WHAT IS A SPECIAL EVENT?
A special event is a significant non-recurring event such as, but not limited to: weddings, family reunions, fundraisers, commercial events, boat races, swim races, an organized run, bike races, tournaments, derbies, an organized beach clean up, etc.
WHERE CAN I HOST MY SPECIAL EVENT?
The District has multiple locations available for special events including:
- Avila Beach - East of the Avila Pier
- Avila Beach - West of the Avila Pier
- Olde Port Beach
- Fisherman’s Beach
- Coastal Gateway Multi-Purpose Room
For more information on the location of the above-referenced beaches, see page 2 of the Special Event Application.
DO I NEED A PERMIT FOR MY SPECIAL EVENT?
A special event permit is required under one or more of the following conditions:
- Groups of 25 or more people; or
- Event is a wedding or vow renewal ceremony with an officiant and at least one or more witnesses in attendance; or
- Supports any commercial enterprise (including catering services); or
- Requires District staff support beyond normal facilities maintenance or public safety operations; or
- Organization or individual will be advertising a public event to be held on District property.
HOW MUCH WILL A SPECIAL EVENT PERMIT COST?
- The first step in determining the cost of a special event permit is to determine the type of special event permit needed based on the following definitions.
Special Event permit fees are dependent on the number of people expected to attend the event, the type of special event, and whether or not the special event is considered Coastal Dependent.
- Coastal Dependent is defined as “Any use which requires a site on, or adjacent to, the sea to be able to function at all including aquaculture, mariculture, recreational boating and fishing; rental, sale or instruction of use of sea water equipment (e.g. kayaks, boogie boards, wetsuits, paddle boards); and rental or sale of beach equipment (e.g. beach umbrella, beach chair, beach blanket). Coastal Dependent use excludes certain uses, including but not limited to weddings, catered events, sale of food, or sale or rental of non-coastal dependent goods, physical fitness classes on the beach, individual gatherings or church services."
- Coastal Dependent Public Charitable Event is an event that is directly associated with fundraising for the entity which is established as a not-for-profit corporation and which has been granted Federal tax-exempt status and is coastal dependent.
- Catered or Commercially Supported Private Event is an event that restricts the general public’s access to a site, by either physical barriers or by personnel or otherwise restricts the general public and enlists the services of a caterer, event planner, equipment rental company and/or any other commercial enterprise.
- Multi-Session Class/Activity is a class or activity (limited to 2 hours) organized by an individual, non-profit organization, social group, or for-profit business which occurs over one to four days during a two month period. It includes commercial activities that do not require any set-up or use of commercially owned equipment (e.g. fitness class with no equipment, bring your own dive equipment for dive instruction).
- Private Gathering is an event that is privately organized. A permit is required if the gathering is for 50 or more people. This type of event is not catered, not affiliated with or enlists services of commercial enterprise, and does not require District staff support.
- Public Non-Coastal Dependent or Non-Charitable Event is an event that is open to the general public and is other than a Coastal Dependent Public Charitable event as defined in 1) above.
- Wedding Ceremony is an event in which two people are being married or renewing vows by a third person while at least one witness is in attendance.
- The second step in determining the cost of a special event permit is to find your type of special event on our Rate Schedule.
ARE THERE ANY SPECIAL RULES OR REGULATIONS FOR HAVING A SPECIAL EVENT?
Yes, all applicants must carefully read Rules, Regulations & Information for Special Event Permits. Exceptions to the Rules and Regulations will not be considered. Violations of the District Rules and Regulations may result in immediate eviction from District property, a misdemeanor citation, and/or notice to pay additional fees. The Special Event Application requires applicant to provide credit card information and authorization to charge credit card for violations.
HOW DO I APPLY FOR A SPECIAL EVENT PERMIT?
- Application must be submitted two weeks before the event.
- View our Special Event Calendar to see if your date is available.
- Read Rules, Regulations & Information concerning Special Event Permits
- Complete a Special Event Application/Permit form (for events from July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024).
- Secure Event Liability Insurance, including bodily injury and property damage in the amount of $1,000,000 naming Port San Luis Harbor District as an additional insured with a $2,000,000 aggregate.
Mail Payment, Completed and Signed Special Event Application, and Original Insurance Certificate to:Port San Luis Harbor District
3950 Avila Beach Dr.
PO Box 249
Avila Beach, CA 93424
- A Special Event Permit will not be issued unless all required documentation is submitted and the date, time, and location are available.
Special Event Permits are issued on a first come first serve basis. In the event that your requested date is unavailable, your payment and paperwork will be returned. You may select a first and second date, time or location to minimize the risk of unavailability of your requested date.
DO I RECEIVE ANY SERVICES WITH MY SPECIAL EVENT PERMIT?
The beach is a public facility; therefore, special event permits do not provide exclusive use of the beach. Access for other visitors must not be impeded. A special event permit allows the permit user to hold a special event on District property, but does not allow for exclusive use. No other services are provided to the recipient of a special event permit. There are no identified reserved spaces. It is recommended that you schedule your event off season, or early or late in the day if you wish to increase the privacy of your event.
WHAT IS THE REFUND POLICY FOR SPECIAL EVENT PERMITS?
The Special Event Permit fee is refundable in the case of cancellation, subject to a one-time Administrative Cost Recovery Fee. Alternatively, the Special Event Permit date may be transferred to an available alternative date at no charge. The alternative date may not be more than one-year from the original date and only one transfer is allowed.
WHY DO I NEED EVENT LIABILITY INSURANCE?
In the event that you or a guest is injured or you or your guest cause property damage your event liability insurance may pay for the loss (less any deductible).
As part of the Special Event Application process you, as the applicant, are agreeing to take responsibility for your guests, and paid or unpaid service providers (e.g. florist, caterer, photographer). Many Event Liability Insurance policies do not cover “employees” or service providers. You are responsible for securing a certificate of insurance naming Port San Luis Harbor District as additionally insured for $1,000,000 per occurrence and $2,000,000 in aggregate for each person or organization that you hire. All event liability insurance certificates must accompany your application.