In a move to streamline and update special event applications, the Marble Falls City Council adopted an ordinance February 4 that aims to increase communication between the city and event organizers.
The ordinance amends and replaces Chapter 5 Article III of the Code of Ordinances in its entirety. The new rule increases the number of days required to submit a permit from 45 days to 90 days prior to the event. The city is required to act on an application within 30 days of its submission.
“It has never, in my mind, taken us longer than thirty days,” Downtown Coordinator Erin Burks said. “But if an event should have tons of details, those thirty days are important. Things like sitemaps, where EMS goes, all of those details need to be decided.”
Applications now will go through the office of the city secretary to the city manager rather than being filed directly to the police department. This will help with communication between the city and organizers, Burks said.
The ordinance also establishes a Special Event Review Panel, which is made up of representatives from each city department. Once the city secretary receives an application, it goes to representatives of each city department for review. The panel then meets with the event organizer to communicate any changes that need to take place or be discussed.
In addition to updating the application process and rules, the city plans to release a special event planning guide to put in plain language how organizers can partner with the city on an event.
“A lot of larger communities, for example, Fort Worth, they do these planning guides,” Burks said. “This is an entire packet on how to partner with the city on how to do an event. We want people to bring anything from a conference to a trade show. We want to make sure we partner with these events.”
The new ordinance removed language relating to events the city no longer puts on. The city will review the ordinance in a year to keep the measure relevant.
“We took out things like farmers’ markets,” Burks said. “We don’t have farmers’ markets now, but my hope is that, in a year from now, we do. If we need to add in something in there, particularly for a farmers’ market, maybe that’s something we can consider later on in the future.”
The council voted unanimously to adopt the ordinance.