Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Groups planning one-day events in Georgetown County may soon have a much easier time planning them.
Currently, the County charges vendors a fee of $100 to take part in events with more than 400 people.
Organizers of the event are also asked to provide a site plan detailing where all of the vendors will be located.
The Georgetown County Planning Commission voted unanimously at its regular meeting July 17 to recommend that County Council change that.
The change would not require a site plan and would wave the $100 fee for vendors at one-day events. Instead the County would issue a special event permit.
Boyd Johnson, planning director for Georgetown County, explained to the Planning Commission that the County has been informed by nonprofit agencies that many vendors will not come if they have to pay $100 and that this hinders their legitimate fund raising efforts.
“We have been racking our brains for months on this,” Johnson said of the planning staff.
“One of the biggest things we have problems with are special events.”
Johnson said that treating for-profit and nonprofit entities differently can lead to legal issues.
However, many of the smaller festivals and nonprofit events are of short duration.
The wording for the change to the ordinance follows:
“The permit for such an event shall not be for a period longer than 14 days and only two permits will be granted for any one parcel in a calendar year.
“Permits shall not be issued within one week of any other special event permit on the same parcel. Permits for one day special events shall not be issued for consecutive days on the same parcel and are limited to six permits per year on a parcel.
“Special events held in residential districts are limited to no more than three days.”
Regular vendors that are not associated with a special event may obtain a short term permit for $50 or a one-year permit for $100.
The exemption staff is proposing would not address the fees established in the Fire Code for tents.
Closed tents over 400 square feet require a permit and open tents over 700 square feet require a permit, the report stated.