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Special Events Ordinance update. Change is never simple—especially when other issues are an integral part of the discussion. WHAT is a “special” event?  WHAT is an “event” and not a temporary tent business?  What is a reasonable number of days for a “special” event?  WHO, if anyone, should  be given free use of public property?  Should the Marshall Bridge  over the Arizona Canal be closed to our tourists’ trolley crossing experience to accommodate a private vendor?  Should one event or vendor be given exclusive use of public property from October through April or should a variety of events be scheduled?  Are there types of events that the city should discourage?  What is a current market rental fee schedule that the city should be charging for the use of public property? When a bar extends into a city alley 30 to 48 days per year is that a Special Event or a business that should be paying rent for city property use?  Is there a need for a Downtown Noise Ordinance? Should there be separate criteria and administrators approving events on public property VS private property?

Watch the 21 September city council work study session discussion at this link from 21.48 minutes to the end id=6895   Councilwoman Suzanne Klapp made excellent points from her perspective as a business owner. Councilman David Smith emphasized the lack of appropriate city investment in the existing “brick and mortar” businesses in our Downtown. He stated that the residents and tourists expect strong Arts and Culture support.  Several council members stated support for reserving Thursday nights for the 42 year old, traditional Art Walk on Main Street and Marshall Way.  You may be surprised by the unsympathetic statements of Councilwoman Milhaven as she touted the free-market system and suggested that the struggling galleries needed a consultant to improve their marketing and business plan.  Councilman Phillips addressed each request in the 214 signature Petition from the businesses on 5th Avenue/Stetson, Marshall Way, Main Street and Old Town area of Brown/Main that challenged some of the approvals and procedures of the current Special Events Committee made of city staff.

Update as of 11/17/15: The city’s Zoning Administrator has denied the Artisan Market application for 2016 use of the Marshall Bridge over the Arizona Canal. He cited the priority for emergency vehicle access and the public trolley use of the bridge as well as freedom of pedestrian foot traffic.  The Special Events Ordinance 2016 update public hearing process is almost completed. The staff’s ordinance draft will be available soon.





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