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Public Gathering & Expression

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A Public Gathering and Expression Event is any political, civic, religious, or other public activity intended primarily for the communication of ideas by the participants in or sponsors of the event.  (SC Municipal Code 10.65)

The purpose of the application is to provide the City with a minimum amount of time to logistically accommodate the event, to promote public safety and welfare, and to assure that the First Amendment rights of those who wish to peacefully participate in the event on public property are preserved and protected.

Events that Meet the Following Criteria Should Submit an Application

  • The use of public/City properties such as Compass Rose/Sister Cities’ Plaza (by Post Office), the corner of Cooper and Pacific, Memorial Plaza (plaza by Jamba Juice), the Town Clock, Soquel and Pacific (by Forever 21), and public sidewalks. 
    NOTE:  Other public areas may be requested but are subject to availability.  Fees may be required for some areas.
  • More than 100 participants.
  • Longer than one (1) hour.
  • Setting up a display larger than 18" wide x 6' high.
  • Amplified sound.
  • A march or walk using sidewalks/pathways only.

Things to Consider When Planning Your Public Gathering and Expression Event

  1. Requests for alcohol, overnight storage, and/or activities in the street will cause the event to be considered a Public Special Event and will require a different application.
  2. Monitors.
  3. Parking needs.
  4. Electrical needs (if requesting city outlet access, $20 minimum fee).
  5. First Aid.
  6. Security issues.
  7. Restroom facility needs.
  8. Garbage and recycling impact.

The following forms will need to be submitted a minimum of five (5) business days and no more than six (6) months prior to the event.

  • Application Form
  • Map of Requested Route (Required for marches or walks only on sidewalks.)

Please keep in mind that the event should not be considered confirmed until your application has been approved.  Once your application and other forms if needed have been submitted and received, the Special Events Coordinator will review the documents and obtain input from other City departments affected by the event.

If City staff and/or services are required, it is understood that all associated costs are to be paid by the Applicant. 

You will be contacted as soon as possible to confirm your request.

Upon approval of your application, a signed permit and Conditions of Use will be issued to you.  These must be on hand during the Public Gathering and Expression Event and available upon request by City officials.


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