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Jan 16, 2013

Event Permits: A Necessary Evil

It seems unfair to have to get permission to have a party in your own yard, but there are event rules and protocol that varies by location and it all exists for a reason.

For the most part, your local authorities are interested in tents, stages, generators, large crowds, high noise levels, street & emergency vehicle access, and food and alcohol regulations on large events.  Unfortunately, the rules vary by village, town, county and state so it’s nearly impossible to break it all down.  The important part is to be aware and do your research.  These permits are in place to help ensure that event safety is a top priority.

The first and easiest option is to hire someone to manage the permitting process.  I believe it’s the best solution for large events, especially those open to the public. If your event is more modest in size, you can find information on permitting for most areas online.  If you’re planning an event in New York, New York City’s website is very helpful in breaking down the process: Office of Citywide Event Coordination and Management

Since my favorite topic is tents and tent installation, I’ll save you the research and remind you that at the moment, the NYC Department of Buildings requires a work permit for any temporary structure exceeding 400 square feet.  This permit involves an engineer’s stamp, a few weeks and some fees.  There are folks that specialize in just this and they are fantastic at making the permitting process easy.

And for our friends planning a Long Island event, I’m happy to report that unlike your taxes, your permit process is typically less expensive.  To be safe, it’s best to check with your village, town and county for any permits required.  Depending on the complexity of your event, you may not need any permits, but it’s always better to get the information and be prepared.

Another entry complete in the boring files. I promise to talk about a more exciting event planning topic next time.

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