Pinal County is indeed a fun place to live, and Special Events are a way to express our love of family and community. Events may be small or large, but the goal of the Special Event application process is to ensure that your event is successful and safe. Our mission is to protect the public from any harm which might be present during a special event, and to enhance the enjoyment and well being of all participants. Some examples of special events may be a concert, rodeo, fireworks display, parade, race, or a tent revival meeting. Each of these events can potentially create hazards for the public which must be addressed in the planning stage. Events are intended to promote gatherings of people, and by adhering to the precautions set out in the special event review process, a happy public and a safe event will be the end results.
An addition was made to the Zoning Ordinance in March of 2010 which describes the Special Event definitions, Provisions and Exemptions and the application procedure. A Special Event is defined as a “temporary event or activity to which the public is invited, with or without an entrance fee”, and meets any of the following criteria:
1. Is different from the usual use of the property where the event is being held and requires the
approval of at least two County departments by permits or inspections.
2. Requires approval of three or more County departments by permits or inspections.
There are two different types of Special Events. The first type is called the “Small Special Event”. This is an Event typically attracting less than 1000 participants, including spectators, vendors, actors, entertainers, workers, and any other people who will be on the event site.
The second level of event is called the “Large Special Event”, and deals with crowd levels of 1000 people or more, or be an event which simply lasts more than 4 days. This event would typically involve at least 3 county agencies for coordination, and would have to be approved by the Board of Supervisors prior to permit issuance.
When a person or organization intends to sponsor an event, the process that follows is thus:
1. The event organizer submits either a Small Event Permit Application(less than 500 participants) or a Large Event Permit Application (500 or more participants). This can be done in person, by scanning the application and sending by e-mail, or by regular mail. The Special Events Coordinator Arline Studley (520-866-6555) will take this application and review the information provided. If you have a map of the event, it is often helpful to submit this along with the application. The map may show things such as access streets, parking areas, vendor booths, porta potties, rides, and stages.
2. After the application is received by the Special Event Coordinator it will be evaluated as to the size and complexity of the event. The event organizer will be contacted and informed that the event planning committee may need to meet with the organizer to discuss details and requirements for the event, Meetings are typically held on Thursdays in the Ocotillo Room of Building F, on Butte Street, in Florence, Arizona. (address is 31 N Pinal, Florence, AZ 85132)
The appropriate County Departments and support agencies will be notified in advance of a meeting time and date to discuss your event. We require for event organizers of small events to submit an application no less than 60 days prior to the event, and of large events to submit at least 120 days prior to the event. This allows all departments to review the event logistics and make recommendations to the event organizer in enough time to allow changes to be made, if necessary.
If your event falls into the Large Event category (1000 or more participants, or of 4 days in duration, or involving three or more county departments for inspections or permits), your event will be presented to the Board of Supervisors for approval. After all the other departments and agencies have signed off on the application, the last step is to have the Board of Supervisors review your event details and approve the Special Event Permit.
Whether the event is small or large, after all required approvals have been met and fees have been paid, the permit will be issued to the event organizer. You are now on your way to achieving an event which should be safe and compliant with all county departments. You can feel confident that your event has been reviewed by experts in the fields of Emergency Operations, Public Health and Public Safety, Environmental Health and Safety, Public Works, Air Quality, Building Safety, Planning, and Risk Management.
FEES: The fee for a small event is $10, and $150/day for the large event. Depending upon the nature of your event, there may also be separate fees for food vendors, air quality permit, Public Works Right-of-Way permit, and building permits if constructing stages, tents, or temporary structures.