This webpage is designed to help organizers navigate the process to obtain
community support for special events that occur on public property.
By following these guidelines event organizers can work with the
community to build support for their event, a necessary step to secure a
special event permit from the City of San Diego. Typical events
includes runs, walks, fundraisers, festivals, parades; in other words, any event
that will close off any part of a La Jolla public park or public street
for a private, paid admission, or open to the public event.
For a primer on La Jolla's community organizations see
Community Links and
La Jolla Recreation Councils.
City of San Diego
As part of the application process and refining your proposal the city
may require you to interact with a variety of city departments including
Park & Recreation, Fire/Safety, Police, etc.
Permits are issued by the City of San Diego Office of Special Events.
As your first step you should review their website:
It is critical to reach out to those that might be affected by your
event before you start the permit process. Examples include residents
that might be affected by noise, traffic congestion or merchants affected by
street closures. Working with those that may be impacted,
addressing their concerns, and gaining their support will make your permit
process easier. Reaching out to the chairs of the community organizations
listed below can also facilitate the community review process.
If this is your first time putting on the event you need to start as
far in advance as possible, six months is not too early, to develop your
plans, to understand the city's requirements and to start working with the
While seemingly complex, community review can be your friend. Community
organizations provide a forum for the community to learn about your
event and express their concerns about potential impacts. The organization
will discuss your proposal and offer its recommendation. Organizations typically
meet only once a month and need at least one to two weeks advance notice to be
placed on their agenda. The days of
simply showing up at a meeting unannounced to get a quick review and approval
are long gone. Contact them when you are ready for community review.
Keep in mind that depending on the community organization
they can provide (a) a show of support or (b) a recommendation for approval
to the city. The City of San Diego Office of Special Events is the decision
maker on whether to issue a permit and they rely on evidence of strong
Community Organizations and Jurisdiction
Events at La Jolla's Public Parks, Shoreline Parks, and Beaches
Events seeking closure of a public street or reservation/closure of on-street parking
You should also seek support from the
La Jolla Town Council, the
La Jolla Village Merchants Association, and/or the
Bird Rock Community Council
depending on the location and nature of the special event. Attending the meetings of these
organizations can also help you spread the word about your event.
Submittal Requirements for Community Review
Generally community organizations will need to see the same information (event
layout, hours, parking and detour plans, etc.) that you are submitting to the City. Some
organizations (especially those overseeing parks) may have additional requirements.
Events having significant impact on residences or merchants may be required to submit
petitions demonstrating support for the event.
Decision Making Process
Each organization has their own process to determine whether to support a special event.
They recognize that special events are organized for a beneficial purpose; further, special
events by their scale and location on a public park or street will necessarily involve some
impact to the public. Whether the impacts can be addressed or lessened and whether the impacts
are a fair trade-off by the community for the special event is part of what organizations evaluate.
While not a requirement we urge you to use La Jolla vendors, merchants,
caterers, restaurants, etc., for your event to the maximum extent possible.
If your event will draw from out of town we urge you to partner with La Jolla hotels,
restaurants, etc, to create travel packages. There is no better
way to give your attendees the "La Jolla" experience than by using La Jolla