Township looks at events bylaw

Township considering a staff report that would create a new special events bylaw where permits would be required to host 'major events.'

Hosting a big event in Spallumcheen may require a permit.

Township council is considering a staff report that would create a new special events bylaw where permits would be required to host what would be defined as major events.

Major events would include 1,000 or more participants per day; would be an event that lasts more than 12 consecutive hours from set up to take down; and events that carry over into the next day.

An application fee of $500 would be charged and the application submission must be in within 180 days of the event.

“In preparing the new bylaw, it is recognized that there are many different types of events that could be held within the township,” wrote deputy corporate officer Cindy Graves in a three-page report to council. “The bylaw’s intent identifies what requirements are relative to the nature and size and terms of a permit.”

Minor events in the bylaw would be described as having between 100 and 1,000 participants a day. Applicants would have to pay a $100 fee and submit their application within 60 days of the event.

Security for major events would cost not less than $10,000, and not less than $1,000 for major events.

“The applicant would be required to post security allowing the township the ability to draw down on the security to cover the costs of policing, public works and fire services,” wrote Graves. “There is also a provision for the applicant to pay any costs incurred by the township as a result of the special event for costs that exceed the security.”

A further requirement would be liability insurance of not less than $5 million on in an amount satisfactory to the township with the township named as co-insured.

The new bylaw being proposed came after the township and the MotoPlex Speedway and Event Park hosted the Sturgis North motorcycle and music festival for five days in July 2012.

There was an existing bylaw in place which had provisions intended to provide Spallumcheen with the means and authorities to regulate such major events.

However, the township’s legal counsel said the existing bylaw “lacked the legislative authority contemplated,” and recommended repealing it and introducing a new bylaw.

Events in Spallumcheen that would not require a permit under the proposed new bylaw would be events sponsored by the township, events held by the North Okanagan-Shuswap school district, events approved by contract with Armstrong Spallumcheen Parks and Recreation, and local business or association under the Society Act unless the event is a commercial event.

Coun. Todd York wondered if the bylaw proposal would affect groups who host events as fundraisers.

“We tried to find a way to not give away community events that are not for profit,” said administrator Greg Betts.

“If it’s a commercial enterprise, it enters a different category. We struggled with this at length to find a balance. There is no ideal balance. When you put in a bylaw you’ll have unanticipated consequences.”

Council voted unanimously to receive Graves’ report and, prior to introducing it, that the bylaw be referred to partner agencies for their perusal.

Those agencies include Spallumcheen staff, provincial health, environment, forests and transportation ministries, the RCMP, B.C. Safety Authority, Interior Health, liquor inspector and liquor security licensing, the Okanagan Indian Band and North Okanagan Emergency Management.