Special Use Permits

Special Use Permits

General Policies

1.     The District’s Mission Statement formulates the basis for land use policies and management practices.  A paraphrased summary of the Statement provides the following guidance for developing access and management policy: “To acquire open space for public use and enjoyment and to protect natural ecosystem processes and environmental quality through appropriate recreational activity.” Accordingly, the District manages its parks and preserves for dispersed and passive recreational use [which] is harmonious with the protection of environmental resources (Policy 2.1).”  One tool the District has available for protecting the public trust values of its parks and preserves is regulating the amount of access by establishing an access limit and permit system.

2.     Access and use activities requiring permits include, but are not limited to: all organized events, such as cross-country runs and equestrian poker rides; social events and religious services, group/organization gatherings; advertised events for 20 or more people; research and specimen collecting; commercial filming and photography; school groups of 20 or more students; vehicle access, and entrance into closed areas.

3.     The District may grant, deny, or condition any permit request after considering the suitability of the proposal to the area requested for access.  Some of the issues that will be considered include: legality, impact to public trust resources and other park/preserve users, potential impact to adjacent private property, public health and safety, traffic and/or parking, compatibility of the proposal with District policy and existing park/preserve use. 

4.     Any Special Use Permit issued may be revoked or cancelled at any time for non-compliance with District rules, regulations, and/or policies or for non-compliance with any Permit condition or requirement.

Approval of any Special Use Permit will require the applicant to indemnify and hold the District harmless against any and all claims of liability and may require the issuance of a Third Party Certificate of Insurance issued to the District in an amount commensurate with the risk associated with the proposed and to District satisfaction.


General Policy

The District’s Special Use Permit is an integral component of responsible public land stewardship. Special permission for non-conforming activities and associated permit conditions will vary from park to park.  Similarly, the types of use that one park supports may not be appropriate for another park.  There may also be circumstances that dictate that certain authorized uses or access are more appropriate during specific days or months or times. The District’s Special Use Permit is a tool that gives the District the flexibility to direct specific types of non-conforming use and access to the appropriate place for the long-term protection of public trust values and general public health, safety, and welfare while exercising responsiveness to community needs.

Permit Conditions

When considering a Special Use Permit, the District may require one or more of the following requirements, or others, be provided by the applicant as a condition of approval:

  • Fire control measures and/or equipment;
  • Medical emergency services and/or equipment;
  • Public safety services and/or equipment;
  • Traffic safety services and/or equipment;
  • Communication services and/or equipment;
  • Public health and sanitation services and/or equipment;
  • Transportation services and/or equipment
  • Fees to pay for additional District staff time associated with the event;
  • Site restoration and/or in-lieu impact mitigation fee;
  • Commercial vendor fee;
  • Indemnification and liability insurance;
  • Event advertisement, media coverage, and/or signage;
  • IRS non-profit status certification;
  • Encroachment Permit Application;
  • ABC Permit (for alcoholic beverages) and/or Vendors license;
  • Event deposit or bond

Application Process

  • A Special Use Permit form may be submitted electronically, by mail, or in person;
  • Public agency and not-for-profit organizations will have a priority;
  • Permit forms must be received by the District at least 30 days, and not more than12 months, in advance of the date for which the permit is requested;
  • All fees, deposits, certificates of insurance, and other required documents must be received by the District no later than two weeks (14 days) before the use date;
  • To be valid, the Special Use Permit must be signed by an authorized District representative and the Permittee;
  • Appropriate staff will review all permit requests for approval, denial, and applicable conditions. All requests will be acted upon within seven (7) days from the date the District receives the completed permit form

Special Use Permit Application