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Special Event Permitting

Auburn hosts a variety of special events annually. Each event serves a unique role and adds to the spirit of our City; community festivals, athletic, and cultural events provide opportunities for neighbors, artists, merchants, spectators, and participants to interact and celebrate the richness of Auburn.

Before you commit to planning a special event in Auburn, there are a few things we ask you to consider:

  • Will the event affect our city services, public properties, public transportation system, routes to churches, schools, hospitals or emergency services?
  • How will noise impact the surrounding neighborhood?
  • What other events are scheduled throughout the City on the date or in the month you have planned your event?
  • Where will people park?
  • Will there be adequate sanitation & solid waste (garbage, recycling, compostable) facilities?
  • Should you consider First Aid stations or security?

How do I know if I need a Special Event Permit?

If your plan includes holding an event in whole or in part on public property or on private property and it affects the ordinary use of public streets, right-of-ways, trails or sidewalks and/or may require additional city services than would normally be provided such as police escorts, traffic control, sanitation, and cleanup work required to support the event, you may need a special event permit.

To help you identify if a permit is needed and what kind, we ask you to contact the Auburn Parks, Arts & Recreation Department at 253-931-3043 to discuss your plans. The pre-application consultation may save you time and money.

Why do I need to apply for a Special Event Permit?

  • To assure that an activity meets legal requirements of the use of public land and right of ways.
  • To assure the City, that adequate services such as traffic control, sanitation, solid waste and public safety issues are addressed.
  • To identify any conflicts with other events that may be scheduled or activities that may unreasonably infringe upon access to services and allow the City and promoter a timely opportunity to address them.

How can I receive a Special Event Permit?
Complete a pre-application consultation form and mail or email application to:
Auburn Parks, Arts & Recreation
Attention: Special Events Committee
910 9th Street SE, Auburn WA, 98002
Email to: [email protected]
You may also submit the application in person at the above address, Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM-5:00 PM or Saturday 9:00 AM-4:00 PM.

The application is to be filed a minimum of 90 days prior to event, to ensure adequate time is available for the City's Special Event Committee to review. You may be asked to meet with the Committee, if this is a first time event, or if there are questions following their review. Your timely application also provides you an opportunity to address or correct any issues that may be needed. Following the Committee review you may be required to obtain additional permits.

Can I promote my event before I get a permit?

Please do not publicize your event if you only filed an application form. Filing an application does not guarantee approval of your event. The permit application(s), right-of-way plans, and insurance must be approved through the Auburn Special Event Committee.

How much will the Special Event Permits cost overall?

This depends on the type of special event. All special events must go through the formal application process and may require additional permits, and additional costs incurred by the City of Auburn in providing services to support the event. Normally this includes services such as police and emergency services, traffic control, sanitation, solid waste and clean-up services. Depending on the size or special conditions of your event, other permits and fees may also be required. City of Auburn facility rentals fees will also need to be paid prior to issuing the final permit.

Other permits/items that may be required by the City of Auburn:

Other resources – general information

When are fees due?

The non-refundable processing fee is due at the time the permit application is submitted. All other fees must be paid prior to issuance of the permit unless otherwise provided in the conditions of approval.

Do I need insurance?

Yes. You will be required to provide either a commercial general liability or special events liability insurance certificate with minimum liability limits of two million dollars ($2,000,000) per occurrence; two million dollars ($2,000,000) aggregate. In the certificate it shall name the City of Auburn as a certificate holder and the City as additional insured on a primary and non-contributory basis. The certificate shall reference the dates and name of the special event being covered by the liability insurance.

Coverage shall be written for a period not less than twenty-four (24) hours prior to the event and extending for a period not less than twenty-four (24) hours following the completion of the event.

Additional insurance may be required following a review of the event application by our Human Resources and Risk Management Division.

If the event applicant or organizer is unable to obtain liability insurance coverage, they may be able to purchase a single event policy through the "TULIP Program" recommended by the City’s insurance provider – Washington Cities Insurance Authority. For more information please contact the Auburn Human Resources and Risk Management Department at 253-931-3073.

What conditions may be required as part of your permit?

The scope of your special event may necessitate additional requirements to be completed by your group prior to permit approval, examples include: Notification to the businesses or residents that may be affected or notice of permit conditions to event participants may be needed.

Depending on the scope of the event, a Right-of-Way Use Permit, traffic control plan, additional sanitation facilities, or separate garbage and recycling containers may also be needed.

The Special Event Committee will provide you with a list of any conditions your event will need to meet.

The applicant has sole responsibility for obtaining any additional permits and complying with the City's Special Events Ordinance #6557 and conditions of the Special Event Permit.

Why might a permit not be approved?

Some of the reasons a special event application may not be approved include: the applicant provides false or misleading information, fails to fully complete the application, or cannot supply the required information or documents; the applicant is unable to comply with requested terms and conditions; the event conflicts with another previously scheduled event or condition; there would be unreasonable disruption to the orderly or safe circulation of traffic or would present unreasonable risk of injury or damage.

What if I want to appeal the decision?

You may appeal the denial of a permit or any permit condition, by filing a written notice of appeal, accompanied by a $250 fee to the City Clerk within fourteen days of the decision. Appeals must specify the grounds for the appeal and attach any relevant documents in support. The Director of Administration or designee will issue a written decision regarding the appeal within 10 days.