At the Aug. 28, 2018 City Council meeting, staff provided a report summarizing the city’s Special Events Ordinance and permit procedures as applied to demonstrations, and compared the city’s approach to the requirements of other cities. City Council directed staff to place on a future meeting agenda an expressive activity permitting ordinance that is separate from the Special Events Ordinance. Through a public meeting on Jan. 30, 2019, and a subsequent online survey, staff presented a draft of the proposed ordinance for public feedback. Public feedback was incorporated into the ordinance and is addressed in the report that will be presented to the City Council on May 14, 2019.
At that meeting, the City Attorney’s Office and staff will present a proposed ordinance for a separate and streamlined permitting process for expressive activities within the City of Carlsbad. Due to the substantial public interest in this item, we are providing the public with copies of the Staff Report and exhibits a week in advance of the scheduled Council meeting.
The proposed ordinance seeks to balance many different interests. The ordinance reduces the barriers to individuals and groups who wish to avail themselves of their First Amendment rights through expressive activities conducted on public property. The ordinance recognizes that the City has limited resources to protect participants exercising their First Amendment rights, counter-protesters and bystanders. Therefore, some advance notice of an expressive activity event is necessary to ensure the City can develop a plan to best utilize its resources. The ordinance also recognizes that there could be competing uses for the City’s public spaces and seeks to balance First Amendment expressive activity with these other uses. Finally, the administrative regulations implementing the ordinance provide for a single point of contact within the City to help facilitate expressive activity events.