Northwest NEWS

March 13, 2000

Local News

Council considers special events policy

by Marshall Haley, staff reporter

   WOODINVILLE--A proposal to require a special events for Woodinville was introduced to the City Council at its Feb. 28 meeting by Lane Youngblood, Director of Parks and Recreation.

   City staff and the Parks Commission designed Ordinance No. 234 to give event sponsors clear guidelines for balancing the rights of individuals who want to participate in events against those who do not. The guidelines would also allow the City and event sponsors to gauge necessary police or volunteer help. That would ensure public safety--when events interfere with public right-of-way--and eliminate taxpayer vulnerability to lawsuits.

   "I think the City has created an ordinance that will make events stronger," said Don Julian, Woodinville library manager and Greater Woodinville Community Roundtable rep. "We've always taken the 'Spanky and Our Gang' approach to organizing events in Woodinville. Now it should be more organized. This only forces us to do what should've been done years ago."

   The ordinance would not affect events held on private property, unless they disrupt traffic or pose a public danger that would involve City resources, Youngblood said, in answer to Councilmember Carol Bogue's question of whether non-profit events such as church fundraisers would have to pay a permit fee. Owners of profit-making booths, such as in street fairs, would pay a booth inspection fee.

   Youngblood's staff and the Parks Commission will continue to research the parameters of such requirements over the next few weeks before bringing them back to the Council.

   A permit process and fee schedule will comprise the meat of the ordinance. Sponsors would submit applications to the City Permit Center, where they would receive the guidelines. Sponsors would then schedule a meeting with the Technical Review Committee, made up of City staff, the Chamber of Commerce, and other business owners.