Seal Beach City Council proposes special beach event permits

Councilman Charles Antos

Seal Beach District 1 Councilman Charles Antos proposed requiring special permits for events at the beach at the Monday, April 12 council meeting.

Antos said the Parks and Recreation Commission should approve such applications. The council unanimously agreed with his proposal.

Staff will probably have to come back to the council with a resolution working out the details.

According to the staff report by Jill Ingram, assistant to the city manager, and Mark Persico, director of Development Services, Antos first suggested the council change the special event process at the March 22 council meeting.

Persico presented the staff report on the event permit process at the April 12 meeting. He said to make the change proposed by Antos, the city code would have to be changed. He also said the Parks and Recreation Commission would need to meet every month.

According to the staff report, the commission is dark five months a year.

Antos said he is concerned about people from out of town having events on the beach. He said with city sponsored events you know when they start and when they end. Antos said people living on Seal Way could be adversely impacted by amplified music from an event on the beach.

Antos said he had no problem with special events that are not on the beach. He said he would rather not be accommodating to out-of-towners than annoy residents of Seal Way with events that last for two or three days.

District 3 Councilman Gordon Shanks asked how Huntington Beach handled special events. Persico said staff hadn’t researched the matter. Shanks said small events should not go through Parks and Recreation.

District 5 Councilman Michael Levitt said the Parks and Recreation Commission doesn’t meet often enough to make decisions about permit applications in a timely manner. According to the staff report, requiring the parks commission to approve permits would add 60 to 90 days to the application process. District 4 Councilman Gary Miller said the parks commission could be called back in to make decisions.

Seth Eaker, president of the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce, said Seal Beach had a functioning special event permitting process. He said adding more government regulation was not necessarily for the best.

The council voted 5-0 to support the Antos proposal.

However, City Attorney Quinn Barrow said changing the permit process would probably require amending the Municipal Code. He said staff would come back to the council at a future meeting.

Persico said staff would like to look at how the change might be implemented. Parks and Recreation Commission meetings are not advertised in legal notices the way Planning Commission and City Council meetings are, because the parks commission does not make decisions. He said it was possible the new permit process would change that.