Summit County proposes new rules for special event permitting process |

Summit County proposes new rules for special event permitting process

A temporary building is shown on a movie set in Browns Canyon over the summer. Summit County staff are suggesting the county treat filming activities as special events that require a film permit. Currently, filming activities only require a license through the Clerks Office.

Summit County staff are proposing changes to the county's special event permitting process to better coordinate with Park City Municipal on events that cross both jurisdictions.

For several months, staffers have been working with various agencies, including the Health Department, Sheriff's Office, Park City Fire Department and Park City's Special Events Department, to mitigate challenges that have been encountered in the past.

"There wasn't as much oversight," said Travis English, who is now the special events manager. "We will now be looking at the applications more thoroughly and opening the line of communication between the various departments."

Under the proposed amendments, special events will now be reviewed by English rather than the Community Development Director, Pat Putt. However, the Community Development Department will still be involved in the process when warranted.

The staff is also suggesting removing language in the code that referred to events as major or minor, and replacing it with more specific parameters.

English will review the applications before passing them along to various agencies and departments for additional approval. He will have the authority to approve Level 1 and Level 2 events with up to 499 people, with the recommendations of the various stakeholders.

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Level 3 events, that is assemblies of more than 500 people, will undergo the same process, but will ultimately be approved by Summit County Manager Tom Fisher.

"We are just trying to make it easier for the applicant and so on the backend we all can review everything," English said.

The new process will also consider filming activities Level 3 events requiring film permits. Previously, any filming done in the county only required a license through the Clerk's Office. English said "it wasn't permanent and we had no teeth to sink into it."

"We just gave them a license before. This will hopefully mitigate some of the filming challenges we have encountered in the past that have to do with timing and scheduling," English said. "For instance, there would be a lighting issue because they would be filming at 3 a.m., but we couldn't send a deputy out there to shut it down because we had nothing in our code about it."

Staff worked with the Utah Film Commission for input on the recommendations to streamline the process, English said. The suggested amendments will require an applicant to specify a shooting schedule, provide written permission of the property owners and access to the site.

All of the changes were crafted to mirror Park City Municipal's regulations and how they handle similar events. The city updated its process in the spring.

"We were having events, such as the Ragnar Relay, that were crossing municipal and county boundaries," English said. "It was confusing for the service providers because they weren't sure what kind of event it was in the county. Now, a Level 3 event in Park City is a Level 3 event in the county so we are all on the same page."

During the Nov. 2 meeting, County Councilors delayed a decision on the amendments pending further discussion. They are expected to reconsider the matter at the end of the month.

English said he is hoping to review any upcoming winter events under the amendments, adding "we are waiting to permit a couple of our larger events that will happen this winter under this new code."

"I think that it is worth noting the collaboration it took to come up with these amendments," English said. "We have been working on this for several months to make sure it is done right and done well. There have been a lot of people just making sure that we are dialing it in and making it easier for everyone, especially our residents."

To view the staff report, go to