Santa Barbara County is considering charging fees for events on public right of way which require permits.
The county currently doesn’t charge for the 60 or so requests it receives annually for permits for things like farmers markets, car shows and marathons involving public property. Officials estimated than in 2011, public works employees spent nearly 300 hours reviewing permit requests events.
If Santa Barbara County Supervisors approve the plan they’re set to receive on Tuesday, it would establish fees ranging from $50.00 for permits for small events, like sidewalk sales, to around $350.00 for major events. Recurring events like farmers markets could get an annual permit for $250.00 under the plan.
As the financially squeezed county is looking at ways to balance its budget, the planning department is trying to cover its costs through the fees.