Forms to complete to submit your application, including the Special Event Information Form, Special Event Permit Application, and Special Event Permit Indemnification & Hold Harmless Agreement may be found here.
When is a Special Event Permit required?
A Special Event Permit is required for all special events, including those where alcoholic beverages are served, unless the event or activity will:
- occur within or on the grounds of a private residence or on the common areas of a multifamily residential development;
- is an organized activity conducted at a site or facility intended and used for such activities, such as sporting events conducted on courses or fields intended and used for such activities; wedding services conducted at reception halls or event venues; or similar activities; or
- is an activity consistent with the definition of agritourism and applicable provisions as established in Chapter 570.85 – 570.89, Florida Statutes.
If a Special Event Permit is required, you will need to complete and submit certain applications and documentation. All special events, unless otherwise exempt, require a Special Event Permit, including those sponsored or by the City of Alachua or Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA).
What is the application and review process to obtain a Special Event Permit?
- Contact the City of Alachua Planning & Community Development Department prior to planning the proposed special event to determine whether the event would be consistent with the Land Development Regulations (LDRs) and other applicable regulations, and to discuss any permitting requirements and/or any City services, such as road closures, police detail, etc., which may be required to serve the proposed event.
- Submit a completed Special Event Information Form (accessible here) for review to the Planning & Community Development Department a minimum of thirty (30) calendar days prior to the date of the proposed event. After reviewing the Special Event Information Form, the Planning & Community Development Department will contact the applicant to advise if a Special Event Permit is required.
- If the Planning & Community Development Department determines a Special Event Permit is required for the proposed event, submit a Special Event Permit Application (accessible here) and the completed Special Event Information Form to Planning & Community Development Department. The applicant must ensure that all required attachments, as further described in Section D. of the Special Event Permit Application, are provided when submitting the Application. Incomplete applications will not be accepted or processed. Applications that do not provide sufficient detail to fully address information requested within this Application and the Special Event Information Form will result in delays in the review of the application.
What are the fees associated with a Special Event Permit?
The application fee for a Special Event Permit is $100, and is due at the time the application is submitted to the City for review. Depending upon the scope of your special event, there may be other fees that are assessed to provide staffing, services, support, equipment, etc., for the event. Any City staff, services, support, equipment, etc., necessary and required to serve the event will be determined by the City in its sole discretion. Examples of such event support include, but are not limited to: law enforcement services; barricades or other similar traffic control devices for road closures; and costs for staff services and equipment associated with providing such services.
Who should I contact if the Special Event is planned to occur within a public street?
If the street is maintained by the City of Alachua, closures are subject to the approval of the Public Services Department and will be coordinated with this Department as part of your Special Event Permit Application. If the street is a County Road, you must contact Alachua County Public Works Department at 352-374-5245. If the street is a State Road, you must contact Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) at 352-381-4300.
Who should I contact regarding law enforcement services?
If you would like to request law enforcement services for your special event, you should contact Alachua Police Department (APD) at 386-462-1396. APD can provide you with information about the policies and procedures applicable for such services and can provide you an estimate of the cost for such services.
Depending upon the scope of a special event, the City, in its sole discretion, may require law enforcement services for the event. Should the City deem law enforcement services to be necessary to serve a special event, the applicant will be responsible for all costs associated with providing such services, and shall remit payment prior to the issuance of the Special Event Permit. Examples of services which may be deemed necessary to serve a special event include, but are not limited to: street closures; traffic direction and control; patrolling within the event area and surrounding area; and other similar services. Personnel limitations may require the event to be scheduled for an alternate date.
Is there any other information that I should know?
Special events held on private property may sale, serve, deliver, and/or permit the consumption of alcoholic beverages. For public property, alcoholic beverages may only be sold, served, delivered, or consumed at certain municipally owned parks, recreation areas, and properties: (1) the Swick House facility; (2) Alan Hitchcock Park (also known as Theatre Park); and (2) the Legacy Park Multipurpose Center. Alcoholic beverages may be sold, served, delivered, or consumed within public right-of-ways only as authorized by a Special Event Permit.
Depending upon the scope of the event, certain conditions may be imposed upon the special event to reduce or minimize any potential adverse impacts upon the surrounding area and to protect the public health, safety and welfare of the general public. Such conditions may include, but are not limited to, specifying and requiring the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages to occur within designated areas, which may be prescribed by the City, and / or requiring the sale or consumption of alcoholic beverages to occur within fenced or barricaded areas with limited points of entry.
All events, whether held on public property or on private property where alcoholic beverages are to be sold, served, delivered, or consumed require the issuance of a permit or license from the Florida Department of Professional Regulation, Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco. The applicant will be required to provide such permit or license to the City prior to the issuance of the Special Event Permit.
If your special event includes the sale and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages, the site plan submitted with your application must show the location where sales and / or consumption of alcoholic beverages are proposed to occur. The applicant will be responsible for enforcing any applicable City, County, and State laws governing the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. In addition, the applicant will also be responsible for ensuring that no alcoholic beverages are brought into or the special event area, and that no alcoholic beverages sold or dispensed inside the special event area are taken out of or consumed outside of the special event area. Issuance of a Special Event Permit by the City of Alachua does not relieve the permit holder of the obligation to comply with all applicable State laws related to alcoholic beverages and, to the extent that any permit is inconsistent with State laws or other lawful regulations, the permit shall be deemed void to the extent it conflicts with such laws or regulations.
Upon receipt of your Special Event Permit Application, the Planning Department will coordinate with other City Departments to determine what City services are required to support the event. The applicant for the event will be responsible for all costs associated with providing City services to support the event, and must remit payment for such services before the Special Event Permit will be issued. Upon request, the City may provide an estimate of the cost for services that will be required, however, a final cost will be provided upon a complete review of the application by all City Departments providing services for the event.
Concessions and Vending
The sale of food and beverages is permitted as part of a special event. All concessionaires and vendors must supply a copy of any applicable permit/license at the time of application submittal.
Indemnification & Hold Harmless
All applicants must complete and submit an Indemnification and Hold Harmless Agreement at the time of application submittal.
The applicant is required to provide a General Liability Insurance for the event. The minimum coverage is $1,000,000 per occurrence. All events involving the sale, serving, or consumption of alcoholic beverages must obtain Alcohol Liability Insurance for each vendor with a minimum coverage of $1,000,000. The Certificate of Liability Insurance must list the City as the Certificate Holder and must list the City of Alachua, its elected officials, appointed officials, and employees as an additional insured for the date(s) of the event. The Certificate Holder must be: City of Alachua, 15100 NW 142nd Terrace, 15100 NW 142nd Terrace, Alachua, FL 32615. All food vendors, caterers and vendors of inflatable structures (such as bounce houses, obstacle courses, etc.), climbing walls, game tables, and similar devices must provide a copy of their current General Liability Insurance Certificate.
A Special Event Permit will be effective beginning on the date and at the time specified in the permit approval, and will remain effective for the period indicated on the permit. No revisions or adjustments to the final approved event, site plan, or related event activities may be made without prior written notification and approval from the City. Should the applicant propose to revise or adjust event activities, the applicant must provide the City reasonable notice to review and approve such changes.
An approved Special Event Permit may be revoked if the applicant supplies false or misleading information, fails to address conditions of approval, fails to supply required information, documentation, or permits from other governmental agencies within requested time frames or in advance of the event, demonstrates an inability to comply with terms or conditions specified in the approval, breaches any provisions of the Special Event Permit Application, any rules and regulations required or established by the City, or violates any applicable laws or ordinances in the period preceding the special event and / or during the special event.
The City may cancel any reservation of a City facility in its sole discretion. Events at City facilities may be cancelled for reasons such as, but not limited to: if it is found that the use of the property will in any way conflict with federal, state, or local laws; if the event sponsor is found to not be in compliance with the approved Special Event Permit; or if there is a lack of City resources that would be required to support the event. If an act beyond the control of the City or the applicant causes the cancellation of the event, the City will work with event sponsors to approve a new date as requested.