Public Assembly


The City of Palm Beach Gardens has premier facilities that can be considered for hosting an event. This handbook is the guide for applying for a permit to utilize public property in accordance with Chapter 46 of the City Code of Ordinances for “Public Assembly”. This manual and related processes are not applicable to permitting of sport fields and facilities such as pavilions if utilized as intended as defined in Chapter 46. That information can be found in the Facility Use Manual.

Event planners are encouraged to email before submitting an application. Having a preliminary discussion with staff will save time. If the potential exists for the event to be held, Recreation staff will assist with the application and facilitating the process.

The Public Assembly/Event Permitting Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) guides the application process. That SOP, and this handbook, are the basis for processing requests.

The City reserves the right to deny an application or cancel an event based upon either the SOP or this Handbook.

A Recreation staff member will be assigned as the Staff Event Coordinator. This person becomes the main contact throughout the planning process.


An event planner should contact the Recreation Department at as early as possible to discuss the proposed event. In all cases, the earlier staff is informed of the proposed event, the more likelihood of receiving approval. Generally, applications are due 60 days or more in advance as outlined in the SOP.


Permit Types

Permit criteria are outlined in the SOP. Department staff will make the determination of “event level” based upon the information provided on the application and ascertained from the Event Planner. Event Planners are expected to fully disclose all details of their event during the application process. Failure to do so will jeopardize the permit for the event.


Permit fees are assessed according to the City Council approved fees and charges chart. Multiple fees will apply depending on the level of the permit type. Event Planners are advised to request a quote of fees prior to engaging in the full planning process. Reduction in fees is not commonplace, and not-for-profit status does not exempt an organization from paying fees.

During the application process, the Event Planner will be required to place a “credit card on-file” for billing. This card will be utilized to charge agreed upon fees prior to the event and any subsequent bills that arise after the event. Although rare, a household account might be approved for billing purposes. If approved, the Event Planner will have to deposit into that account the full cost of agreed upon fees, plus 25% at the preliminary approval stage of the permit process. When the permit is approved, any remaining fees must be paid at that time. The 25% fee will remain on the account until post event inspections are complete. Any additional costs incurred will be taken from the balance on the account and any remaining balance will be refunded.

Event planners will be responsible for coordinating and paying for Police and Fire services as required by the review team.


Review Team

Depending on the level of the event, a review team comprised of City departments will be organized by the Staff Event Coordinator assigned to the event. This team will provide input on all matters related to safety, compliance, building permitting, or other matters as necessary. Event Planners are to attend all meetings of the review team and provide all requested information. In these meetings, the level of City staffing including police and fire services required and any event requirements will be determined. Event Planners are required to follow all “conditions of approval” as determined by City staff.

Included in the review process will be the development of an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) to safeguard event attendees. This plan will outline emergency requirements of the event and response protocols including input by the Emergency Operations Team, Police, and Fire/Rescue Departments. The Event Planner must develop an EAP outlining all emergency operations and communication processes. The final EAP must be provided to the City seven (7) days prior to the set-up of the event.

Site & Event Plans

Event Planners are encouraged to utilize the most recent Google Earth Map as the base for outdoor site plans. If an indoor facility is requested, staff will provide a building plan if available. A preliminary site plan is to be submitted with the application and include all elements of the event outlining public areas and “back of the house” operations. Site plans are to indicate the location of utility connections, whether temporary or not.

As the planning team works with the Event Planner, certain “conditions of approval” will be required by the City. At any point should the conditions not be met or maintained, the City will consider cancelling or closing the event. Any loss that is incurred by the organization hosting the event because of non-compliance will not be the responsibility of the City.

Applicable local, state, and federal laws

Permit holders and all participants are responsible for abiding by applicable law. Listed below are some of the more common City ordinances that an Event Planner must adhere to:

  • Animals, except service animals, are prohibited on city property, per City Ordinance (sec. 46-14)
  • Operation and sale of food from mobile food trucks (sec 78-196)
  • Noise & Amplified sound (sec 78-661)


Event Planners should plan on the use of temporary utilities. Water and electric connections at most sites are minimal and require approval/coordination during the planning process. Establishing temporary utilities is to be done in coordination with applicable departments.


Amplified sound details are to be disclosed during the planning process. Depending on what the amplified sound is for, a sound mitigation plan might be required and must be in accordance with Chapter 76-661 of the City Code of Ordinances.

Temporary Equipment, Structures, Site Amenities, and Security

All equipment, structures, and use of site amenities are to be requested on the site plan and are subject to approval by the City. Generally, Event Planners are to be aware of:

  • Turf fields are considered off limits unless approval is given during the planning process, unless the event is a turf-based activity.
  • Under no circumstance are tents of any kind or other temporary equipment to be staked into the ground on any sports turf field.
  • All tents and temporary items must be secured for the safety of event patrons. Depending on the location of such items, staking or weights will be required.

The use, security, and cost of repairs to the facilities utilized during the event becomes the responsbility of the organization hosting the event. The City is not responsible for any damage or loss of event equipment. Securing and security of the event site is the sole responsbility of the organization hosting the event. During the planning process the City will require “conditions of approval’ related to the security of the event. Compliance with these conditions is required.

Should damage occur to City facilities, the City will perform the repairs, and the organization will be charged for the damage. At no time is the Event Planner to alter or fix anything on the site. All issues with the site are to be brought to the attention of the Staff Event Coordinator. All temporary equipment and structures must be removed from the site at the conclusion of the event as agreed upon during the planning process.

Site Maintenance & Staffing

Depending on the level of permit, the City may require staff to be present at the event. Additionally, the collection and disposition of trash and upkeep of permanent restrooms will be established through the planning process. City staff will not be responsible for the cleaning of temporary toilet facilities and/or other event structures/areas. Depending on the anticipated magnitude of trash, the Event Planner may be required to pay the cost of having a dumpster placed on site. All fees will be billed to the credit card on-file including if the facilities require City staff to conduct extra cleaning after the event concludes.

Admission & Fees Charged

During the planning process, the Event Planner is to disclose all fees that will be charged to attendees of the event. Event Planners must understand the limits of their permit boundaries. Some areas of a park might remain open for community use. If this is the case, those areas cannot be blocked off nor the community be turned away from use. Parking fees may only be changed when:

  • Approved during the planning process, and
  • There is a clear delineation between the event and other areas of the park.

Vendors & Exhibitors

The Event Planner is to provide a preliminary list of vendors & exhibitors at the time of application. This list is to include all entities that will be present at the event. The list should include the set up or equipment utilized by each. All are subject to City approval.  The Event Planner is responsible for vendor compliance with federal, state, and local laws and for their conduct. Vendors not conducting their business within applicable law, ordinance or rule, will have to be removed from the site by the Event Planner.

Food trucks must be in compliance with the City ordinance governing the operation of food trucks within City limits. The Mobile Food Truck Permit Application process must be complete and approved more than 14 days prior to the permit start date.

The final list, and all required insurances, is to be submitted seven (7) working days prior the event.