If your event meets any criteria listed below the organizer may need to obtain a Special Events permit from the Santa Clara County Fire Department.
It is the responsibility of the organizer to work with the SCCFD to obtain any necessary fire permits. There may be additional costs and requirements required by the SCCFD that the organizer must comply with. You can review the outdoor carnivals and fairs specifications document at: http://www.sccfd.org/images/documents/fire_prevention/standards/2.4.6_outdoor_carnivals_and_fairs.pdf for more information.
The organizer must submit proof of the permit application to the Events Specialist prior to the event. This application can be found at https://www.losgatosca.gov/2439/Special-Events-Information. Please contact the SCCFD for additional information. At www.sccfd.org or (408) 378-4010.
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For your convenience we have highlighted some of the typical event-related town fees that you may incur when planning your event in town depending on the elements of your event. We have also highlighted other event-related fees not associated with the Town that you may want to consider when planning your event budget.
TOWN RELATED EVENT COSTS
For a full list of fees please see the Town’s Comprehensive Fee Schedule. Please note that these fees will be adjusted annually by the average consumer price index for the calendar year and/or by the percentage increase in actual operating costs for the current year – whichever is greater.
Special Event Application Fees
Temporary Sign Permit
Parks Special Use Permit
$95 - $150
Oak Meadow Bandstand
$65 - $150
Town Plaza Park Use
$55 per hour
Block Party Permit
$279.00 and up
Police On-Site Staff Support
Actual cost per hour
No Parking Signs
Non-Town Event Related Costs
Costs for these items are not specified as they will vary greatly depending on the vendor the organizer chooses to use. However, these are other items you should consider budgeting for when planning an event in Los Gatos.
All special event applications require the submission of a site diagram. A Site Diagram should include the following:
Consider the following in your planning: Impedance of emergency fire, police, or paramedic vehicles. Conflict with public transportation such as buses, shuttles, and trains. Interference with people trying to reach hotels, the airport, residences, businesses, places of worship, and public facilities. If your event involves road closures, please see the road closure related FAQs for further, detailed, important information.
An event timeline is required with the special event application. The event timeline should include as much information as possible at the time of the submission such as, equipment delivery/pick-up times, set-up/tear-down times of specific equipment, volunteer/staff arrival/departure times, event activities, etc. Typically, an excel format is best. We understand that this detailed of information may not be available at the time you submit your application, but we recommend submitting any information you have so that the Event Specialist may be aware of the elements of your event and inform you of any additional permits or requirements needed as a result of those elements. A more detailed timeline should be submitted closer to the event date.
Events with amplified sound, large crowds, street closures, and/or other elements which may otherwise inconvenience the surrounding businesses and residents require neighborhood notification. The event organizer must provide notice to businesses and residences typically within a 500-foot radius of the event location depending on the scope of the event, at least 2 weeks prior to the event. The organizer must include in the notification the time, location, type of event and anticipated noise or traffic disturbances. Notifications can be in the form of a letter, flyer or postcard or other documentation. The organizer must provide the Town Events Specialist with a copy of the notification prior to distribution for approval.
Per the Special Events Municipal code, Sec. 14.100.010, the organizer may not advertise their event until the organizer has received a Conditional Letter of Approval from the Town. To place banners advertising the event in town the organizer must apply for a Temporary Sign Permit through the Community Development Department. The Temporary Sign application can be found here. Posters in private businesses are permitted if the organizer has received written or verbal approval from the business owner.
If the event requires the use of a Town park such as Town Plaza Park, Oak Meadow Park, Civic Center Plaza or any other Town-owned park the organizer must indicate this in their special event application. The organizer is responsible for paying for any park use fees as indicated in the Town’s Comprehensive Fee Schedule, in addition to the special event application fee and all other town related costs. The organizer must also abide by all regulations set-forth in the Town’s Facilities Use Policy. Among these policies, all events held in a public park must be open to the public and cannot restrict access. The Events Specialist will work with the Parks and Public Works Department to reserve the requested park as part of your special event application.
In addition to the park use fee, a refundable deposit may be required depending on the nature of your event to account for any possible damage that could be done to the park grounds. A post-event site evaluation will be done by a member of the Parks and Public Works department to determine if any damage occurred as a result of the event. If it is found that damage was done to any of the facilities or additional clean-up is needed this will be documented and the event organizer will be billed at full cost recovery rates for cleanup and repair.
For smaller park events such as children’s parties, organized recreational activities or classes that are contained entirely within a park and do not meet the other Special Events requirements, a Parks Special Use permit may be required. In these cases, the applicant may work directly with the Parks and Public Works department by visiting https://www.losgatosca.gov/1084/Park-Reservations-Permits-Fees.
Event organizers are required to provide a safe and secure environment for their event. This is accomplished through solid pre-planning and anticipating potential problems and concerns. The size, type, time of day, and location of the event as well as overall activities, are all factors that need to be analyzed by the Town when determining whether your event will need uniformed security.
Each special event application will be reviewed by the Town to determine if security is required. Events having the potential to draw a large crowd, such as street fairs or concerts, and include the consumption of alcohol are likely to require security. If security is deemed necessary for an event, the Town will require either private security or the Los Gatos Monte-Sereno Police Department (LGMSPD). If LGMSPD staff is required, the applicant is responsible for paying the hourly rate for each officer to the Town of Los Gatos. A minimum of two LGMS Police Officers at four hours is required. The Event Specialist will include those estimated costs in the estimated Town fees provided to the organizer prior to the event.
If additional LGMS Police Officers are needed on the day of the event due to larger than expected attendance or other factors, the organizer will be responsible for paying for those additional costs after the event. Organizers will not be billed for regular calls for service.
In cases where private security is being used they must meet the following criteria:
The organizer must submit the following pieces of information for approval of their requested security vendor. Please note that even if security is not required but the organizer wishes to use private security anyway, the company must still be approved.
For larger events the organizer is responsible for providing first aid onsite during the event. The first aid station must be indicated on the site map and a brief explanation of the first aid plan should be provided in the special event application. The first aid station should be staffed by qualified individuals trained and certified in basic first aid training.
Set-Up of Event
Event set-up must comply with the Los Gatos Municipal Code Sec. 16.20.010 and may not make, cause suffer or permit any noise disturbances within 100 feet of any building or place regularly used for sleeping purposes between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., unless given specific approval from the Town. For events that occur over multiple days or set-up prior to 8:00 a.m. the organizer must submit a plan to the Town of Los Gatos Event Specialist and work with the Town to find the best option and location for set-up which causes minimal disturbance to the residents of Los Gatos. Event set-up cannot take place on an open roadway and cannot cause a roadway to be closed longer than the hours permitted by the Town.
Clean-Up of Event
The event organizer is responsible for leaving the event area and the immediate adjacent areas in the condition of which they were found prior to the event. Clean-up must occur immediately after the event and within a reasonable time frame as to not disrupt or prohibit the public from accessing the area in a timely manner. The organizer must provide a cleanup plan to the Town at least two weeks prior to the event that indicates 1) sufficient staff (paid or volunteer) to handle cleanup throughout the day and after the event; and 2) sufficient equipment placed in effective locations (dumpsters, trash receptacles, hot coal barrels, and grease barrels). The Town does not provide street sweeping services for special events unless specifically requested by the organizer. In those cases, the organizer shall pay the hourly rate as indicated in the current fee schedule. Should the event organizer fail to perform adequate clean up or damage occurs to Town property and facilities, the organizer will be billed at full cost recovery rates for cleanup and repair. In addition, such failure may result in a denial of future approval for a Special Event Permit or the requirement of a cash deposit or surety bond for future events.
The organizer shall be responsible for providing adequate portable toilets at their event. The organizer must submit a portable toilet plan to the Town two weeks prior to their event by indicating the location and number of toilets on their site/route diagram. If the toilets are placed anywhere outside of the permitted event hours or location an encroachment permit may be required. See section 10 for more information on encroachment permits.
The Santa Clara County Department of Health Services recommends one (1) chemical toilet for every 250 people, or portion thereof. The figure is based upon the maximum number of people at your event during peak time. A percentage of disabled accessible toilets will also be required. For events providing food, the Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health (SCCDEH) requires 1 portable toilet and one hand wash station for every 15 food service workers. The SCCDEH may have additional requirements that the event organizer must comply with if the event is required to obtain a permit from them.
When determining how many portable toilets will be needed for an event the organizer should consider the number of people attending, the length of the event and what type of food and drink will be sold or served. For events where alcohol will be present an additional 15%-20% of portable toilets should be added to the calculation. The chart below may serve as a guide in planning.
When holding an event in a Town park, public park toilets may be used. However, the organizer will be required to provide their own staff to service the park toilets during the event or may be required to pay for the Town’s Parks & Public Works staff to service the restrooms if the event is outside of their normal working hours.
The organizer may not direct attendees to use private restrooms unless already agreed up with the business owner prior to the event. Authorized placement locations for portable toilets and trash receptacles will be determined by the Town for each event. For more information on DEH requirements please visit: www.sccgov.org/sites/deh
The event organizer must properly recycle and dispose of waste throughout the term of the event and the area must be returned to its original condition immediately upon conclusion of the event. The event organizer is responsible for providing additional trash and recycling receptacles to accommodate all waste generated from the event.
The event organizer is responsible for event specific garbage and recycling as well as public, Town-owned trash and recycling receptacles throughout the duration and after the event. The organizer must provide a place to store the full waste bags during the event, such as a dumpster.
Dumpsters must be placed in an approved location and may be delivered 1-2 days prior to the event and removed 1-2 days after the event if needed. If the dumpster is blocking parking spaces or any other public area outside of the permitted event area or hours an encroachment permit may be required from the Town. See "What is an encroachment permit?" in these FAQs for more information.
If using a Town facility or park where there may be existing electric power access, it is the responsibility of the organizer to indicate in their application that they would like to use the power so the Events Specialist can coordinate with the Parks and Public Works Department to ensure the power will be available for access on the event date. If the organizer needs to access private electric power sources it is the responsibility of the organizer to request access from the property owner. When the organizer does not have access to power they may use a generator and may need to obtain a fire inspection permit from the Santa Clara County Fire Department.
The organizer may not use any public water access points and must receive the property owner’s approval if using private water sources. If the organizer has any event equipment, such as portable restrooms, that require electrical or water access and it is not available the organizer must use a self-contained system.
An encroachment permit is required from Parks & Public Works Engineering division for special events when the organizer wishes to place any event equipment on any public property such as a street, sidewalk or parking lot outside of the permitted event hours and locations that have been approved in the Special Event Conditional Letter of Approval. Examples include, portable restrooms, dumpsters, etc. that are placed on a public street or lot prior to the event date. The organizer should fill out an encroachment permit application and turn it in to the Event Specialist who will work with engineering on their behalf to obtain an approved permit. The specialist will also include the encroachment permit cost in the estimate and the final invoice to the organizer.
The encroachment permit application and additional information can be found at: https://www.losgatosca.gov/2342/Encroachment-Permits
The sale or furnishing of alcoholic beverages at a public event will require an additional permit from the State Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). The applicant MUST obtain a Letter of Authorization from the Chief of Police to ABC before they will issue an ABC permit (30-day process). This application can be found at https://www.losgatosca.gov/2439/Special-Events-Information. The Organizer may submit this application along with their special event application to the Town Event Specialist for signature from the Chief. The Town Event Specialist will return the signed ABC Letter of Authorization to the organizer upon approval of the event so that the organizer may move forward with obtaining their alcohol permit from ABC.
All alcohol consumption during the event must stay within the permitted area and be clearly defined with barriers such as a beer garden area or road closure. Signs measuring a minimum of 11”x17” must be posted at all exits that read, “No Alcohol past this point.” Security or volunteer staff will also be required at all exits to ensure that alcohol does not leave the permitted area. Private security or LGMS Police Officers may be required based on the number of event attendees (see “What are the security guidelines for events?” in these FAQs). The organizer must provide the following information to the Event Specialist prior to submission of the Letter of Authorization application.
Hours of sale must be approved by the LGMS Police Department. Police may close the sale of alcohol at any time during the event if they determine that these controls are not being adhered to or in the interest of public safety. Please note that the ABC may also visit the event site to determine that their requirements are met. The organizer is responsible for training their event staff to identify when the alcohol should not be served to an individual who is intoxicated.
For more information visit www.abc.ca.gov or call (408) 277-1200.
Events in which food will be cooked and/or served or sold to the public require a Temporary Event Permit from the Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health. The organizer is responsible for applying for this permit and it must be submitted to the Town, along with all other applicable permits, at least two weeks before the event. Temporary events usually consist of one or more food booths/operations, also known as temporary food facilities (TFF). It is the responsibility of the Santa Clara Department of Environmental Health to review all TFFs to ensure the protection and food safety of the public.
Organizers may not use Town water access points for food booths or hand wash stations. The organizer may use private water access points if given written permission from the property owner prior to the event.
You can find more information about the costs and requirements for a temporary event permit at, https://www.sccgov.org/sites/cpd/programs/TE/Pages/home.aspx or by contacting the Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health at (408) 918-3400.
Organizers should always consider parking in their event planning. Organizers should describe their plans for parking in the special event application and indicate these areas on the site map. If any of those parking accommodations include private properties, the organizer must work with the property owner to receive approval to use their property. If using Los Gatos High School as overflow parking, you must obtain a permit from Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District: www.lgsuhsd.org or (408) 335-2000.
Events that include road closures are typically much more complex in nature due to the high level of safety precautions that must be taken, planning and potential inconvenience to the public and businesses. All events wishing to close any public right-of-ways such as roads, sidewalks, parking lots, etc. must indicate this in their special event application. Each request will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by Town staff.
Please read the following FAQ topics in these FAQs for further information on road closures.
All organizers requesting to close any portion of a street for their event must do the following:
In many cases it is also recommend that the organizer provide first aid such as through an organization like D.A.R.T as well as volunteers to help monitor closure points and/or race marshals in the case of runs, cycling races, etc.
There are three levels of road closures:
Please note that each road closure request will be evaluated on a case by case basis and other factors such as time of year or anticipated event volume may also be factored into determining the level of closure.
Due to the size and nature of a N. Santa Cruz closure, these requests must seek special approval and are limited to a certain number per year.
A traffic control plan (TCP) is a detailed plan including a map of the requested closure area and the placement, number and type of all traffic control equipment necessary to provide the safe and efficient movement of vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians through or around temporary traffic control zones. A TCP is typically designed by a certified traffic control engineer. For level one road closures the organizer may create their own TCP. The information below will guide the organizer in creating their TCP. A preliminary TCP must be submitted with the special event application with a final TCP required at least 45 days prior to their event. The TCP must be reviewed by the Town’s traffic engineer and the Los Gatos Monte Sereno Police Department.
Submitted Traffic Control Plans shall include the following:
Any closure of public right-of-ways will require the use of Uniform Traffic Control equipment, these may include physical barriers (cones and barricades), traffic signs, lights, and more, to ensure public safety. The organizer will be responsible for obtaining their own equipment as the Town does not provide these. Implementation of the road closure and re-opening will be determined by the Town based on the complexity and level of the closure. If a Traffic Control Company is required to implement the closure the organizer is responsible for those costs. A list of traffic control vendors can be provided if needed.