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Jessica Fisher

Special Event Permitting Process Changes - Coming Soon

Jessica Fisher, Public Information Assistant, 509.625.6749


Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 4:01 p.m.

Special Event Permitting Process Changes - Coming Soon

Spokane is a city that celebrates special events. From major signature events such as Bloomsday, the Lilac Festival, and Hoopfest, to other community based festivals, parades, and athletic activities, the City of Spokane is proud to host hundreds of events each year. For the past six months, a team of City of Spokane employees across multiple departments have been working hard to update the special events permitting process for these events. Their goal is to simplify the application process for event planners and build in more transparency on the front end so estimated costs and other conditions are known at time of application, rather than further along in the process. Special events are beloved in Spokane and we aim to provide a safe atmosphere for all events!

The current special event permit application process often requires special event planners to obtain permits from multiple departments. These permits range from electrical permits to fire permits in addition to the over-arching special event permit itself. In the future, the City would like to have one comprehensive application that would cover all of this information through an interactive online format that prompts the applicant to answer questions to ensure a fun, but safe event.

The new application would also include information about possible additional costs. One of the most common additional costs is paying for Spokane police officers to be present at the event. SPD officers work a lot of events where they manage street closures and traffic control, crowd control, and more in order to provide public safety.  The new application process will provide the planner an estimated cost up-front in an effort to improve transparency.

Other changes include printed guidelines for events of what is allowable and what is not, including restrictions on use of the public right-of-way.  The goal of these guidelines is to be transparent and up-front to planners – we want fun events, but not at the expense of public safety, or interfere with public transportation. 

The special event team consists of employees from the Development Services Center, Street Department, Spokane Police Department, Code and Parking Enforcement, Spokane Riverfront Park, Parks and Recreation, Spokane Fire Department, Taxes and Licenses, Neighborhood Services, and Communications Department. They are in the final stages of the process and plan to implement changes for the 2019 event year.  Further communication to events about specific changes should be forthcoming in the next three months.

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