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Community and Cultural Services

Application Process

The Community Events Office will be your guide throughout the application, review, and approval process.

Step 1: Determine which category best fits your event

Events fall under 1 of 3 categories. There are specific requirements for each event category.

Category 1: 

  • Recreation (games, arts & crafts activities, reunions, pep rallies, dances, and other parties like birthdays, weddings and bar mitzvahs)
  • Competition/Contests (surfing contests and other participatory events)
  • Spectator Sports (beach volleyball tournaments)
  • Athletic Events (races)
  • Circuses, Fairs, and Carnivals (events with booths, games, rides, and similar amusements)
  • Food-related Events (barbecues, cook-offs, picnics, food distribution, food festivals)
  • Beach/Park Clean-ups
  • Training Activities (corporate sessions, team-building activities)

Note: Category 1 Events are not permitted at the beach or beach parking lots from July 1 through Labor Day.

Category 2: Events not included in Category 1, which require a permit from Building and Safety and/or the Fire Department for the placement of a tent, canopy, or other temporary structure as detailed in Section VII (4) and (5) of the Community Events Administrative Instruction.

Category 3: Events not included in Category 1 or 2 which do not require a permit from Building and Safety and/or the Fire Department as detailed in Section VII (4) and (5) of the Community Events Administrative Instruction. (e.g. marches, parades, demonstrations, fundraiser events or walks)

 

Step 2: Obtain preliminary approval for use of a location

Certain City locations may be used for community events (see Available Sites for the full list). Each location has a 'site manager'. Once you know where you'd like to hold your event, complete the Community Event Permit Application and send it along with a detailed site plan to the appropriate Site Manager for review and preliminary approval. If you receive preliminary approval for use of a location, the Site Manager will forward your application to the Community Events Office.

 

Step 3: Pay the application fee

Upon preliminary approval, you will need to pay the application fee in order for the formal permitting process to proceed (unless a fee waiver has been requested along with appropriate documentation - see Community Events Administrative Instruction, Section 4). The application fee is non-refundable and should be sent to the Community Events Office.

Category Type         Application Submitted                   Application Fee
Category 1 16+ weeks in advance $79.48
12-15 weeks in advance $151.12
30 days-11 weeks in advance $302.25
Category 2 3 business days $50.00
Category 3 2 days $50.00

An administrative fee will be required prior to the event permit being issued. The administrative fees range from $86 -$629 depending on the complexity of the event and staff hours required to process the application.

Note: Any indigent person who cannot pay the event permit application fee or administrative fee may apply to have these charges waived. Application for indigent status will be made at the time of the permit application and will be accompanied by the required information and documentation. For information on the specific requirements, see sections 4.68.080 and 4.68.140 of the Community Events Ordinance.

If your event requires the use of City services, the full cost for these services must be paid by the event organizer unless a fee waiver has been obtained. The following is a list of fees for event-related services: Estimate of Event Fees . Unless a fee waiver has been obtained, most fees for services provided during the event will be due prior to the event, others will not be due until after the event is completed.

 

Step 4: Formal review process begins

The Community Events Office, along with an interdepartmental Events Committee, will review your application upon receipt of the application and application fee. This review is conducted on a first-come, first-served basis. The review will be based on the City's Community Events Ordinance and the Community Events Administrative Instruction to determine specific requirements and conditions for your event. The Community Events Office will send you written confirmation of the requirements and conditions for your event. 

5: Make sure all requirements are met 

The Community Events Office will work closely with you to make sure all requirements and deadlines are met. The event permit will be issued as soon as all requirements are met.

Community Events
Clover Park
2600 Ocean Park Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90405

For more information:
communityevents@smgov.net
310-458-8300

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Community and Cultural Services | 1685 Main Street, Room 210 | Santa Monica, CA 90401
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