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Special Activity Permits: Frequently Asked Questions   PDF

From festivals to parades to marathons, the City of Melbourne is proud to host hundreds of events each year. It is our goal to enhance the quality of life, vitality and economic prosperity of our community through the support of special events.

The City of Melbourne’s special activity permitting process is designed to streamline the process to benefit the event organizer, ensure the safety of event participants, and protect city assets, while still maintaining the high level of service to taxpayers throughout the rest of the city. The following are answers to questions the city staff most frequently receives from special event permit applicants. If you have questions that are not answered here, or if you need any additional information along the way, please contact our City Clerk’s office at 321-608-7220.

1. How do I obtain a permit?
First, download and review the following documents:

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2. How long will it take to process my permit?

The time to process your permit will vary depending on the size and complexity of the special activity. Time to process an application to allow the posting of a promotional banner or inflatable sign only requires a few days; however, an application for a first-time event that will held on city property and is expected to attract 1,000 people or more will require 90 days to process. For details, please review Special Activity Permitting Procedures.

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3. What does it cost to apply?

Application fees start at $25 and are determined based on how far in advance the application is submitted before the activity start date. For details, please review Special Activity Permitting Procedures.

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4. How much does the City charge to provide services for special events?
The final cost will depend on the type and size of the event being held. There are several factors that influence the cost of an event, such as the time of day and where the event will be held, type of entertainment that will be provided, whether alcohol will be served, expected event attendance, and traffic and fire conditions. Evening runs and parades, for example, require more coverage for safety and liability reasons than an early morning fundraising walk through a residential neighborhood. The City Clerk’s office can provide cost estimates from similar events. Cost estimates for new events can typically be provided within 7 – 10 business days following the pre-planning meeting.

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5. Why does the City charge for services for special events?
Special events fall outside the realm of the city’s normal day-to-day operations. Additional staff and resources are scheduled to support a special event so that the City can maintain the same level of police, fire and other services that are still needed elsewhere in the city. The applicant is only billed for the hourly rate (or contract rate) of employees who support the event. The amount charged does not generate revenue for the city; it simply covers costs.

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6. My event is not for profit. Can the fees be waived?
No. Because fees are charged to recover costs to taxpayers, they cannot be waived. Many events held in the city are not-for-profit. The cost to the taxpayers if fees were waived for not-for-profit applicants would approach $100,000 a year.

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7. Why do you require insurance for events held on City property?
Property owned by the City is considered an asset belonging to the taxpayers of Melbourne. Insurance is required so that in the event that someone is injured during a special event, the burden and liability does not fall on the City’s taxpayers.

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8. May I use my own barricades and cones to close a road?
No. To ensure the safety of motorists and pedestrians, the City follows Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) specifications when closing any city roads. FDOT requires that certain types of devices/barricades be used and also specifies exactly how and where these barricades/devices are placed. All traffic control measures are supplied and placed by trained engineering staff. Following this standard ensures a safe environment for event participants, as well as for pedestrians and motorists who encounter the closed roadway.

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9. I know someone who has law enforcement experience. Can he provide security at our event instead of Melbourne Police officers?
No. To ensure the safety of event attendees, in addition to that of surrounding residents and businesses, the Melbourne Police Chief has the sole authority to determine the type and amount of police coverage and equipment needed during an event. Melbourne Police officers are required because they have arrest authority in the City. The Chief can also request additional services from the Brevard County Sheriffs Office if needed.

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10. People in the medical field will be participating in my event. Will the City waive the requirement for medical coverage by the Melbourne Fire Department?
It depends. Along with your application, provide a written detailed medical plan. The Fire Chief will review your plan and will make a final determination. He has the sole authority to determine the type and amount of Fire Department coverage and equipment needed during an event.

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11. Can I get my money back if I don't get what I requested, if it rains, if I decide not to hold my event, etc.?
If an applicant cancels, postpones or reschedules an event, a minimum of 24 hours’ notice must be provided. If less than 24 hours’ notice is provided, the applicant will be responsible for the costs of City services that were not canceled in a timely manner. With regard to police services, the applicant will be billed for two hours compensation for each officer scheduled if less than 24 hours’ cancellation notice is provided.

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