Festival amendments on agenda

Published 12:18 pm Thursday, February 21, 2019

A number of items are set to be discussed by the Cumberland Planning Commission Monday, 6:30 p.m., at the Cumberland County Community Center that include a proposed code amendment that could modify the definition of a special event and how festivals and special events are regulated.

The code amendment is proposed to take place on Chapter 6 of the Cumberland County Code.

A copy of the amendment defines a festival as a special event that exceeds 24 hours.

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The amendment defines a special event as any gathering of more than 400 people at any given time or any outdoor gathering of more than 250 at any given time.

Cumberland County Public Schools and other extensions of Cumberland County government are exempt from the amended code.

The code requires that applicants, or promoters, obtain a permit to hold a special event.

Application for a special event permit must be made in writing and submitted to the Cumberland County planning department at least 45 days before the date. A festival permit would need to be made in writing 60 days before an event.

A discussion about the festival policy took place in part during the November Cumberland Planning Commission meeting in which Whitney Lipscomb, representative of The Barn at Timber Creek event venue, asked about an amendment that would allow up to 10 events per year with more than 300 attendees. The events would all be open to the public, and necessary arrangements would be made to host a larger amount of people.

The county allows a venue to use a festival permit for large-scale events. Lipscomb said the venue hosts community events and fundraisers in addition to weddings.

Concerning a fundraiser that may draw a large crowd, Lipscomb asked the question, “what do we do if we have more than 300 people? In an instance like that, we would have to apply for a festival permit, but it’s so give or take whether you are going to have that many or not, so I don’t want to burn up my one festival permit on having a fundraiser for someone and not have 300 people show up.”

An amendment to a condition that would have allowed more than 300 participants at The Barn at Timber Creek event venue was stricken by the Cumberland Planning Commission.