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Special Events Policy Update AGENDA ITEM !i S.— TOWN TOWN OP CKE ,Y0. MEETING DATE: January 10th, 2017 TO: Honorable Mayor & Council Members FROM: Hilary Hobbs, Manage I- t Analyst Nicholas Martin, Ad 'inistr- ive Analyst II N"T NJ • SUBJECT: Special Events Polic Upd- e • Approved by: Tony Lair:rook, Town Manager RECOMMENDATION: That the Town Council direct staff to reinitiate the updates to Town special events policy and jointly host a community forum with the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce with the intent to redefine Town special events policy and "best practices." DISCUSSION: Background:Truckee has long been host to a variety of special events, including several that pre-date the Town's incorporation. These include a variety of community-based, non-profit and for-profit events, such as the Great Ski Race (started in 1976), July 41^ parade (started circa 1975), the Donner Lake Triathlon (in its 36th year), and Truckee Day (13 years). In 2008 the Town adopted its first Special Events Ordinance (No. 2008-10), which was primarily intended to regulate public health, safety and property during events. Under the 2008 policy, the Town has continued to play a reactive role regarding special events by permitting permissible events as applications are received. This ordinance did not create policy directives specific to common special events issues such as prioritization, sponsorship, economic benefits, and impacts on the public. As a result staff did not address those issues other than life and safety impacts. • In January 2015 Town Council directed staff to convene a Special Events Policy Development Committee (Committee) to consider possible revisions to the special events code and policy. The Committee was made up of ,two council members, various community groups, events producers, town staff, special districts, etc. One of the primary reasons was to open a dialogue about how to attract and promote quality events that support and enhance the community. The objectives of the 2015 outreach process were to revise existing code for clarity and to create a policy that encouraged special events as a tool for enhancing economic development in Truckee. Staff subsequently hosted a series of three stakeholder workshops during the first half of 2015. These workshops tended to focus mostly on the nuts and bolts of special events policy and permitting, and less on overall strategy. A summary of outcomes from the stakeholder Town Council Staff Report Page 1 AGENDA ITEM workshops is provided below: • Special Events Principles: The community values special events which enhance community, culture, and the economy. The Town's approach to special events should be structured to minimize impacts on public health and safety, environment, and quality of life. • Special events serve multiple purposes in Truckee, including invigorating community spirit, supporting arts and culture, promoting tourism and economic development, and serving as a fundraiser for nonprofits. Special events policy should be flexible enough to support all of these purposes. • The definition of"special events" that will require a permit was refined to include outdoor events that take place on or have direct impact to public right-of-way, sidewalk, parking lots, etc., or otherwise have impacts that extend beyond the boundaries of the immediate property. • Town should provide a special events policy or guidance document to assist potential event organizers; special event application should be easy to use. • Policy needs to clearly articulate the difference between "temporary use" and "special event." • Stakeholders are interested in a fee structure that provides cost recovery, but also takes into account the following factors: o Evaluation of event's impacts: parking, road closures, staffing required, residents' tolerance for frequent event impacts o High vs. Low season (i.e. tiered pricing with higher fee during high season) o Weekday vs. weekend (i.e. higher fee on weekends) o Tiered pricing for profit vs.Nonprofit organizer/Civic (no fee) event o Economic impact of event (i.e. incentivize events with large projected impact) • Event policy should require a waste management/cleanup plan. • Town should disseminate information about upcoming special events, including web- based event calendar; this can provide notification of upcoming event impacts, and can be a tool for interested event organizers to see where the calendar is already busy. • Special events policy must clearly protect expressive activities and 1st Amendment rights. 1st Amendment protection should be considered in any future policy regarding town "sponsorship" or fee waivers for events. • Town should develop a policy to prioritize events/criteria for ranking events proposed to take place on the same day. 2017 Special Events Process: If directed by Council, staff will build upon the work that was previously completed in 2015 by the Committee to initiate a community dialogue regarding special events. The focus of the recommended community dialogue will be to take a step back from the nuts and bolts of special events policy and logistics to consider the Town's special events values and strategy. Following public input and discussion with Council, it is the intention Town Council Staff Report Page 2 AGENDA ITEM of staff to propose any changes to policy that may be necessary to support this strategy, and to create a customer-focused platform for event organizers/producers to utilize that maximizes the transparency of the Town's regulations and fees while fulfilling the needs of the citizens. 2017 is an opportune time to update the policy since the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce is also beginning the development of a special events master plan, which will drive The Chamber and TTBID Committee's marketing, recruitment, and sponsorship of events in the Truckee area. The Chamber simultaneously plans to launch its annual Quality of Life Survey, which will support and align with the special events dialogue by measuring community sentiments regarding special events benefits and impacts.. Staff has created a working partnership with the Chamber to ensure that their special events master plan is consistent with the policy that is being updated by the Town. This partnership is essential for augmenting the strategy discussion on the types of events that are right for Truckee as well as when and where they should occur. Input from the public and stakeholders will be key in the strategy development. In an effort to reach a variety of people and foster greater community dialogue, staff proposes to work jointly with the Chamber and host a community forum. This could be in the form of a community workshop/discussion, Chamber mixer, or similar informal community meeting where the open exchange of ideas would be the focus. This is a different approach than staff has taken in the past, but supports Council directive to engage a greater segment of the community through new and innovative public engagement approaches. Previously there was a large public effort in 2015 to collect substantial stakeholder input; staff believes a more streamlined and focused public involvement process is appropriate at this time to refine special events principles and strategy that would be presented to Council along with further staff recommendations. The proposed timeline for completing an update to the special events policy and possible update to municipal code are estimated to be completed by the end of 2017. The public forum will be the beginning of the process to match-up with the Chamber's efforts, likely in the early spring, with the bulk of the policy development including fee structure, to occur during the summer and fall. Staff would like to have a web-based permitting process that is aligned with the Chamber so that customers are able to view available event types, dates, estimated fees, and be seamlessly transferred between Chamber resources and Town permitting process. Development of the web plafform would take place after the policy is approved and is planned to be in place for the 2018 event planning season. Staff proposes to bring findings from the community forum and proposed policy updates to Council during the early summer to ensure it is consistent with stated special events principles. Staff also would like discussion on whether or not it is appropriate to utilize the existing Council special events committee for this effort. ALTERNATIVES: In addition to the recommended action, Council could consider the following alternative actions: 1. Include more robust public engagement in the form of additional public workshops, outreach events, stakeholder meetings and/or joint partnership with the Chamber. 2. Eliminate the community forum and direct staff to bring back a full list of recommendations for an updated special events policy basedon previous efforts, research of similar jurisdictions, etc. This alternative assumes that additional public involvement would occur as part of the Council discussion, but would not set aside staff Town Council Staff Report . Page 3 AGENDA ITEM time for working directly with the Chamber on a community forum. FISCAL IMPACT: Staff estimates the cost for the recommended action to be two staff members at approximately 40 hours each, including the cost of supplies and refreshments for the joint public forum with the Chamber. The estimated costs will significantly increase with alternative one, and decrease with alternative two. PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS: Notice of the item was part of regular Town Council agenda packet. Staff also reached out to each participant of the 2015 special events policy development committee meetings. Town Council Staff Report Page 4