Presentation, 5. Central Staff Memo (8/20/15), 6. Central Staff Memo (9/17/15), 7. Signed Ord 124860

CITY OF SEATTLE

ORDINANCE __________________

COUNCIL BILL __________________

title

AN ORDINANCE relating to the Special Events Committee, special events permitting, and special events fees; amending Sections 15.52.005, 15.52.010, 15.52.020, 15.52.030, 15.52.040, 15.52.050, 15.52.060, 15.52.080, and 15.52.090 of the Seattle Municipal Code; and repealing and replacing Section 15.52.070 of the Seattle Municipal Code.

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WHEREAS, the City of Seattle (City) recognizes special events energize communities by creating opportunities to interact, celebrate, and enrich people’s lives, promote inclusiveness, and stretch imaginations; and

WHEREAS, the City recognizes the role special events play in contributing to economic development and wants to continue to support these events; and

WHEREAS, the City plays a strong role in helping event organizers bring people together safely in both citywide and neighborhood events; and

WHEREAS, the City seeks to more clearly define free speech events to ensure the ongoing ability to exercise Constitutionally-protected rights; and

WHEREAS, the City has a compelling interest to coordinate its planning for proposed special events in order to protect public health and safety and reduce adverse impacts such as noise, congestion, and traffic while guaranteeing the public’s rights to free speech and assembly; and

WHEREAS, the City faces a number of issues that require a new examination of the City’s special event policies and approach including increased event volume, lack of cost recovery, and stretched staffing capacity; and

WHEREAS, the City incurs significant costs associated with planning, permitting, and supporting special events, and the existing fee structure does not allow the City to recover a reasonable amount of its costs to ensure on-going viability to support special events; and

WHEREAS, the primary purpose of parks is to provide the public the opportunity to enjoy natural beauty and recreational opportunities, and the primary purpose of streets and sidewalks is to provide a public right-of-way for a wide variety of transportation, transit, and pedestrian uses; and

WHEREAS, in addition to their primary purpose, a principle use of parks, streets and sidewalks, and other public places is to provide venues for a wide variety of public events and for the public to exercise their rights of free speech and assembly unless such uses are strictly incompatible with their function; and

WHEREAS, the City has no interest in basing special event permitting decisions, including decisions regarding reasonable permit conditions, on the content or viewpoint of any message of any proposed event, but does have the responsibility to develop reasonable and effective time, place, and manner conditions based upon such public safety factors such as the presence of dangerous activities, articles, or structures; the handling of food or other substances that pose a risk to public health; anticipated crowd size; anticipated crowd, pedestrian, and traffic control issues; anticipated noise, congestion, and parking problems; impact on neighborhoods; historical problems associated with events; and the event's or event organizer's compliance with previous permit conditions designed to deal with those issues and problems; and

 

WHEREAS, while the City supports the use of special events to promote economic development, and commercial speech is afforded constitutional protection and may be used in special events on public property, the City finds that it has a compelling interest in preventing taxpayer subsidy of commercial events that promote private gain; and

WHEREAS, the City wants to provide event organizers with an efficient permitting process and when permits are denied, prompt administrative review of permit denials;

NOW, THEREFORE,

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY OF SEATTLE AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1. Section 15.52.005 of the Seattle Municipal Code, enacted by Ordinance 120631, is amended as follows:

15.52.005 Definitions ((.))

The following terms, when used in this ((chapter)) Chapter 15.52, shall have the following meanings:

“Bridge” means any bridge in the city limits of Seattle.

“Commercial activity” means any activity engaged in with the object of monetary profit, gain, benefit, or advantage, including bartering.

 “Downtown core” means the area bounded by Denny Way to the north, Yesler Way to the south, the Elliott Bay waterfront to the west, and Interstate 5 to the east, and the area bounded by Roy Street to the north, Denny Way to the south, 1st Avenue North to the west, and Aurora Avenue North to the east.

“Expressive activity” means conduct, the sole or principal object of which is the expression, dissemination, or communication by verbal, visual, literary, or auditory means of opinion, views, or ideas that are likely to be understood as such in the surrounding circumstances. Expressive activity includes the assembly of persons for such purposes.  Expressive activity includes the sale of merchandise that is inextricably intertwined with a statement carrying a religious, political, philosophical, or ideological message. 

 “Park” and “public place” mean those terms as defined in Chapters 18.12 and 15.02, respectively.

 “SDOT” means the Seattle Department of Transportation.

“Seattle Center area” means Seattle Center grounds, facilities on Seattle Center grounds, areas managed by Seattle Center, and those public places for which street use and permitting authority has been delegated to the Director of Seattle Center by the Director of Transportation pursuant to subsection 15.04.015.E.

((A.)) "Special event" means:

1. An event planned to be held ((in a park or other public place)) in a park, other City-owned property, or public place that meets all ((three)) four of the following criteria:

a. The event is ((Is)) reasonably expected to cause or result in more than ((fifty ())50(())) people gathering in a park ((or other public place)), other City-owned property, public place, or waterway; and

b. The event is ((Is)) reasonably expected to have a substantial impact on such park ((or other public place)), other City-owned property, public place, or waterway; and

c. The event is ((Is)) reasonably expected to require the provision of substantial public services; ((or)) and

d. The event will require the temporary closure or exclusive use of a public place or waterway; or

2. An event planned to be held on private property that meets all three of the following criteria:

a. The event is ((Is)) reasonably expected to ((cause or result in)) have more than ((five hundred ())500(())) people ((gathering in a park or other public place)) in attendance at any one time; and

b. The event is ((Is)) reasonably expected to have a substantial impact on ((such)) a park, other City-owned property, or ((other)) public place; and

c. The event is ((Is)) reasonably expected to require the provision of substantial public services; or

3. Any other planned event in a park, other City-owned property, or public place if the event organizer requests the City to provide any public services or the Special Events Committee determines public services will be needed to safely produce the event in addition to those that would normally be provided by the City in the absence of the event ((.)) ; or

4. An event held in a park, other City-owned property, or public place, excluding the Seattle Center area, that will have alcohol sales available to the general public and/or event participants.

((B. "Park" and "public place" mean as those terms are defined in SMC Chapters 18.12 and 15.02, respectively.))

“Street segment” means a unit of measurement that is the distance along a street between two intersections; “intersection” as defined in Section 11.14.265.

((C.)) “Substantial impact ((on a park or other public place")) means an event would preclude in whole or in significant part the public's normal and customary use of ((such)) a park, other City-owned property, or public place.

((D.)) "Substantial public services" means a material increase in the amount, scope, or level of necessary fire, police, traffic control, crowd control, or other public services above those that would normally be required without the event. With respect to police resources, "substantial public services" means resources for crowd management or traffic control required for the event over and above the normal deployment of police in that geographic area of the City at the time of day during which the event will occur.

“Waterway” means that term as defined Chapter 16.04.

Special Event Type. The event type definitions below contain the characteristics upon which the Special Events Committee will make the event type determination.

1. “Athletic event” means an event with one or more of the following characteristics:                                                                                                          

a. The event is a gathering of people, many of whom participate in an athletic activity, sport, or in physical exertion including running, walking, bicycling, swimming, and other race, recreational, or competitive contest;

                                                               b. Participation in the event typically requires individual or team registration and/or a type of payment or entry fee (such as a registration fee);

                                                               c. Participation is generally not free or open to all members of the public;                                                                                     d. The event is primarily to raise or solicit funds whether for profit, for non-profit fundraising, or otherwise; or

                                                               e.  The event is organized by a for-profit or non-profit entity.

2. “Citywide event” means:

a. The following events: Fremont Solstice Parade; My Macy’s Holiday Parade; Seafair Hydroplane Races and Blue Angel Weekend; Seafair Summer Fourth on Lake Union; and Seafair Torchlight Parade; and

b. An event that has one or more of the following characteristics:

                     i.  The event can be viewed by the public outside of the immediate event footprint or boundaries;

                     ii.  The event is expected to draw a significant citywide and/or regional crowd;

                     iii.  The estimated amount of total police officer hours to be assigned to the event is anticipated to exceed 300 hours;

                     iv.  The event is a recurring event held in Seattle for at least 15 of the last 20 years;

                     v.  The event is a celebration of a local, regional, or Federal holiday;

                     vi.  The event is a celebratory parade or event for a local team winning a major national competition; or

                     vii.  The event would not typically be defined as an athletic event, commercial event, free speech event, or mixed free speech event.

3. “Commercial event” means an event with the purpose to promote, for monetary profit, gain or advantage, a business, product, service, commercial performance, venue, professional or college team or similar organization, or current or future for-profit event conducted by a private person or entity regardless of such person or entity’s profit or non-profit status.  In addition, a commercial event has one or more of the following characteristics:  

                     a.  The event may or may not be open to all members of the public;

                     b.  The event has controlled or ticketed entry (e.g. tickets, pay-upon-entry, or suggested donation posted at the entrance);

                     c.  The event name features the name of a for-profit or non-profit business or organization;

d.  The event is concentrated around a single storefront, building, or is an extension of activity within a store or place of business (such as a grand opening);

e.  The event is primarily to raise or solicit funds whether for profit, for non-profit fundraising, or otherwise; or

f.  The event may be organized by an individual or a non-profit or for-profit entity.

4. “Community event” means an event with one or more of the following characteristics:

a. The event is free and open to all members of the public;

b. The event provides a public benefit and/or stimulates economic or cultural activity within a neighborhood or neighborhood business district that benefits multiple locally-owned businesses and/or organizations (including street fairs and block parties in which multiple locally-owned businesses will participate);

c. The event is organized by neighborhood-based groups, community-based organizations, ad-hoc groups, business groups (such as chambers of commerce), or groups that do not have a geographic base (such as racial or ethnic groups, LGBT groups, cultural groups, or a disability community);

d. The event has received a government grant to produce the event (not including sponsorships);

e. The event is organized by a non-profit entity; or

f. The event is anticipated to require less than 300 hours of police officer time.

5. “Free speech event,” for purposes of this Chapter 15.52, means an event, other than an athletic, commercial, community, or citywide event, that consists solely of expressive activity.  “Free speech event” does not include any event that includes any commercial activity such as commercial food or sales vendors. “Free speech event” may include a “march” as defined in Section 11.25.020.

6. “Mixed free speech event” means an event, other than an athletic, commercial, community, citywide, or parade event, that includes expressive activity but also includes non-expressive or commercial activity (e.g. commercial food or sales vendors). Non-expressive activity includes: recreation (e.g. games, arts and crafts activities, reunions, birthday parties, or participatory dances); competition/contests (e.g. soap-box derbies or scavenger hunts); spectator sports (e.g. boat races, regattas, hockey, or basketball); athletic events (e.g. races or runs); circuses/fairs/carnivals (e.g. booths, games, rides, or similar amusements); food-related activities (e.g., barbecues, cook-offs, picnics, food distribution, food festivals); sales/trade shows/business promotions (e.g. crafts shows, antique shows, merchandise sales or exhibits, or product launches); beach/park clean-ups; and training activities (e.g. corporate sessions or team-building activities).

7. “Parade event” means an event with the following characteristics:

a. The event is a “fixed point parade” as defined in Section 11.25.020 held in a public place or public right-of-way with vehicles, floats, animals, and/or other participants, but does not include a “march” as defined in Section 11.25.020;

b. The event is free and open to all members of the public as spectators;

c. The event provides a public benefit and/or stimulates economic activity within a neighborhood or neighborhood business district;

d. The event is organized by a non-profit entity; or

e. The event is anticipated to require less than 300 hours of police officer time.

Section 2. Section 15.52.010 of the Seattle Municipal Code, last amended by Ordinance 120631, is amended as follows:

15.52.010 Special Events Committee ((.))

There is hereby established a Special Events Committee to identify in coordination with City departments and other governmental entities the nature and scope of governmental services necessary for special events as defined in this ((chapter)) Chapter 15.52; to issue special event permits for such events; to determine appropriate terms and conditions for such permits; to set the applicable fees; and to administer this ((chapter)) Chapter 15.52.

Section 3. Section 15.52.020 of the Seattle Municipal Code, last amended by Ordinance 123361, is amended as follows: 

15.52.020 Committee membership ((.))

The Special Events Committee shall be comprised of the following voting members:

A. A representative of the Mayor, the City Budget Director, the Fire Chief, the Police Chief, the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation, and the Directors of Economic Development,  Transportation, Planning and Development, Finance and Administrative Services, Seattle Center, Seattle Public Utilities, and Neighborhoods, ((and of the Seattle-King County Health Department)) all of which shall be City of Seattle employees;

B. A representative of the ((transit division of King County government)) King County Metro Transit Division, the Seattle-King County Health Department, and the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board;

C. Three citizens and one alternate appointed by the Mayor, subject to confirmation by the City Council; ((an)) the alternate may vote when the appointee is absent. The citizen positions shall be as follows: ((One)) one of the citizens shall have experience in organizing special events with attendance over 10,000 people; ((another)) one shall have experience organizing ((smaller)) events with 10,000 people or fewer; and one shall have experience working for a neighborhood-based community organization, such as a local chamber of commerce or business improvement area, that has produced permitted special events. The alternate shall have experience organizing special events of any size. Citizen members are appointed to one-year terms and may be reappointed. Citizen ((M))members shall serve without compensation((,)) by reason of their committee membership. Citizen members and alternates may be reimbursed for expenses incurred in attending committee meetings and performing committee duties.

D. The Mayor shall appoint the chair of the Committee from among those persons listed in subsection 15.52.020.A, who shall serve for a term of two years and may be reappointed. The incumbent chair shall hold over at the expiration of ((his or her)) the term until a successor is appointed and qualifies. The chair shall provide for maintaining committee records, arranging meeting times and places, sending statements, ((and)) issuing permits on behalf of the Committee, and, with support from the Special Events Committee, lead on negotiations and making agreements with organizers of citywide events.

Section 4. Section 15.52.030 of the Seattle Municipal Code, last amended by Ordinance 120631, is amended as follows: 

15.52.030 Powers of Special Events Committee ((.))

The Special Events Committee shall have the power:

A. To interpret and administer this ((chapter)) Chapter 15.52, to establish criteria for determining whether an event meets the definition of a special event, to determine whether an event requires a special event permit, to determine the special event type, to calculate the special events fee, and to require, receive, and process applications for such permits;

B. To represent the City, under the supervision of the Mayor, in discussions and in making agreements with persons who propose an event that may require a special event permit;

C. To represent the City, under the supervision of the Mayor, in negotiating and finalizing the special events agreement and citywide events fee for citywide events. The Chair of the Special Events Committee, in consultation with the Special Events Committee and Seattle Police Department, is hereby authorized to negotiate and finalize an agreement with organizers of citywide events concerning services, resources, fees, and safety and security;

((C.)) D. To identify, in coordination with City departments and with other governmental entities the nature and scope of governmental services necessary for such special events;

((D.)) E. To issue special event permits for special events; determine appropriate terms and conditions as contemplated by ((SMC)) Section 15.52.040; require, review, and approve security, crowd control, and traffic control plans; identify the appropriate fee or, if applicable, apply an exemption in ((SMC)) Section 15.52.080 or an exclusion in ((SMC)) Section 15.52.090; accept a bond, escrow account, or letter of credit from a financial institution in lieu of an advance deposit of a fee; determine the appropriate insurance coverage (with the City as a named insured) that an event must obtain and require proof of compliance; work with the applicant, ((and)) the Police Department, and the Fire Department to develop an approved safety and security plan; and, as authorized by ((SMC Section)) subsection 15.52.070.I, grant a refund of a fee paid;

F. To determine and require, based on the type, size, location, time, and scope of the event, the event organizer’s notification and outreach requirements to adjacent businesses, residents, neighborhood associations, business associations, media outlets, and any other entity that may be impacted by the activity. Outreach may include, but is not limited to, door-to-door in-person engagement, written notifications, neighbor sign-offs, media releases, postcards, or similar mailers;

((E.)) G. To deny an application, issue a permit on contingency or conditions, and/or revoke a permit as contemplated by ((SMC)) Section 15.52.060 ((,)) and as consistent with ((SMC)) Section 15.52.040;

((F.)) H. To promulgate rules in accordance with the Administrative Code, Chapter 3.02 ((,)) and to implement this ((chapter)) Chapter 15.52 ((, and to promulgate a schedule of base fees , rounded to the nearest Fifty Dollars ($50.00), to reflect adjustments in the Consumer Price Index as contemplated by subsection A of SMC Section));

I. To update the special events fee components as described in subsection 15.52.070.G;

((G.)) J. To review the fee schedule and event classification periodically, project revenues, and submit recommendations to the Mayor in the City budget process;

((H.)) K. To adopt rules for its own procedures; establish subcommittees for assignments; select a voting member to preside in the absence of its chair; and delegate ministerial functions to City departments;

L.  To convene meetings in March 2017 and March 2020 with a diverse group of event organizers and stakeholders to review the impacts to special events from this Chapter 15.52 and process improvements. The committee will invite all event organizers who held an event in Seattle in the previous year. Participants must include at least one organizer representing each special event type as defined in Section 15.02.005, and other related neighborhood and business organizations, government agencies, and stakeholders; and

 ((I.)) M. To perform such other functions as may be assigned by ordinance from time to time.

Section 5. Section 15.52.040 of the Seattle Municipal Code, last amended by Ordinance 120631, is amended as follows: 

15.52.040 Special events permits required ((.))

A. A special event permit or authorization from the Special Events Committee is required for any special event, as defined in this ((chapter, except that no special event permit shall be required if the event sponsor, organizer or other party and the City have entered into a written agreement covering the same matters as would otherwise be included in a special event permit for such an event)) Chapter 15.52. Such special event permit or authorization shall be in addition to any street or park use permit, parade permit, Seattle Center permit or agreement, or other regular permits as may be required by ordinance.

B. To avoid duplication, when a special event permit covers the subject matter to their satisfaction, the Director of Transportation and/or as to parks, park drives and boulevards, the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation, respectively, may waive issuing a separate street use permit or park use permit.

C. When a special event permit is required, no street use permit shall issue under this ((title)) Title 15, nor shall a park use permit issue pursuant to Title 18, for such an event until the Special Events Committee has issued its special event permit therefor or otherwise authorized the issuance of the departmental permits, unless pursuant to subsection 15.52.040.B the Director and/or the Superintendent waive issuance of separate permits.

D. When a special event permit is required, the Special Events Committee shall, after reviewing the application and if necessary meeting with the organizer, advise the organizer of all other permits that appear to be required for the event based on information contained in the application ((; and assist)) , assisting the organizer in contacting other departments to apply for all other permits in a timely manner.

E. When such an event will be ((an exercise of rights protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, or Article I, Sections 3, 4, 5, or 11 of the Washington Constitution,)) a free speech event or mixed free speech event, the application shall be processed promptly ((, without charging a fee for political or religious activities or imposing terms or conditions that infringe constitutional freedoms, and in a manner that respects the liberties of applicants and the public)).

Section 6. Section 15.52.050 of the Seattle Municipal Code, last amended by Ordinance 120631, is amended as follows:

15.52.050 Conditions authorized ((.))

The Special Events Committee may include in a special event permit, among other provisions, reasonable terms or conditions as to the time, place, and manner of the event ((;)) as is necessary to coordinate multiple uses of public property, assure preservation of public property and public places, prevent dangerous, unlawful, or impermissible uses, protect the safety of persons and property and control vehicular and pedestrian traffic in and around the venue, and protect and insure the safety, comfort, or convenience of the public, provided that such requirements shall not be imposed in a manner that will unreasonably restrict expressive or other activity protected by the Washington or United States Constitutions. Such terms and conditions may include the implementation of a plan presented by the applicant and approved by the Committee for:

A.   crowd control, traffic control, safety, and security;

B.  compliance with health and sanitary regulations as explicated by the Seattle-King County Health Department for the event;

C.  compliance with any applicable law, rule, or regulation pertaining to the preservation or promotion of public health, safety or welfare;

D.  coordination with the Fire Department or medical personnel for emergency treatment and evacuation of people who may need immediate care, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, or ambulance service;

E.  emergency communication ((;)) , fire suppression equipment with structures ((;)) , and maintenance of unobstructed emergency passageways;

F.  proper waste, recycling, and compost receptacles and a disposal plan as explicated by Seattle Public Utilities, as well as a clean-up plan; and,

G.  where traffic congestion ((may be)) is anticipated, encouraging the use of alternative transportation choices such as transit, biking, and car pooling.

In determining and issuing conditions, the Special Events Committee shall consider anticipated impacts of the event based on an assessment of the event, including size, scope, complexity, location, and history; ((as well as)) the event's or event organizer's successful implementation of conditions included in previous permits; the public’s access to public places and public services; the impact on frequently-utilized special event locations or routes; and the impact on neighborhoods. Conditions ((shall be based upon projected impacts on public safety, public places and public services, but)) shall not be ((based upon)) determined or issued based on the programming content of the event or message that the proposed event may convey.

In order to accommodate other concurrent events, the rights of abutting owners, ((and)) the needs of the public to use streets, ((or)) parks, or other public services, and to minimize impact on frequently-utilized special event locations or routes, the conditions may include, but are not limited to, reasonable adjustments in the date, time, route, or location of the proposed event; accommodations of pedestrian or vehicular traffic using the street; and limitations on the duration of the event, recognizing the conditions or adjustments may affect the total fees.

Section 7. Section 15.52.060 of the Seattle Municipal Code, last amended by Ordinance 120631, is amended as follows:

15.52.060 Processing, denial, and revocation of permit ((.)) 

A. Processing.  To assist the City in planning for and assigning its police, fire, and other department personnel, the organizers of ((annual)) special events, except free speech events as defined in Section 15.52.005, subject to a special event permit are ((encouraged)) required to submit their applications at least ((three (3) months)) 90 days before the scheduled event; and the Special Events Committee shall process such application within ((sixty ())60(())) days of the application, if practicable. If the application is received less than 90 days in advance, the Special Events Committee shall process the application if, taking into consideration the City resources available, the type, size, scope, complexity, location, or history of the event, the application is received with sufficient time to plan and permit the event. 

Organizers of free speech events as defined in Section 15.52.005, including, but not limited to, spontaneous free speech events that are occasioned by news or affairs coming into public knowledge, may submit their applications at any time before the scheduled event.”

For all special events other than free speech events and mixed free speech events, payment of a late fee, as described in subsection 15.52.070.E, may be required if the application is submitted less than 60 days prior to the start of the event. The Special Events Committee may waive the late fee based on the time necessary to plan, process, and permit the event; the size, scope, complexity, location, or history of the event; and the event organizer’s experience in organizing events.

B. Denial. The Special Events Committee may deny an application for a special event permit if:

1. The applicant supplies false or misleading information; the applicant fails to complete the application or to supply other required information or documents; or the applicant declares or shows an unwillingness or inability to comply with reasonable terms or conditions contained in the proposed permit;

2. The time necessary to plan, process, and permit the event is insufficient based on the size, scope, complexity, location, or history of the event, and the resources available to the City, except that nothing in this subsection 15.52.060.B.2 shall limit an applicant’s ability to obtain a last-minute parade permit pursuant to Section 11.25.050.E. Applications for spontaneous free speech events that are occasioned by news or affairs coming into public knowledge less than one week before such events shall not be denied with respect to the date of the proposed event based on this subsection 15.52.060.B.2;

((2)) 3. The proposed event is proximate to another previously permitted or previously scheduled ((exempt)) event, so that the combined impacts and required public services exceed what the City, after reasonable efforts have been made to accommodate both events, can reasonably provide; or the proposed event would interfere with construction or maintenance work in the immediate vicinity ((, or unreasonably infringe upon the rights of abutting properties)); or

((3.)) 4. The proposed event would unreasonably disrupt the orderly or safe circulation of traffic; ((as)) would present an unreasonable danger to the health or safety, or present an unreasonable risk of injury ((or damage)), to the public, the participants, or City employees; or would present an unreasonable risk of damage to property.

In the event subsection 2, ((or)) 3, or 4 of this subsection 15.52.060.B ((above,)) applies, the Special Events Committee shall offer the applicant the opportunity to submit an alternative date or place for the proposed event before denying the application. For free speech and mixed free speech events, the City shall designate an alternative proposal and may impose conditions pursuant to Section 15.52.050.

If the Special Events Committee denies an application, the Committee shall state in writing the reasons for its denial.

C. Revocation. The Special Events Committee may cancel or revoke a permit already issued upon written notice to the applicant stating the grounds for revocation if:

1. The applicant, in the information supplied, has made misstatement of a material fact; the applicant has failed to fulfill a term or condition of the permit in a timely manner; or the check submitted by an applicant in payment of the fee for a permit has been dishonored; or

2. The applicant requests the cancellation of the permit or cancels the event; or

3. An emergency or supervening occurrence requires the cancellation or termination of the event in order to protect the public health or safety.

((The City shall refund the permit fee in the event of a revocation caused by an emergency or supervening occurrence; the City shall refund the balance of the fee less its costs incurred if the cancellation occurs at the request of an applicant who is in compliance with this chapter.))

D. Administrative Review. An applicant may request an administrative review of: a Special Events Committee denial of a special events permit application, or conditions placed upon a permit that the applicant alleges are unconstitutional or will prevent the applicant from holding the proposed event. Such a review shall be conducted by an Administrative Review Committee, comprised of the Superintendent of Parks and Recreation if the event will impact a park, the Director of Seattle Center if the event will impact the Seattle Center area, the Director of Transportation, ((and)) the Fire Chief, the Chief of Police, and the Director of the Office of Economic Development, or their deputies, provided that if the deputy is a member of the Special Events Committee, then the department head shall serve on the Administrative Review Committee. A request for an administrative review shall be made to the Special Events Committee in writing within three (((3))) business days after the denial or issuance of the permit with conditions. The Administrative Review Committee shall issue its ((decision)) review within five (((5))) business days of its receipt of the request for review.

Section 8. Section 15.52.070 of the Seattle Municipal Code, relating to special event permit fees, enacted by Ordinance 115982, is repealed as shown in Attachment A.

Section 9. A new Section 15.52.070 is added to the Seattle Municipal Code as follows:

15.52.070 Fees                     

A.  Application Fee.  A non-refundable application fee of $75 shall be due upon filing of a special events permit or authorization application for all event types except free speech events and mixed free speech events..  The Special Events Committee shall waive the application fee for free speech events and mixed free speech events if the individual applicant qualifies as an indigent natural person as defined in Section 15.52.005. In making its determination, the Special Events Committee may require relevant information and documentation as may, in the opinion of the Special Events Chair, be reasonably necessary to verify the indigent status of the individual.

B. Administrative Fee. For athletic events, commercial events, community events, and parade events, the administrative fee is the sum of five fee components as calculated in Exhibit A for 15.52.070 and described below in this subsection 15.52.070.B. The administrative fee for mixed free speech events shall be the lower of a) the fees as calculated in this subsection 15.52.070.B using the five fee components related solely to non-expressive or commercial activity, at those events or b) the actual costs incurred by the City for planning, review, and permitting before the event; required inspections during the event; a traffic control plan; noise variation permits and reviews; business license reviews; and insurance reviews. The administrative fee shall not be charged for free speech events as defined in Section 15.52.005.

1. Street/Bridge Use. To determine the type of street segment, the most current SDOT Planned Arterial Classifications Map, which reflects the legal street classification as described in Section 15.60.015, shall be used. In calculating this fee component, the following shall be reflected:

a. Street segments in the downtown core are counted as principal arterials regardless of the actual street classification.

b. The fee per hour is charged, rounded up to the nearest ½ hour, based on the amount of time the street is planned to be closed or modified to traffic.

c. Hours between the time of 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. are not included in the count if the event is 30 hours or longer.

2. Arterials Intersected. This component of the fee is calculated by multiplying the number of additional arterial intersections closed or modified by the number of hours it is closed or modified to traffic and/or the general public by the applicable fee per hour. To determine the type of arterial intersected, the most current SDOT Planned Arterial Classifications Map, which reflects the legal street classification as described in Section 15.60.015, shall be used. In calculating this fee component:

a. Those items identified in subsections 1.a, 1.b, and 1.c of this subsection 15.52.070.B shall be taken into account.

b. Intersections shall only be counted if the closed or occupied streets will block a full arterial intersection; if half the intersected street is an arterial and the other half is an access street, it is not included in the count.

c. If the closed street intersects a street with one type of arterial on one side and a different type of arterial on the other side, the lower level arterial is utilized for the count.

d. An arterial is considered intersected if normal traffic operations and conditions cannot be executed. An intersection that continues to allow traffic and transit to flow but requires them to wait longer than would be typically expected is included in the count.

3. Prior Year Discount. If the event is a repeat event taking place in the same general time, place, and manner as the most recent event, which must have taken place at least once within the previous two calendar years, the prior year discount applies. A discount of 25 percent is applied to the total components of subsections 1 and 2 of this subsection 15.52.070.B.

4. Alcohol Area Fee. For events that will include alcohol sales to the general public or event attendees as permitted by the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board, a fee per alcohol service area applies to those alcohol areas in a park, other City-owned property, excluding the Seattle Center area, or public place. The fee is $200 for the first alcohol area and $100 for each additional alcohol area.

5. Vendor Fee. For events providing or renting space to vendors selling or promoting products or services, a fee of $20 per vendor applies. The fee only applies to vendors selling or promoting a commercial product or commercial service in a park, other City-owned property excluding the Seattle Center area, or public place. Vendors engaged solely in expressive activity such as leafletting, pamphleting or solicitation, or who are engaged in the sale of goods that are inextricably intertwined with statements carrying a religious, political, philosophical, or ideological message are not included. Other vendors with non-sales-related or non-commercial-related actions are not included.

                     C.  Police Department Fee.  For athletic events and commercial events, the police department fee applies and is calculated by multiplying the number of officers required to safely manage vehicle or waterway traffic and a reasonable number of officers within the event footprint to ensure safety and security by the number of hours per officer by a rate of $67 per officer per hour as calculated in Exhibit B for 15.52.070 . The number of hours per officer are rounded up to the nearest half hour. A two hour minimum per officer applies. Any officers paid for by the organizer through agreements with Parks, the Seattle Center, or other agreements with the Seattle Police Department, are separate and not included as part of this fee. Police department fees shall not be charged for community events, parade events, free speech events, or mixed free speech events as defined in Section 15.52.005.

D.  Citywide Event Fee.  The citywide event fee is applicable only to citywide events as defined in Section 15.52.005. The chair of the Special Events Committee, in consultation with the Special Events Committee and Seattle Police Department, is hereby authorized to negotiate and finalize an agreement with organizers of citywide events concerning services, resources, fees, and safety and security. The agreement must be supported by the Chief of Police representative on the Special Events Committee and a majority vote of the Special Events Committee. The citywide event fee must delineate an amount for the administrative fee and the police department fee.

E.   Late Fees. If late fees are required as determined in subsection 15.52.060.A, the application fee shall be $150 and the administrative fee shall be 120 percent of the administrative fee calculated as if the event’s application were submitted on time.

F.  Other Fees.  Other costs and fees, to be paid in addition to the fees under this Section 15.52.070, include, but are not limited to: Seattle Parks fees (including vendor fees for vendors in parks); Seattle Center fees; utilized emergency management services; Seattle Fire Department and/or Fire Marshal inspection fees; parking meter loss revenue; business licensing fees; penalties; noise variance fees; and post-event cleanup.

G. Fee Adjustments. The hourly rates described in subsections 1 and 2 of subsection 15.52.070.B shall be revised by the Special Events Committee annually based on changes in the purchasing power of the dollar during the preceding year shown by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers for Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton, WA, First Six Months, published in or about August of each year by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. The first adjustment shall apply in 2018. Adjustments shall use 2017 as the base year but fee components shall not increase by more than ten percent from one year to the next. The Special Events Committee may determine whether to adjust the application fee, vendor fee, alcohol area fee, or police department fee, but it may only do so once per year in conjunction with the administrative fee adjustment and shall not increase by more than ten percent from one year to the next. Without including any phase-in discount, when the police department fee is established for an event for the first time, if an event is a repeat event taking place in the same general time, place, and manner as it did in the previous year, and no documented issues during previous years’ events would demand the need for additional officer support, the police department fee for an event shall not increase by more than ten percent from the previous year.

H. When Payable. A fee deposit in the entire amount of the administrative fee and police department fee, as applicable, is due and payable 30 days before the first date of the event unless the Special Events Committee authorized an alternate arrangement. In no circumstance shall the permit be issued without previous deposit of the entire fee. All payments shall be deposited into the City Treasury to the credit of the Treasurer's Clearing Fund; and once the event is complete, the amount due to the City shall be transferred to the General Fund Special Event Revenue Account.

I. Refunds

1. The event organizer may apply for a refund to the Special Events Committee within 30 days after the original event start date.

2. The application fee is non-refundable.

3. If the permit has not been issued, the total fee deposit may be refunded at 100 percent.

4. If the permit was issued and fee deposit made but the event is cancelled by the Special Events Committee for a reason outside of the event organizer’s control, the total fee deposit may be refunded at 100 percent.

5. If the permit was issued and fee deposit made but the event is cancelled by the event organizer at least three business days before the event start date, the administrative fee may be refunded at 50 percent and the police department fee may be refunded at 100 percent.

6. If the permit was issued and fee deposit made but the event is cancelled by the event organizer during the three business days before the event start date, the administrative fee shall not be refunded and the police department fee may be refunded at 90 percent.

7. If the amount of police officers and police officer hours paid for by the event organizer through the police department fee is greater than the number of police officers and police officer hours provided by the Seattle Police Department at the event, the fee amount overpaid by the event organizer shall be refunded at 100 percent.

8.  If the actual costs for a mixed free speech event are less than the amount paid by the applicant, the applicant shall be refunded the excess paid.

J.  Phase-In Discount.  If a 2016 event will be conducted in the same general time, place, and manner as the 2015 event but would realize a total special events fee increase from 2015 to 2016 if calculated in full as a result of these fee increases, then the total 2016 special events fee, comprised of the administrative fee and police department fee (if applicable), shall be discounted. The discounted special events fee for 2016 shall be equal to: the event’s 2015 special events fee plus 50 percent of the total special events fee increase from 2015 to 2016. The phase-in discount applies to all special event types except citywide events. The discount applies to 2016 events only. For 2017 and later, the full special events fee applies to all events.

Section 10. Section 15.52.080 of the Seattle Municipal Code, enacted by Ordinance 115982, is amended as follows: 

15.52.080 Exemptions from fees ((.))

((No fee shall be imposed when prohibited by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, or Article I, Section 3, 4, 5, or 11 of the Washington Constitution. Political or religious activity intended primarily for the communication or expression of ideas shall be presumed to be a constitutionally protected event. Factors that may be considered in evaluating whether or not the fee applies include the nature of the event; the extent of commercial activity, such as the sales of food, goods, and services; product advertising or promotion, or other business participation in the event; the use or application of any funds raised; if part of an annual tradition or a series, previous events in the sequence; and the public perception of the event.

No fee shall apply to a block party with an anticipated attendance of three hundred (300) people or fewer that closes off a residential street segment no more than one (1) block in length, a sidewalk or alley abutting a park, or an unopened right-of-way for eight (8) hours or less during daylight hours, and does not need police service for crowd control.))

No fee shall be imposed under this ((chapter)) Chapter 15.52 on events that are authorized by a special ordinance ((which)) that sets out fees or charges for that particular event.

Section 11. Section 15.52.090 of the Seattle Municipal Code, enacted by Ordinance 115982, is amended as follows:

15.52.090 Exclusions ((.)) 

This ((chapter excludes events at)) Chapter 15.52 does not apply to:

a. Events occurring solely in the Seattle Center area; or

b. Events occurring solely in stadiums or other venues managed by Transportation Management Plans that are submitted separately to the City, including, but not limited to, events at Century Link Field and Event Center, Husky Stadium, Key Arena, and Safeco Field; or

c. ((events of or)) Events under the authority of the United States; or

d. ((and/or use of streets or)) Events using parks or public places as a result of or preparation for a fire, earthquake, or other disaster, or practices or exercises for disaster management.

Section 12. A new Section 15.52.100 is added to the Seattle Municipal Code as follows:

15.52.100 Audit requested

The City Council requests the Seattle City Auditor to audit the Seattle Police Department’s process for staffing special events. This audit should include the planning, authorization, staffing levels, attendance, and payment of officers for permitted special events under Chapter 15.52. The City Council requests that the first audit take place in the first quarter of 2016 and cover special events staffing for 2010 through 2015. The City Budget Office shall utilize the audit’s results and recommendations to perform subsequent annual reviews to take place in the first quarter of each year and cover special events staffing for the previous year. The final review will take place in 2020 unless City Council directs otherwise.

 

 

Section 13.  This ordinance shall take effect on January 1, 2016.

Passed by the City Council the ____ day of ________________________, 2015, and

signed by me in open session in authentication of its passage this

 _____ day of ___________________, 2015.

 

                                                                                                         _________________________________

                                                                                                         President __________of the City Council

 

                     Approved by me this ____ day of _____________________, 2015.

 

_________________________________

                                                                                                         Edward B. Murray, Mayor

 

                     Filed by me this ____ day of __________________________, 2015.

 

____________________________________

                                                                                                         Monica Martinez Simmons, City Clerk

 

 

(Seal)

Attachments:

Attachment A - Repealed Section 15.52.070